When in Manila make sure to enjoy a culture filled and historically informed weekend in Intramuros. This is probably one of the most affordable yet noteworthy weekend destinations in the Philippines. With these things said, when my photo buddies and I decided to do a photo walk the first thing that came our minds was Intramuros.
Intramuros is probably the oldest district in Manila since it was established by the Spaniards in the 16th century. During the specified period, it was heralded as Manila itself due to the architectural developments and the different institutions established in the area. It was termed as Intramuros meaning “within walls” due to the resilient and interestingly designed walls surrounding the city. If you try to visit the area coupled with your knowledge of basic Filipino history, you may still see well made structures and landmarks inspired by the Spanish Colonial Era.
Photography lovers, history buffs, and even foodies may find Intramuros an interesting destination nowadays. If you are to visit Intramuros today, you can still feel and see the Spanish influences and historical landmarks in the area. You can even see people dressed as the Spanish civil guards during the colonial era for that overall blast from the past. In addition to that, you can also see interesting finds especially if you love vintage and handmade crafts.
When we were approaching San Agustin Church, we saw this quaint vintage decor shop popularly known as “The Papiér Tolé Shop”. This shop was established in the 1600’s. They specialize in selling lots of handmade vintage decorations, from paper machéd pen holders, boxes, to stylish and perfectly crafted accessories and photo frames. Try to make it a point to visit this shop when you’re in Intramuros.
In addition to that, one should never fail to visit the different cathedrals and basilica’s located in area namely the Manila Cathedral and the San Agustin Church. Filipino superstition would say that if it is your first time to visit a church, make sure to knock on its doors before you enter and make a wish. I did. Who knows? It might come true.
Was I able to mention that visiting Intramuros is very cheap? You do not have to much spend at all if you just walk around the city reading historical plaques, visiting parks, old churches, and the likes. However, if you plan to take a walk at the walls of Fort Santiago, you may have to bring some extra cash with you. We paid around Php50.00 per head for the entrance fee. It was quite worth it since Fort Santiago an area one must never fail to visit when in Intramuros.
All in all, our visit to Intramuros was very much worth it. Even the strong heat of the summer sun cannot beat the different historical information and architectural perspectives and structures we saw. When in Manila, one should never forget to visit the Walled City and re-experience the past in a modern light.
Intramuros is located in the City of Manila near the Pasig River and quite adjacent to the Manila City Hall. This area now houses schools such as the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Lyceum of the Philippines University, Colegio de San Juan de Letran, and Mapua Institute of Technology.