Friday, May 23, 2014

Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila

Fie and I love learning and exploring (as you already know if you've been reading my past posts). We don't have much time and energy for the weekend but we try as much as we can to see whatever we haven't seen yet.

This is why walking tours became such a gift for us. There are some in Manila, so we can commute to it, and it will just be for a couple of hours. The fee isn't much either (not anything more than $15-$20) so it's always a win.

Binondo was a fun day, inspite of the heat and everything else. And now we visited another part of Manila that we always hear about but we never really explored.

Manila is the center of everything a century back. All that you need is in this city--huge schools, the most beautiful architecture, business, commerce, travel, everything that gives back profit, you can find it there. But due to wars and the consequences of age and progress, Manila has gained its lackluster present.

Our walking tour became a pedicab tour. It's this public ride wherein the driver pedals you wherever you need to be. It's way cheaper at 150 pesos (less than $4) for 30 mins. You can find a lot of pedicab drivers offering this service outside of Manila Cathedral. Others are more expensive than the rest so make sure to not quickly choose the first one to approach you.

Quick tip: Make sure the you tell the driver what time you started because they can pretend that the tour lasted for two hours but it was only more than an hour. Then you have to pay double of what you really have to. Trivial monkey business at its finest. I know because that's what happened to us. The money is something I can move on from quickly, but the disappointment that a fellow Pinoy did that to us is something I dwelled on.

I overanalyzed that little bump on the end of our tour but Fie had the grace to tell me that it's fine and all, what we have to be is to be wiser and more careful next time.

Fort Santiago is our first stop in Intramuros (city "within the walls). It will be the only content for this post since it's just beautiful inside and we cannot resist taking photos. It's actually a venue for wedding receptions and is totally private once you rented the front area. The garden was well kept and the architecture preserved. We paid 75 pesos to get in.
I won't be loading you a lot of history, it's better to discover that for yourself. See the ruins, feel the stones, admire the architecture. This was a place that had so much consequences from the war and its sad. What's sadder is if we do nothing to preserve and honor it.

Almacenes Reales (Royal Warehouse)
Students are currently working on the restoration of this establishment. This will be the main visitor's lounge of Fort Santiago once restored to "almost" its former glory.

The martyr priests: GomBurZa - Gomes, Burgos, Zamora

Raja Sulayman Theater
Reconstructed main gate of Fort Santiago. It bears the image of Saint James (“Santiago”) the Great, patron saint of Spain (Manalo, 2013).
Where Rizal was on his final hours (prior to execution).
These were originally used for vault storage and powder magazine of the Baluarte de Santa Barbara. Because it wasn’t suited for its purpose (due to dampness and humid weather), the Spaniards built a new storage in 1715. These vaults were converted to prison cells and store rooms in 1718 (Egot, 2012).
Since Fort Santiago is located near Pasig river, it has a huge geographical advantage that was best for trades and war strategies (Manalo, 2013)


  1. I think the ruins and the gardens of Fort Santiago are beautiful! x

  2. Thank you! I am hoping that they preserve it as much as they do with the palaces in Europe :)

  3. These pictures are amazing. I hope to travel to Manila one day, my father was born and raised in The Philippines so it would be nice to go there one day. Thanks for stopping by my blog Twist & Sprinkle, I'm excited to follow you along your blogging journey! xxo

  4. Thank you for following me, followed you right back, of course! :) Manila is beautiful. Not many tourists come here since they prefer the beaches and what not. But it's a very enriching experience to know Manila more. :)


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