A Day at Intramuros

By Mommy Donna and Kib - January 16, 2019

I have been wanting to bring Kib to Intramuros for the longest time, but I always feel lazy thinking that it'll be only me and Kib going there, haha.  I was looking for someone who can be with us on our Intramuros adventure for the longest time, so when I was able to talk to my co-faculty who also loves history and is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of Intramuros, I immediately set a date for this much-awaited trip.  

We went there on December 29th, 2018, a day before Jose Rizal's death anniversary.  It was a rainy day, but it didn't stop us on pushing through with our plan.  We first started at Manila Cathedral, just a short peek inside the church.  It was built in 1571 and has undergone a lot of facelift due to earthquakes and destruction especially during World War II.  It is also where former president Corazon Aquino's remains were viewed before she was finally laid to rest at Manila Memorial Park in Paranaque.

Entrance fee: FREE

At Manila Cathedral

Inside Manila Cathedral

As we walk towards our next destination, we took a stop at this memorial called Memorare.  This monument is dedicated to thousands of people, known and unknown, who died during the liberation of Manila during World War II.  Intramuros was heavily damaged during that time and there were civilians who were also killed.  It was unveiled in 1995.

The Memorare

Next stop is at San Agustin Church and Museum.    San Agustin Church is the oldest baroque church in the Philippines, making it to the list of World Heritage Site of UNESCO.  It has also lots of history and the current structure is the third major renovation of the church.  It was badly damaged during World War II; no more roof and the walls barely stood up (you can see the aftermath pictures of San Agustin Church after World War II in the museum).  Inside the church, you can see the burial site of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, the founder of Manila and of Juan Luna, the painter of Spolarium.  Most of the relics that can be seen here are religious relics.  

Entrance fee: Php100 for adults and Php60 for students (make sure that the school ID is on hand to avail of the discounted rate)

Main entrance of San Augustin Museum

Juan Luna's burial place...can you see it?

At the choir balcony of San Agustin Church

The pipe organ...not sure if this still working though

Map of San Agustin Church and Museum

The San Agustin Museum is better than ever!  Each section has a theme and it doesn't look gloomy anymore

Inside Miguel Lopez de Legazpi's crypt.  This is located at the left side of the main altar of the church

Next stop is at Casa Manila.  It is just across San Agustin Church.  You can there see how a rich family (illustrados) lived in the old times, the structure of the house and the different furniture being used.  Old houses by rich people always have a small room, like a chapel, for praying.  It is important for families to have a time for prayer in their house.  Kib was also amazed to see a dual toilet at Casa Manila.

Entrance fee: Php75 for adults, Php50 for students/teachers/senior citizens

You can't miss Casa Manila, it has a signage

Dining hall of Casa Manila . I explained to Kib the purpose of the ruffled curtains above the table

Bathtub at Casa Manila

Next, we went to Bahay Tsinoy.  Bahay Tsinoy tells the history of the Filipino-Chinese relations and how the Chinese community in the Philippines made an impact in our history.  It's good to know about the influence of Chinese to the Philippines and their contribution to our present economy.

Entrance fee: Php100 for adults, Php60 for students

At the entrance of Bahay Tsinoy

Wasn't able to take photos inside Bahay Tsinoy because I got hooked on reading the signages on each exhibit, hihi

Fourth, we went to Fort Santiago.  It is an old military fort.  It became very symbolical because this is where our national hero, Jose Rizal, spent his last days before he was shot by a firing squad at Bagumbayan (now Rizal Park).  He was accused of rebellion, sedition, and formation of illegal societies.  There is a museum inside the fort telling the story about his last days being in jail in Fort Santiago.  

Entrance fee: Php75 for adults, Php50 for students

The entrance at Fort Santiago

Some of Jose Rizal's stuff inside his prison cell.  the alcohol lamp on the left is where he kept the 'Mi Ultimo Adios'

Our last stop is at NCCA Museum.  The exhibits on the first floor change from time to time.  presently, it houses the costumes being used at the shows at Metropolitan Theater (note: Metropolitan Theater is being renovated right now because it is also full of history).  On the left side of the hall is a contemporary arts exhibit.

Entrance fee: FREE

There are still lots of places to visit inside Intramuros, like the Bagumbayan Lights and Sounds Show, Baluarte de San Diego, Fr. George Willman, SJ Museum, and Destileria Limtuaco Museum.  Hundred-year old colleges and universities that we know of originated in Intramuros too (University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo de Manila University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, Colegio de Santa Rosa).  Intramuros indeed has lots of stories to tell and it's fun to walk back in time to experience how people lived in the old times.  

Hoping to go back at Intramuros to visit the other places that we haven't been to sooner than soon.

Bring your kids at Intramuros to give them a glimpse of a life during colonial times, for sure they'll love it!

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  1. Oooh, andun pala ang crypt ni Miguel Lopez de Legaspi?? Wow! San Agustin Church and Bahay Tsinoy were the two places we weren't able to see. We might visit this Friday to complete our tour, hehe.

    1. I appreciated San Agustin Museum because it is already well-lit, not unlike before it really looks creepy and sad, haha. However, there were some displays that were not there, like the vestments and capes of the priests with gold thread, nakatago daw at ang dinisplay yung mga panget, haha.