A quick retelling of my impromptu visit to the gorgeous, history-filled little Spain of Manila! Retrace the steps of Manila’s rich cultural history on this breathtalking walkathon at the heart of the capital! There is so much to see and do plus some very good bargon hunting, you will not need to spend much to have a great time.
A lot of other Lomographers have gone before me on visiting this gorgeous age-old fortress as it’s unarguably one of the best spots to get a taste of old Manila. My friends decided on going to this spot on an impromptu basis as we were scouting for rare local-only films in nearby camera capital of Manila, Quiapo (which is a must-see Location by itself).
There’s also a strange juxtaposition of the somewhat expensive camera stores to the immense number of Tricycles and pushcarts right beside it! Little did we know that we’d actually be travelling to one of our favourite local trips so far…and a lame excuse to bring along some top-secret product for a test-run…
Just a quick bit of history, Intramuros was built by the Spaniards during their occupation in Manila and is one of the few remaining structures in the city built during this period. This was instigated during the late 1500s and was completed in the early 1600s. Now, it houses a ton of culturally-imbued hotspots that you wish you were living in the olden times – and somewhat wish that the rest of Manila could be this well-preserved.
Accessible via the Central Station of the Yellow Metro Rail Line, visiting the walled city is very cheap from any point in Manila. We rented a pedicab to take us around the city for a whole day and only costs roughly $10 for a group of four – including a free personalized tour by the drivers themselves! Believe me – the entire trip cost less than a couple of Elitechrome rolls we bought!
Around the city are various attractions – there’s something for everybody! From high-class sitdown Spanish-Filipino fusion restaurants to hole-in-the-wall cafés. A lot of people get married in the San Agustin Church and quite a handful of my own family members got married here, so it was an experience to remember in revisiting this location after so long.
You’ll also be greeted by gorgeously-restored buildings, as well as breathtaking ruins from the colonial war. If you’re into Golf, the entrance to the city has a top-notch golf course but is exclusive only to the rich bigwigs and expatriates of Manila.
Again, there’s something for everybody and save an entire day to go around this city – it especially divine on sunny days when you can see every nook and cranny of a Manila that once was.