I have been to a lot of places. Yes, I have travelled Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and even a certain foreign country. I consider myself well-travelled ( as compared to other people my age, I supposed ) , but it was only lately that a reality hit me: I was a Stranger on my own land – this is how I was whenever I was asked about Intramuros; Fort Santiago and other land marks in the old City of Manila . What a shame, I know. I don’t even know anything about these historic places right at the center of Metro Manila.
I know I’ve been here a long time ago, but hey, as a kid, what will I remember about war and history? All I could probably recall was the dirty Ice Cream I asked my mom to buy and the Calesa ride, of course.
Well, I was not alone; I have colleagues who haven’t been there too. ( Whew, what a relief! J ) . So, one Saturday Morning, we decided to go to the walled city of Manila – the Intramuros. We also took the chance to tour our guest from India around.
So as a backgrounder, Intramuros (Spanish, “within the walls”) is the oldest district and historic core of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Also called the Walled City, it was the original city of Manila and was the seat of government when the Philippines was a component realm of the Spanish Empire. Districts beyond the walls were referred as the extramuros of Manila, meaning “outside the walls”. (Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intramuros)
So Why walls?
Well, history has it that the city was in constant danger of natural and man-made disasters and worse, attacks from foreign invaders. This has been attacked so many times which prompted the construction of the wall to protect the district.
Not only did we tour within the walls, we also went beyond to visit The Manila Cathedral ; San Augustine Church, museums and we even went across to visit Fort Santiago. Touring around Intramuros and Fort Santiago made me realize how much part of the rich Philippine history and culture I was missing. I know I still have a lot to explore within my native land, but I am glad we have started this journey. And I know for sure, this is just the beginning.
P.S: Shoutout goes to my colleague Francis Lauron who took all the photos.
Featured photo : googleimages