Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Manila Walk: Intramuros and Manila Cathedral

From Landbank Training Center in Cabildo Street, we hiked our way through some heritage structures and cobblestone streets in Intramuros. Considered as the oldest district in Manila, it was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century. Intramuros is a Spanish name meaning "within the walls", aptly describing its structure which is enclosed by high, thick walls. 
 Entrance to the walled city

It was my first time in Intramuros and I discovered that it not only houses heritage structures, government offices and learning institutions. There are also abandoned buildings ripe for demolition and plenty of areas occupied by illegal squatters. These sights certainly ruined the supposed-to-be old world charm of the walled city. I hope the government would do something about these informal settlers as it affects the cleanliness and security of the area.

After a few minutes of walking, we reached the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica, more popularly known as the Manila Cathedral. As expected there are lots of tourists around. 
 The dome and the bell tower of Manila Cathedral

Facade of the Manila Cathedral

According to a historical marker posted outside, the cathedral was originally built in 1581 and has been damaged and rebuild several times. Its sixth and present incarnation was completed in 1958 under the supervision of Archbishop Rufino J. Santos.
 Main entrance of the cathedral

It is interesting to note that inside the Manila Cathedral are crypts where former prelates who have served as the Archdiocese of Manila are buried. These prelates include Jaime L. Cardinal Sin , considered as one of the leaders of the EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986. Aside from that, the cathedral also hosted the funerals of two former Presidents of the Philippines: Carlos P. Garcia and Corazon P. Aquino.

Right across the Manila Cathedral is the Plaza de Roma. It was formerly used as a venue for bullfights. In the center stands the bronze monument of King Carlos IV of Spain. The statue was built in 1824 as a sign of gratitude to the king for sending smallpox vaccine to the Philippines.
Statue of King Carlos IV in Plaza de Roma

On one side across Plaza de Roma is the Palacio del Gobernador. The current builing was built in 1976 and presently houses government offices. On its location once stood the original Palacio, the official residence of the Spanish Governor General. 
 Palacio del Gobernador is only a few meters away from the Manila Cathedral

Kalesa or horse-drawn carriages can also be found outside the Manila Cathedral. These kalesas can be hired for a guided trip to nearby tourist destinations. When we asked one of the drivers how much is rate for a tour around Intramuros and Luneta Park, he told us it is 700 pesos. Whoa! He must have notice that we're probinsyanos and was probably trying to rip us off. We simply disregard his offer and continue walking to our next destination. 
Where I have been:
  (Image from google map)
This is the third part of my Manila Series which chronicle my travel experiences when the company I've worked for send us to a three-module real estate seminar in U.P. Diliman. Click here to read the previous parts:
Rounding Up My Manila Experience
A Walk in Manila Chinatown


  1. grabe naman yun sir...P700 yung singil.. dapat around 300 lang yun. tsk tsk.. walking in intramuros is a lot better naman. you should've gone to San Agustin church and San Luis Complex

  2. @batang lakwatsero: thanks!buti naman pala at hindi kami nagpa-loko.hehehe.i agree, walking is a lot better, naka-tipid pa.maybe next time we will visit the places you mentioned.balik manila na naman kami next week.thanks for dropping by!

  3. Ang ganda talaga ng Manila. You can appreciate well the wall city of Intramuros.

  4. This post is amazing! That's why I love the Intramuros. There are many exciting places to visit. Thanks for sharing


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