Walled City – Part 1

It’s still summer and everybody’s planning on which place to visit. Some already got a long lists of resorts and beaches to go to. Well, of course, that’s included in our summer plan too. But then,visiting a place such as Fort Santiago? Hmmmm.. I really wanted to do that since last year. The last time I’d gone there was when I was still an elementary school student. Perhaps I was around 11 or 12 back then. And last year, my friends and I planned to go there too. Apparently, we hadn’t. Anyway, last Saturday, Jho (my friend) and I finally decided to go to Intramuros after our original weekend plan was cancelled.  When it’s been agreed to, we thought we should ask one of our friends, Abdher, to join us.

We set to leave the boarding house at 9am since it would take an hour from Quezon City to get there. We told Abdher to just meet us in our boarding house. Of course, we really planned to leave early. However,  when Saturday morning came, our lazy bodies didn’t want to start moving early and quick. So as what usually happened, we prepared late again. If it hadn’t been for Abdher arriving,  Jho and I would probably still be moving like turtles. Thanks to him, we procrastinated and so finished putting on our make-ups fast.^^ (Women!)

So we left the house by 11am, did one more little errand in Save More, rode on the Jeepney and got off to SM Manila by 12:30. Men, the one hour ride made us starving so we had to fill our grumbling stomachs first. We dined in at KFC and ordered their fullyloaded meal. The commercial says, “save P75.”  Hehe. Neat.

 

So this is it. Right after lunch, we went to Intramuros. Since not anyone of us were familiar with the place, we looked like lost souls in there. Goodness. We forgot to ask for directions. Anyway, a guy driving a “padyak” saw us. His name is kuya Edward. He offered us his padyak and said he would take us to Fort Santiago for only a P100. He convinced us that it was already cheap. I’m not easily convinced and the three of us were hesitant at first. But then he showed us a map of the area and from it, Fort Santiago looked really far. Like it would take hours if we try walking to get there.  So we agreed to ride on his padyak. While inside, we  chatted with him. And for a while, we thought he was nice. He offered to tour us around for an hour for P200 and unlimitedly for P500. We refused it. First, I found that expensive and second, I really wanted to walk around Intramuros. While he was busy driving, we were busy looking around. We were really awestruck with the place. The building structures really made us feel  like we’re in the Spanish era. It doesn’t feel like Manila. Or perhaps, I just seldom see much of those designs in the province. It was like being taken to some scenes in Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d see a guardia civil roaming around. Anyway, I didn’t see one.

Moving on, we thought riding the padyak was a good idea. Jho even got off in front of the Manila Cathedral to have her photo taken there. But when we got in the padyak,  kuya just made a turn and “surprise, surprise!” We’re already in the entrance gate of Fort Santiago.  That didn’t even take us 10 minutes! To think that kuya Edward couldn’t even drive faster. We’ve been tricked. Hahaha. It’s irritating but then, it’s funny at the same time. Falling into such schemes. When will we ever learn? Anyway, we still paid him a hundred. Poor Kuya Edward was really sweating. Hehe.

Well, I have to ignore kuya now because, we’re already in Fort Santiago^^. After all these years… ^_________^

The adult entrance fee was P75. Not bad already. We started taking pictures soon as we paid our tickets. Of course, I’m the photographer (my frustration). Once I got hold of the camera, the cam memory would sure get full at once. Thank goodness it’s digital! ^^

Weeeeeee! It felt like having a field trip. The place was indeed excellent. We took pictures on every spot we laid eyes on. We just hate the camera, don’t we?^_^

Anyway, our short visit there was really worthwhile. It’s just nice to get in touch with history once more. We were surprised a lot of foreigners do really come to visit the place even until now.  We even saw some foreigners with police escorts. They must be ambassadors. There were Koreans and Chinese too.  They all look fascinated with the place just like us. “It’s more fun in the Philippines,” that I can say.

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After we’re done looking around, we decided to go to our next destination. I really wanted to see the ruins in Baluarte de San Diego.  We ask the guard to tell us how to get there. He thought for a while and said we just have to walk three blocks straight from Fort Santiago then turn right. We never doubted that. But after we turned right from the third block, we didn’t find it. We kept walking. And then more walking. After more blocks, we finally found the entrance gate of Baluarte de San Diego. Whewwww!!! We sure don’t look fresh anymore.

Unfortunately, we had to pay another entrance fee. And since we’re on a budget and we still have to accommodate Abdher to Quiapo, we just decided to go there next time. The whole walking thing is exhausting yet fantastic. I would definitely go back there again. I’m just not sure when. Soon I hope. So Baluarte De San Diego, wait up for me.

-History is truly amazing. There will never be a present or a future without the past. –

-end-

“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being,…”

-Acts 17:26-28

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