Edward and Niklas, members of the latest merry band of travellers that I’ve linked up with, lead the way as we head out to explore the Filipino capital of Manila. The destination on this day … the historic core of Manila, Intramuros…!
After a long day flying from Cambodia to Malaysia, and then back up to Manila after a long eight hour layover in Kuala Lumpur, I had finally arrived in the Philippines, my latest new country, #9 in my lifetime. After waking late in the morning about a whisker’s length from the top of the clock, I quickly made friends with some rather talkative and friendly chaps. Niklas, a Swede, and Edward, a Briton, were not only my companions on this day of sightseeing, but most of my adventures in Manila were shared with these affable gentlemen.
At the conclusion of a brief debate of where we should head first, it was decided that we should seek out the heart of former Spanish colonialism in the Philippines, Manila’s Intramuros District. With that matter settled, we hit the steamy pavement of Malate (the neighbourhood where our hostel was located) and set out to find the Iberian sector of town…
On the way to Intramuros, we passed through one of Manila’s most revered green spaces. Jose Rizal Park, formerly Luneta Park, was renamed to honour the memory of the pacifistic political leader that inspired the Filipino uprising against Spanish rule near the end of the 19th century…
Once we passed through the park, a short jaunt down the hill and we were at the front gate of Intramuros…
The district contained some amazing churches (the Philippines, along with Timor Leste, are the only majority Christian nations in SE Asia) … stay tuned for future blog posts where we explore the ornate interiors of these UNESCO worthy structures!
The bombed out remains of a structure in Intramuros, beautified by rampant tropical greenery … this area of Manila escaped damage in every war since the 1500′s, until the closing days of WWII, when it finally got razed by American forces trying to take the country back from the Japanese.
Off the back wall of the main fortifications of Intramuros, they have developed a golf course for your duffing pleasure … if you’re not partaking however, do be careful in case a hacker shanks one a little too far to the right!
With a day of eventful tramping through historical buildings and forts complete, we made our way back to Where 2 Next Hostel in Malate, but not before stocking up on booze at the massive grocery store in Robinson’s Mall (huge $@$#$$ing place, got lost in there more than once!) for an apres tour drink or five … Manila, what did you have in store for us next?
As it turns out, plenty! Much more Manila in the days to come, so don’t go anywhere
What about you, fellow traveller? Ever been to Manila?