Intramuros is the oldest city in Manila. It is once ruled by Rajas and Sultans but was taken over by the Spaniards who ruled for 300 years. Intramuros literally means “within in the walls” in Latin.
Last August, we were lucky to have participated in a free guided tour by Carlos Celdran in his tour named “If these Walls Could Talk". It is a tour of Intramuros starting at Fort Santiago, a “kalesa” (horse-drawn carriage) ride to St. Augustine Church and a free Filipino snack called “halo-halo" (shaved ice with sweetened bananas, tapioca balls, purple yam jam, and gelatin, topped with sugar and evaporated milk).
Fort Santiago is the first stop of the tour. It is a fortress built for Spanish Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. This is also where Jose Rizal (Philippine National Hero) was imprisoned before his execution in 1896. This also shows in embedded bronze, the final footsteps of Jose Rizal from his cell to Luneta Park where he was executed.
We then rode the “kalesa” to the oldest church in the Philippines, St. Augustine Church. In 1993, it was named one of the World Heritage Site by UNESCO. St. Augustine Church is a baroque-inspired church with lots of murals, gold ornaments, and ornate carvings inside. After the tour in the church we were given “halo-halo”, a famous Filipino snack.
After the tour, my friend and I decided to take pictures of the graffiti walls inside Intramuros and went home after.
It was a fun experience to know more about the famous walled city of Intramuros. Really, if those walls can talk, we will learn more about our history.