When in Manila and looking for something intellectually stimulating and fun to do, I highly recommend you try going on a walking tour with Carlos Celdran. That’s what I did! I went to experience his Livin La Vida Imelda walking tour with a friend one Saturday afternoon. I’ve known about the famous Carlos Celdran Walking Tours since I was a fresh grad and being the history lover that I am, I’ve always wanted to try it. In fact, I made it part of my to-do list and thanks to When in Manila, I finally get to cross it off my list. Yay!
The meeting place was inside the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) at 2pm since this is where the tour started. But since my friend, Mai and I were so excited, we were there at 1:15pm! So yes, we had to wait for quite awhile. What did we do to pass the time? Take photos of course! (Okay so technically, pictures are NOT allowed inside CCP. But we had camera phones.)
Viewing a photo exhibit inside CCP while waiting for the tour to start
I was so excited to see Carlos Celdran again and start the tour – I saw him before up close and personal when I went to experience his Walk this Way Intramuros tour – the feeling was like meeting one of my celebrity crushes! I had a great time at his Walk This Way Intramuros Tour so I had really high hopes that the Livin La Vida Imelda Tour was gonna be fun! We were so not disappointed.
The pied pier of Manila, Carlos Celdran, the best tour guide I’ve encountered by far
The Livin La Vida Imelda Tour talked about the life of our former first lady, Imelda Romualdez Marcos of course! From my history lessons in school, Imelda has always been portrayed as this woman of beauty, poise and elegance. We never really talked about her struggles in her earlier life nor did we ever touch much about her love life.
But here, with Carlos Celdran, I learned so much more about Imelda. Just like in the Intramuros tour, he shared with us trivia about the former first lady, Imelda Marcos – the kind you don’t learn from your history books all throughout the tour. For instance, I actually didn’t know that Imelda dated Ninoy Aquino for some time before Ferdinand Marcos.
I also didn’t know that Imelda being named as Muse of Manila before was only because she wouldn’t take no for an answer after losing the Miss Manila pageant. I have to say that had to take a lot of guts to march right in to the mayor of Manila and tell him “I deserved to win”.
I thought Carlos was pretty hilarious in this tour with his Imelda acts – from the way Imelda holds her handkerchief and the way she talked – he’s got it all down.
Carlos speaking like Imelda Marcos
There sure are a lot of people – foreigners and Filipinos alike who attends his tours. There were about 30 to 40 of us who attended the tour that Saturday afternoon. One of them even caught my eye – hahaha! What a cutie. Too bad, he was there on a date with his equally pretty girlfriend.
Crowd shots – everyone was listening intently to Carlos as he went on to tell us the colorful life of former first lady, Imelda Marcos.
I was able to take a photo of the view outside CCP. Pretty nice I would say.
I’m just disappointed that we couldn’t take photos inside CCP. I would have loved to have my photo taken sitting in one of the theater chairs inside CCP – just like Imelda Marcos used to do when she watched plays. Anyhoo…
The next stop of the tour was at Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), another one of the really beautiful architectures in Manila that the former first lady, Imelda Marcos had built.
It’s been quite awhile since I last had a chance to enter PICC. So you can bet your boots I was instantly in awe when we went inside and a view like this was what welcomed us. I have to say, Imelda did right with this building. It definitely screams of elegance doesn’t it? Not only can we hold international beauty pageants here, I bet we can even host a glitzy event such as the Oscars, Golden Globe and Emmys here. All that’s needed is a red carpet rolled out from the entrance stairs. Well that was actually the intent of our former first lady and she really did a darn good job making this vision come true.
Look at those elegant chandeliers. I can almost imagine Imelda when this was being built and how she’s telling the architect “I want people to come in here and say Wow! I want people’s jaws to drop in awe.”
Storytelling time with Carlos Celdran. If you guys are going on his walking tour, I highly suggest wearing 1) flat shoes naturally and 2) pants. This is so that you’d be really comfortable especially when he asks you to sit down.
What I loved about his tour is that there is no boring moment. You’re touring places. You’re listening to his stories, getting yourself a refresher course in history. You’re listening to music. He’s sharing trivia. He’s making you laugh too! Truly I learned a lot more about the life of Imelda Marcos from the Livin La Vida Imelda Tour and I’ve to say that getting to know more about the former first lady of the Philippines through this tour, I have more respect and admiration for her.
This When in Manila correspondent highly recommends you guys try to experience Carlos Celdran’s Walk This Way Tour: Livin La Vida Imelda. I just can’t stop raving about it.
When In Manila, do you feel like experiencing the Livin La Vida Imelda tour yourself? Visit: celdrantours.blogspot.com to find out the tour schedules for 2012.
Carlos Celdran’s Walk This Way: Livin La Vida Imelda Tour – History Through the Eyes of Imelda Marcos