Intramuros 2019: A Travel Guide

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The Philippines, undeniably, is a country filled with places that are rich in such beautiful wonders.

Aside from the best beaches, mountains, islands, and whatnots, the Philippines has definitely more to offer historically-wise. Just a quick trivia, this country has once upon a time been colonized by different countries that desired to claim ownership of this wonderful motherland. On that note, after many decades, the Philippines have adapted a history that will surely mark through many generations.

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As this blog goes, let me introduce you to one of the many gems of Manila, Philippines that has a mark of a true old tale of the Philippine’s history— the historic walled city known as the Intramuros.

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The Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Built on 1571, the Minor Basilica and Metropolitan Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is one of the must-visit places in Intramuros. Also known as “Manila Cathedral”, this classic Catholic church is a dedication for the Immaculate Conception (Virgin Mary’s conception).

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Plaza de Roma

Stepping through the floors of Manila Cathedral has filled me with realizations of the Filipinos’ intense Catholic faith and culture. Time will come and it will go, but the religiousness and faith that’s been embedded through every Filipino’s heart will only grow deep and fonder.

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Palacio del Gobernador

Translated to “Palace of the Governor”, Palacio del Gobernador is a government establishment built on 1976 to house several government facilities and activities of the Philippines. Normally, visitors can only take few shots from this establishment because people can’t really go inside to pay a visit. But isn’t it such a nice view, though?

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Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago, initially built on 1571, was constructed and established by early Spaniards as a defense fortress. During the Spanish occupation whilst under the intense first World War, this fort has been the base of many Spanish soldiers and prisoners alike, and also has witnessed many deaths by both Filipinos and other races in the Philippines. Moreover, Fort Santiago was also the place where Dr. Jose Rizal, Philippine’s national hero, was kept captive due to his “crimes” before his timed execution in Luneta/Rizal Park (formerly known as Bagumbayan).

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Sadly, I’ve had no shots taken inside the Fort Santiago (reason: intense heat). Nonetheless, my experience visiting the fortress was definitely one for the books. Each step will take you back to the bittersweet memories of the old Philippine era and somehow, nostalgia is indeed something to expect. Ruins, prison dungeons, museums, and shrines are only few of the many places to pay a visit inside Fort Santiago. Merely seeing these places will fill you with some degree of sentiment for what our dear country, Philippines, have gone through centuries ago in the hands of the many occupants who attempted to colonize the country.

Since I have not taken lot of shots all over the trademarks of the entirety of Intramuros, I will nevertheless share some random pictures we took at places we’ve somehow got to visit.

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Sta. Lucia Street (2nd image)
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Casa Manila Museum
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Puerta de Santa Lucia

My general experience for our short trip to Intramuros has certainly became one of my favorite trips in my life. Personally, I am guilty of being an old soul. I like visiting places with significant history where I could appreciate how the exact ground I’m stepping on today was somehow, in the past, have possibly been a brutal battleground. I also appreciate how my beloved country had fought hard to gain back its independence. For all the heroes of before will still be our heroes up until the far future. We will continue to look back and celebrate the victory that they shed blood for.

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Do I recommend visiting Intramuros? YES!
Not only for my fellow Filipino, but also, foreigners are welcome to pay this historic place a visit. Anyone would surely learn a lesson or two about what the Philippines have gone through in the past. Friendly tip, though: bring an umbrella, wear a cap, apply some sunscreen, a bottled water, wear a comfortable outfit, and prepare your heart for a fun-filled nostalgia trip. By then, you’re good to go.

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