"a caterpillar doesn't just grow into a butterfly. a caterpillar must undergo metamorphosis, and a cocoon is where a caterpillar risks it all: enters total chaos, undergoes total rebuilding, and is born to a new way of living. only in taking the risk of entering that inert cocoon can the caterpillar go from dormancy to potency, from ugliness to beauty."

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

destination: intramuros

"I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.
I travel for travel's sake."

--Robert Louis Stevenson

it really can't be helped. yoni, my ex-travel buddy, and i just can't resist not being out. the other weekend, we explored intramuros -- the old walled city.

11.26.06 destination: intramuros

saturday, 26th of november. yoni and i met up in philcoa around lunchtime and, from there, we rode on a jeepney that took us to where intramuros is.

getting there was quite a challenge. although, i've been to intramuros twice before, i really still didn't know how to really go there -- and neither did yoni. we had to rely on some adventurers' luck. good thing for us, we took the right ride and were able to get off at the right place!

shutterbugs and camera-whores in one

after our huling hirit, who would have thought that we'd still get to have another picture-taking adventure so soon? didn't we say we're already ex-travel buddies?

shadows of the present falling on the remains of the past

the sun beat down mercilessly on us when we got to intramuros. nevertheless, yoni and i were not deterred from walking around and exploring the place. we kept at taking pictures every chance we got. pictures of us, of our shadows, of the ruins, of practically whatever... we're such shutterbugs!!! if i may add, we're such camera-whores, too.

so much to see, so much history

the war guns in intramuros are not as many nor as impressive as the ones we saw in corregidor but the sights to behold and the culture in the old walled city made our trip so worthwhile.

aside from the ruins, the gun emplacements, the plazas, the casas and the old walkways, there in intramuros are the old churches.

there's more than what meets the eye

i finally was able to get inside the san agustin museum and saw for myself the 44-step granite staircase which neal stephenson mentioned in the book cryptonomicon. prior to this visit, i've only been able to enter the san agustin church, the oldest stone church in the philippines and a world heritage site.

yoni and i paid the PhP80 entrance fee to the san agustin museum and we explored the place. taking pictures was prohibited in most areas and quite understandably so. security is of utmost importance. there are too many treasure troves in that museum -- from the old books to paintings to ivory statues to priceless records to historic and religious artifacts in gold and silver to vestments to foreign state officials' gifts... we saw chests and crowns decorated with big and small precious stones such as amethysts, emeralds, rubies, and diamonds.

the museum is also the passage way to fr. blanco's garden, so named because it was the botanical research garden of the prince of botany, fr. manuel blanco of the augustinian order. destroyed in 1945, it was restored in 1991 and has since become a favorite venue for wedding pictorials.

chances are you'll like this place, too

there's just so much to see in intramuros that yoni and i stayed even when the sun was already out. just as well. we got to see what intramuros is like at night!

oooh lights!!!

not only that. we also saw the parol (lantern) display in front of the "wow philippines!" booth and got friendly with the local children...

photo op with the happy kids of intramuros

we also got to witness intramuros' theater-in-the-round, a free-for-the-public live theater presentation staged in the city's plaza san ignacio. it was an awesome "a walk back in time" experience! prior to the show, we were entertained with the parade of characters, the live singing of several kundiman songs, and culturally relevant audio-visual presentations.

what's so good about the free theater experience aside from the fact that it was free? the actors were good, the production -- with live musical band -- was impressive, and the performance involves actual interaction with the audience!

a must-see for free: what more can you ask for?


  1. nice kaayo ang collage!!! wheee!!!

  2. been there too. ;-) nice bitaw pictures. you should also have visited the Tsinoy Museum, also in Intramuros. ;-)

  3. hey. di ba nilabay ta didto? dapat diay nanulod ta noh!


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