Living History: Fort Santiago, Intramuros, Manila

Over the weekend, My editor, :) Carl and I decided to go back time by reliving history within the secluded walls of Intramuros, Manila. It was indeed a refreshing experience (although the word refreshing could be complete verbal irony given a 33 degree Celsius weather) because we both studied in Manila and rarely have the chance to visit historical sites which are simply a few blocks away.

We decided to go to Fort Santiago which according to history is the most impregnable forts in Intramuros and at the same time the last sanctuary before Dr. Jose Rizal was executed. I guess almost every Filipino knows Rizal’s martyrdom, yet our visit in Fort Santiago enlightened me with bits of nationalism thoughts.

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A quick stop at Barbara’s for their delectable selection of pastry. Barbara’s also offer Spanish Continental and Asian Lunch buffet from 11 AM.

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Admission is 50 Pesos for students and children while 75 pesos for adults.

Fort Santiago in not a stranger to me for countless of my grade school and high school educational field trips were used to be here. I could still remember some few historical facts about this walled city remembering the History Q&As our tour guides would play while aboard our buses. On the interesting note, an ordinary day visit can also entitle one to learn more given a smaller crowd, thus; more time to chance upon surprising facts about our history.

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Left: Vintage bombs and canons left by the Japanese soldiers. Right: A horse carriage or Kalesa tour around the fort. 50 pesos/pax

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The famous facade of the citadel bearing the image of Saint James (Santiago) the Great, Patron saint of Spain.

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Taken at the ruins of  the original place where Dr. Rizal stayed before his execution.

One of the highlights of our visit brings you a collection of almost everything Rizal used throughout his lifetime. Part of the collection includes copies of his published novels, bag tags, sculpture, medical/surgical tools, European clothes, and a great room where the story of his last poem “Mi Ultimo Adios” is narrated.

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As a Spanish major, Carl himself takes his hat off to Rizal’s inept ability of the full use of academic Spanish in his poetry.

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Interesting fact: A competition among artists had taken place to find out who will be the designer of Rizal’s monument- the designer, the artist who got second place.

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Fort Santiago is also strategically located near the Pasig river. This geographical advantage has paved way to so many important events such as trades, protection against invaders, and escapes.

Discover a bit more about yourself by discovering your history. Visit Intramuros and rediscover our wonderful past.

“Each one writes history according to his convenience”-Dr. Jose P. Rizal

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