243 – The Monching Walks: Intramuros, 2015

It’s been literally years since my last The Monching Walks post – and I was still in a relationship then! It’s a different chapter now. Among the things I chanced upon during the extended community quarantine period (which was extended until April 30) was this set from a trip to Intramuros five years ago. Originally planned for a 2016 release, it got pushed back up until I forgot about it entirely. Concurrently, a lot of things happened to me in that span of time; thus, you have this post years late.

Intramuros (“within the walls” in Latin), also termed as The Walled City, is a historic area in the modern-day City of Manila whose roots date back from the pre-colonial period. Once a seat of datus and rajahs, it became the seat of the Spanish colonial administration starting in 1571. The eponymous walls were only constructed in the 1500s after attacks from the Chinese pirate Limahong destroyed the city.

Slowly, the community protected by the walls progressed to become the colony’s administrative core. Government buildings and religious convents were side by side in Intramuros — a testament to the joint rule of both ecclesiastical and civil authorities in the islands. Intramuros became synonymous to the Distinguished and Ever Loyal City of Manila itself. Outside the walls were the parians, settlements where the working-class Chinese lived and plied their trades. Binondo, the world’s oldest Chinatown, has its roots in one of these ghettos. The cannons of Intramuros were always aimed at these settlements to discourage any possible uprisings.

The Walled City has survived 300 years of Spanish colonial rule and 40 years of American occupation, but its long heritage would be wiped out by fierce fighting and relentless shelling during World War II. The Battle of Manila — a concerted effort by the American forces to flush out remaining Japanese troops, and a last stand by imperial soldiers against the Allied forces — destroyed most of the structures in Intramuros. Some would eventually be rebuilt after the war, but the Walled City itself never reclaimed the luster it once had back in the day.

Well then, enough of the stories so you can enjoy the pictures. Until the next post!

Puerta de Isabel II

Queen Isabel II Statue

Cruceiro

Cruceiro Informational Marker

Mother Francisca del Espíritu Santo de Fuentes Monument

King Philip II of Spain Monument

Juan Luna Monument

San Agustin Church

Memorare Manila 1945 Monument

Plaque listing Japanese massacre sites in Manila

Scouts Memorial Statue (Scts. Albano, Chuatoco, and Santiago)

KCFAPI Center

Fr. George J. Willmann, SJ Monument

Vintage bridal car in front of Manila Cathedral

12 thoughts on “243 – The Monching Walks: Intramuros, 2015

  1. Intramuros is one of my favourite places to visit in Manila! I especially loved visiting the San Agustin Church, the Baluarte de San Diego and the museums in the area. But I guess I haven’t explored it enough because I haven’t seen some of the monuments you posted.

    This is very well written – have you tried pitching to travel magazines for a writeup on exploring Manila? I think you write better than some of the contributors we have for our magazine lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely agree! It will take you more than a day to explore all the nooks and crannies of Intramuros – as every spot is soaked in history and heritage. Now that you mentioned it, I missed the San Agustin Church because of the everyday church items displayed there (I was a former altar server back then), and the tomb of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi – the second colonist under the Spanish flag to step on Philippine soil.

      Thank you! 😀 I guess my binge-reading of history books when I was younger did pay off haha!

      Truth be told, I did consider contributing for some magazines – whether food or travel. However, Filipino companies are notorious for low-balling creative work – either they pay you peanuts and promise “exposure”, or delay your payments altogether hoping that you get tired of following up. This also ties in with why I don’t accept collaborations from PR companies – they pay little to no compensation, only promising exposure, yet still a lot of bloggers (especially the newbies) fall for those tricks.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Spent 4 years in Intramuros back in college and I remember being impressed by its beauty every day! I went back for a walk last year and there’s always something to discover in Intramuros. Favorite place is Manila Cathedral. Stunning and picturesque!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed! Even better if you manage to catch one of their daily masses. 🙂 Adding to the historical flair of Intramuros would be the security personnel dressed in rayadillo uniform – the standard garb of the Philippine revolutionaries back in the day.

      If you look at Plaza Roma, you’ll find that its layout and configuration (public square in the middle, surrounded by a church and government buildings) are replicated in most provinces in the Philippines.

      Like

    • You’d definitely enjoy seeing Spanish history come to life here; the Philippines was under the Spanish crown for more than three centuries!

      Methinks it is. A few motor vehicle shops here do vintage car restorations and usually rent out these refurbished cars to couples celebrating their special day.

      Like

    • Thank you! 🙂 No worries, I’ve moved on from that now – it’s just that I remembered the time when I took these pictures haha!

      Hope that you and your family stay safe too, Norshafa! I read that the MCO is still in place there until 9 June; for us here, the extended community quarantine (ECQ) will end on 31 May. Regardless, it’s always best to keep our guards up during this time!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There’s so much to explore in Manila. I went to the National Museum last November. I didn’t have much time back then since it was only for the weekend and was only in Manila for the Bar exams (assisted my friends who are bar takers then). This article makes me looking forward on visiting Intramuros. I liked to visit historical places especially involving our Philippine History. Also, I’ve read that Intramuros has a lot of must try food especially in night time (seen social media posts as my basis). Thanks for this! I hope you are doing well despite the pandemic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just like you, I’m also looking forward to going back to Manila once it’s permitted to do so. People have grown tired of being locked in their own homes, and a breath of fresh air would be most welcome.

      Of course, wearing a mask and maintaining proper distance also helps.

      No problem, and stay safe too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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