Ignoring the Kalesa driver's ridiculous offer to take us around Intramuros and Luneta Park for 700 bucks, we simply walked our way from the Manila Cathedral to Fort Santiago. The best part about exploring Manila on foot is that you can make stops along more historical sites like, in our case, the Plaza de Roma and Palacio del Gobernador.
Still located within the walled city of Intramuros, Fort Santiago is only a few minutes walk from the Manila Cathedral. It is originally a wooden fort and the settlement area of Raja Sulayman, the last Muslim chieftain who ruled Manila before the Spaniards came and conquered in the 1500s.
Horse-drawn carriages (kalesa) entering Fort Santiago
Fort Santiago is a very important place in Philippine history. After Raja Sulayman's downfall, it became the defense fortress of the Spaniards and the base of their power. Situated in the mouth of the Pasig River, it is here where the famous Manila Galleon trade to Mexico began. National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal was also imprisoned in the fort before he was executed in 1896. During the World War 2, Japanese rulers took over Fort Santiago and inside its dungeons, many Filipino freedom fighters perished to death. The fort was destroyed by the US forces during the Battle of Manila in 1945 and was soon rebuild. Today, it is one of Manila's most famous attraction and a must-see destination for those who want to know more of our country's history.
These photos are taken during our walk around Fort Santiago last February.
The main entrance of Fort Santiago complex. Entrance fee is P75.00 for adults and P50.00 for children.
Posing with the entrance guards in cool Guardia Civil uniforms
A Spanish Cannon dated 1875 A.D. This is recovered underwater in Cebu in 1966. The building at the back is where Senator Elpidio Quirino was imprisoned for 16 days in 1943.
Fort Santiago is an ideal place for a leisure walk
The road going to Fort Santiago Proper where Plaza de Armas, Rizal Shrine and Raja Sulayman Theaters are located.
The Fort Santiago Arch Entrance is 12 meters high.
Inside the main entrance is the second wall. The archway leads to Fort Santiago Proper.
At the center of Fort Santiago is the Plaza de Armas and the Rizal Shrine.
Nearby is a life-size statue of National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal inside a prison cell. Rizal penned his last poem, Mi Ultimo Adios, during his last days in Fort Santiago.
Field trippers retracing the bronze footsteps which represented Rizal's final walk to the place of his execution.
The Dungeon--where victims of Japanese atrocities during World War II were imprisoned.
A group of youngsters enjoying the view of Pasig River. Fort Santiago was the main fort for the spice trade to America and Europe for more than 300 years.
Location Map of Fort Santiago:
How to get there:
By taxi: Fort Santiago is a famous Manila destination so all taxi drivers are familiar with this place.
By LRT: Get off at the United Nations station and take a 20-minute walk to the gates of Intramuros.
By jeepney: Take jeepney with route that pass along Bonifacio Drive.