The much-anticipated backpacking trip has finally happened.
Last Friday, two of my high school friends and I flew the first flight bound for Manila to start backpacking around the metro, in Baguio, and in La Union. We've braced ourselves (and our wallets) for that weekend since last year. After we booked the promo flight, we all knew that preparing for it wasn't going to be easy (I took several stressful freelance jobs for Pete's sake!) but it will be so damn worth it.
After arriving in the airport, my cousin picked us up and we went straight to Intramuros. Intramuros is a Spanish term which translates to "within the walls". The place used to be the prime city of Manila and the center of the Spanish government. The wall was built around the city during the 16th century to keep foreign invaders out.
Nowadays, the walled city looks so different than how it was before (of course Pearl duh lol), judging by the pictures I saw from the internet. Many modern establishments and food joints have surrounded the area, but people somehow still manage to keep the old Spanish vibe through new buildings' design.
|Cobblestone streets of the Walled City. On the left side stands Barbara's, a popular restaurant that serves Filipino dishes|
Our first stop was Fort Santiago and the Rizal Museum. Several of Rizal's souvenirs, copies of manuscripts, personal photos, letters, and paintings were preserved in the said museum. Most of the items were really interesting like Rizal's handwritten note on a book he gave as a gift to his wife, Josephine Bracken.
|A spacious courtyard inside Fort Santiago|
|Check out a bored Rizal on the lower left corner haha|
|Rizal so vain! Lol|
|I think these are lines of Noli Me Tangere engraved in marble walls|
|"To my dear and unhappy wife..."|
Next on the list, we went to check out the iconic Manila Cathedral. It was bigger than what I've expected. I've seen several pictures of it while researching for the itinerary months before the trip. Since I've been quite of a "great architecture junkie" these past months, I have to admit: the Cathedral was such an eye candy.
The Manila Cathedral was founded during the year 1571. It was demolished during the Battle of Manila (1945). During 1954, the present cathedral was constructed and has been preserved since then.
|Manila Cathedral's awesome facade!|
|San Agustin Church|
It was already high noon when we finished checking out the cathedral. We wanted to go to other parts of the walled city such as the Plaza San Luis Complex, the Cuarte de Santa Lucia, and Plaza de Armas, but it was scorching hot and we were short on time. We capped off the Intramuros tour with a well-deserved water break and went to the National Museum next.
Next blog post is all about the stuff we saw in the National Museum! ;)
What about you guys? Have you been to The Walled City? What were your first impressions and your favorite spots? Share them all down below! :D