Intramuros or “Walled City” is the oldest district of Manila embedded with history of Spanish Colonial Period. It is located along Manila Bay at the south mouth of Pasig River. Walled by thick defensive walls dating back in the 16th century, Intramuros is now a centre of administration office for Manila.
Intramuros houses some of the higher education institutions in the Philippines such as Mapua Institute of Technolog, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran and churches – San Augustin being the most known church around. The main square of the city was Plaza Mayor in front of Manila Cathedral. Other buildings are Casa Manila, Puerta Isabella II and old brick layered shophouses.
As I walk through the entrance of Intramuros, a pedicab driver lures me to hire his service for Php300 per hour. A quick check on the gloomy sky, I readily agree for his service. Not more than 10 minutes later, the rain comes down heavy. The pedicab that I hire has a sheltered passenger seat but the driver takes shelter under roof called sun or rain, as the case maybe.
This is how a pedicab looks like:-
With raindrop dripping from the skies, it is not the best city tour you could ask for. I have to take extra caution with my camera’s sensitivity to water and all. For all it matters, I just realize that I left my umbrella at home. Pedicab driver cycles throughout Intramuros under heavy rain to find me a ‘payung’, umbrella in tagalog. It is after 30 minutes that the rain settles down and allows me comfort to travel Intramuros.
Near the entrance of Intramuros, there is Puerta Real and Revellin De Real De Bagumbayan to the left hand side. The place used to be an audience hall for state occassions during Spanish colonial era, Manila aquarium during American occupation and a prison cell and barrack during Japanese occupation.
I skip Baluarte de San Diego because it is raining still at that time. I am then brought to No.1 Victoria St. to enjoy the view.
Next is Cuartel de Santa Lucia (PC Barrack) which was a Spanish artillery regiment and office of Guardia Civil Veterana.
I am also impressed with Galeria de Los Presidentes De La Republica Pilipina. Frames of former presidents of the Philippines.
One of the beautiful buildings is none other than Casa Manila, a lifestyle museum.
Baluarte de San Andres was designed to protect Puerto Real and reinforce the Southeastern part of Intramuros. The walls are almost covered with mossy green and a row of cannons pointed out to what appears to be the Manila city can easily be found in this complex. If during the old days, it used to be a playground to the army, nowadays it is swarmed with college students especially lovebird students.
We passby Plaza Espana, IV Centenario De La Expedicion Maritima Mexico Filipinas, Aduana Building, Memorare – Manila 1945, Manila Cathedral, San Augustin Church, and finally Fort Santiago.
That concludes my 3 hours tour of Intramuros.