DAY 1

Jul 22 2017

The usual go-to tourist spot when in Manila is the historical Intramuros. Visiting other nearby places wouldn't hurt too. It is advisable to go to those places first before heading to Intramuros if you wish to take a one-way route to save you from the hassle of going to and fro.

My first stop was the San Sebastian Church located at Pasaje del Carmen St, Quiapo, Manila. Among the nearby churches, I was after this the most. I was beyond stunned at the sight of this edifice. Who would've thought that the Philippines has an all-steel, neogothic church? The only one in the country. Before its completion in 1891, its steel parts were transported in eight shipments from Binche, Belgium. At present, the church suffers from 300 leaks. Donations are welcome to aid the maintenance of the steel that is at risk of collapsing.

San Sebastian Church

world

Intramuros

world

Intramuros means "a walled city." In the old days, it was known as Ciudad Murada. It was basically Manila back in the time of the Spanish regime. Its walls still stand up to the present. Inside are various government offices, schools, residential houses among others.

Things to remember when going to Intramuros:
📍Bring an umbrella, a bottled water, and pocket money for entrance fees.
📍Wear comfortable sneakers.
📍The tour is going to take your entire day, so start early and carefully budget your time.
📍Don't go there when it rains unless you want to include flood in your itinerary.
📍Secure your belongs all the time.
📍Have fun and marvel at the gorgeous sights.

Fort Santiago

PhilippinesPH

Manila Cathedral

PhilippinesPH

Bahay Tsinoy

PhilippinesPH

Plaza San Luis Complex

PhilippinesPH

San Agustin Church

PhilippinesPH

Baluarte de San Diego

PhilippinesPH

First built as a palisaded structure of logs and earth in 1571 (on the site of the native settlement of Raja Soliman) Fort Santiago was one of the fortifications in Manila. This was where Jose Rizal was held captive until his execution on Dec 30, 1896.

In 1942, the Japanese army occupied it, and imprisoned, tortured and executed about 600 people (whose remains lie close to the dungeon near Baluarte de Santa Barbara).

Entrance Fee:
Adults - 75
Students, Children, Senior - 50

Inside Fort Santiago is also the Museum of Jose Rizal that features the last days in the life of Rizal along with few of his personal belongings. A seperate entrance fee is collected in this museum.

The closest spot to Fort Santiago is the Manila Cathedral. And to its right is the Palacio del Gobernador (the Malacañang of old).

From Manila Cathedral, you can go to Bahay Tsinoy next (corner of Anda and Cabildo streets). It is a museum* that exhibits the history of Chinese people moving around the Philippines from China to trade goods, and how they settled in Manila.

After Bahay Tsinoy, you can proceed to Plaza San Luis Complex at the corner of General Luna and Real streets.

*The museum collects an entrance fee.

The second and third floors of the main building of Plaza San Luis Complex are turned into a museum that shows the opulent lifestyle of the Ilustrados.

Entrance Fee:
Adults - 75
Students, Children, Senior - 50

The San Agustin Church is the third Augustinian church built on the same spot. It was first built from materials like bamboo and nipa, but got destroyed by the fire in Dec 1574 during the attempted invasion by the forces of Limahong. A second wooden structure was built on the same site, and was destroyed again in Feb 1583 by a fire that started when a candle ignited the drapery on the funeral bier during the services for Spanish Gov-Gen Gonzalo Peñalosa.

The Augustinians decided to rebuild it with an adjacent monastery using stones. The work was completed in Jan 1607. The church also houses the resting place of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi who died in Aug 1572.

The adjacent monastery is now a museum. Entrance fee for adults is 200, and 160 for students, children and senior citizens. Note that it is closed from 12pm-1pm.

From San Agustin, you can take Sta. Lucia St to see the Philippine Presidents' Murals, and other old structures. Then you head further south to Baluarte de San Diego.

The Baluarte de San Diego is one of the oldest stone fortifications in Intramuros designed and built by Jesuit priest Antonio Sedeno from 1586-1587. It began as a circular fort called Nuestra Señora de Guia and renovated in 1593 to join the walls of the city.

The Baluarte was destroyed during the Battle of Manila in 1945 and mostly forgotten until the excavation and restoration in 1992.

Reservations are open for functions like weddings and other special occasions.

Entrace Fee:
Adults - 75
Students, Children, Senior - 50

Intramuros

PhilippinesPH

National Museum of the Philippines

PhilippinesPH

National Museum Of Anthropology

PhilippinesPH

National Museum of Natural History

world

There are 3 National Museum buildings: The National Museum, The National Museum of Anthropology, and The National Museum of Natural History.

The National Musuem is the main building that exhibits the works of fine artists such as Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, and many more. Its primary displays are paintings, sketches and sculptures.

At the back of the National Museum is The National Musuem of Anthropology. It shows archeological finds discovered in the country, and cultural and ethnological tools and materials.

Far across the Museum of Anthropology is the National Museum of Natural History, which is still under renovation.

All museums are entrance-free.

Teodoro F. Valencia Circle

PhilippinesPH

Rizal Monument, Rizal Park

PhilippinesPH

Tip: You need to find a good angle to photograph Rizal's monument without including the photobomber of a condo in the background.

Coaches are available to tour you around for a fee. While the experience of riding the kalesa is fun, I would prefer going around Intramuros by foot.

Share to SNS
Link copied.
Paste it somewhere!