When In Manila and looking for something worthwhile to do on a weekend, then check out Carlos Celdran’s Walk This Way Tour.
WhenInManila.com and our friends were given an opportunity to take part in Carlos Celdran’s popular Walking Tour of Intramuros. As a contributor, I remember my first post on WhenInManila.com was about the beauty and the history behind the walled city of Intramuros. I’ve always been in awe of the mystery, the ambiance, the architecture, the picturesque sights, and the stories behind every wall and street of Manila’s former prime center. Upon hearing about the opportunity to go back to Intramuros, I did not hesitate to grab this assignment, and boy was I happy I did.
The Walk This Way Tour of Carlos Celdran was scheduled to start at around 3 in the afternoon. My friend and I arrived at the entrance of Fort Santiago, along with a group of 20 – 30 tour ready individuals. I was surprised to see that almost half the sight seers were Filipinos! Locals who just wanted to re-explore and re-discover our awesome sites! Or perhaps they were all just there to see Intramuros from a totally different point of view, that of legendary tour guide: Carlos Celdran.
We started walking around Fort Santiago while Carlos, our extraordinary tour guide, gave us a brief yet comprehensive account of the beginnings of Manila and Intramuros. From Rizal, to Catholocism, to the dynamic developments of Intramuros in the past, Carlos took us back in history with his witty remarks and theatrical storytelling. I assure you that there is no dull moment with Carlos Celdran! We visited the Rizal commemorative museum inside Fort Santiago as our tour guide gave a review of the Spanish and American colonization of the Philippines.
Up next on our fun-filled tour date was a visit to the ruins of the former St.Ignatius Church and the former Ateneo de Manila. We had to ride a horse drawn carriage, also known as a Kalesa, to reach our destination. It was an interesting experience since it was the first time I was able to ride our ver own Kalesa. I felt like a kid riding my bicycle for the first time. It was also nice to sit next to an Australian couple who had very nice things to say about the Philippines and Filipinos.
Carlos Celdran continued on with an eye-opening account of the war which destroyed Intramuros and affected the whole country. After which, we proceeded to the San Agustin Church to further give us an understanding of the Filipino history.
One of the highlights of the day was right at the end! We were treated to some local sweets, known popularly as Halo-Halo, to wrap up the tour. The name Halo-Halo literally translates to “Mix-Mix” since it is a concoction of all sorts of ingredients for this yummy dessert. Of course, Carlos found a great way to incorporate our final sweet treat with the entire trip. According to him, we are like the Halo-Halo dessert. The Filipino culture has become a conglomeration of various cultural influences due to American, Spanish, and Japanese colonization. Removing all these influences, we just might not be the culture filled people with such colorful backgrounds that we are today!
The Walk This Way Tour has given me a different perspective on our rich and humble beginnings as a nation and I will definitely use this to enrich my passion for being a Filipino. This may be a simple walking tour for some, but with an open heart and mind, this tour can really be a lot more.
When In Manila, and feeling the thirst for some nationalistic exerience, do check out Carlos Celdran’s walking tours of Old Manila and more! You may check their schedules, rates, and other updates at http://celdrantours.blogspot.com for their Walk This Way and Imelda tours. Try it out and gain a different perspective of being a Filipino.
Thank you Sir Carlos Celdran! It was a truly memorable experience.
Walk This Way: Walking Tour of Manila by Carlos Celdran