Sunday, August 14, 2011

Travelogue 1.3: Manila, Philippines. Day 2.

Though satisfied with what we saw in Manila on our very first day, I know, I was hungry for more. It was a surprise to me that Manila was very much like Kuala Lumpur. Every turn and every street reminded me of a different place back at home. Knowing that I am in good hands, I let Khairie work his "Amazing Race" charm. So yeah, he was the one who did most of the research for the trip and as for Day 2, we decided to go back in time to visit the historian enclave of Intramuros, the oldest district of Manila.

24 May 2011
1103: Go Hotels, Mandayulong- Intramuros
If you are looking for a budget hotel in Manila, Philippines, you should consider Go Hotels. Clean sheets, good airy room, safe surrounding, hot showers and free breakfasts! Only thing that missed a mark for me was their wi-fi connection. I couldn't even get to contact my family back at home cause of it. So yes, with a good 8 hours rest, all fueled up, we were ready to head on over to Intramuros by taking the MRT from the nearby Boni station to EDSA, the end of the MRT line and change to LRT 1(yellow line) to the Central station(refer to my previous post for the transit map of Manila). Take a short jeepnee ride and ta-da, you've reached your destination.

Good morning!

Pinoy Rice. This was really good. The strip beef cooked in Pinoy brown sauce was different than what we have back here. Its savoury with the meaty beefy strips.

I choose the healthy breakkie of cereals, yoghurt and fruits. Bad choice though. The yoghurt was terrible.

I love this shot. In the jeepnee towards Fort Santiago. 
Photograph credits to Khairie.

1257: Intramuros- Fort Santiago
We got off Central station and we headed towards Fort Santiago, where the Rizal Shrine is situated. Intramuros was indeed a historical district with many architectural buildings and landmarks. You will either have to walk or take the taxi or jeepnee towards Fort Santiago. Here's some pictures of what we saw right off the LRT and also the Fort.

Tourist shot.

We came across this abandoned open area and I was intrigued by it. I have always thought that graffiti(if done well) are actually very nice. I love this picture with the reflection of the graffiti. 

Entrance towards the Fort.

Thats Khairie in action. I love this shot.

Meet Jose Rizal.

Tourist Shot twoo.. I was forced. =.=

This was in the Rizal Shrine. A painting that showed his life.

Stairway to Rizal's room towards the end of the walk through his life.
You will have an astounding time walking through Rizal's life, learning how he guided Philippines towards independence all the way to his last letter before he was prosecuted for his actions.                                                                                  

Rizal's last letter.

I found this outside the Rizal Shrine. Its a build up replica of the olden day barracks.

1436: Manila Cathedral- Casa Manila- San Augustin Church
After the Fort Santiago, where Rizal's Shrine is, just walk down the street of General Luna. You will pass many different buildings which includes the Plaza Roma, Plaza Moriones and many others. But you must Manila's Churches when you are there. I have made it a point that I will one day visit the Westminister's Abbey and the other beautiful churches in Europe but the ones in Manila sure did not disappoint. Manila is a Christian country ever since the Spanish colonisation. I love the beautiful historical Manila Cathedral. Its building is definitely an architectural work of art. It is hundreds years old now. It was the sixth structure to rise on this site. The first church of nipa and bamboo built in 1581 which was burnt in 1583. The second church lastted till 1588 when it was blown down by a typhoon. Third cathedral of "three naves and seven chapels" started in 1584, completed in 1614 but was destroyed by an earthquake in 1645. The fifth church was built from 1872 to 1879 but was severely damaged in the 1880 earthquake when its belltower collapsed and was eventually destroyed during the Battle of Manila. The sixth cathedral was build from 1953 to 1958 till this very day.

Manila's Cathedral.

We saw these three mischievous boys outside the church playing with each other.

We walked further along the General Luna and I really wanted to visit the Casa Manila. The Casa Manila is "colonial lifestyle" museum. It is a replica of the houses of rich lifestyle during colonial times. They have different bodies in the mansion, with olden day details like its mattresses, dining tables, even up to the tiniest details like the house slippers all from the colonial times. We weren't allowed to take pictures in the Casa, but here's alittle of what it looked like from the outside.

Just right infront of the Casa Manila, you'll find another famous church that you will have to pay a visit if you are ever there in Manila. The San Augustin Church is the oldest church in Philippines. Known as the Church of Saint Paul, the first church of the Augustinian Order built in 1571. It was destroyed by the Chinese pirates in the 1574 and rebuilt a year later. It was then burned in the 1583. The third church was destroyed by fire in 1589. The forth church then was made of stone designed by Juan Macias and built in 1587 to 1604. It was looted during the British invasion during 1762. The terms of surrender of Manila to the Americans were discussed in the vestry in 1898. Though damaged in the Battle of Manila in 1945, it became the site of the first Philippine Plenary Council in 1953 and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

San Augustin Church.

 The confession booth.

The open garden in the Church.

1847: Manila Bay- Makati
There are so much more to visit in Intramuros but we decided to leave the place just in time to catch the sunset by the Manila Bay. The Manila Bay along Roxas Boulevard reminded me of Penang's esplanade. You can take their mini van (I can't remember what is it called exactly but its not the jeepnee, it is air conditioned and definitely much more comfortable) which also serves as their taxi in Manila. It was nice just sitting by the seaside against the seabreeze, admiring the view as the sun sets behind the scattered ships in the middle of the sea.

I saw this little boy, mending to himself, enjoying his own milkshake with no guardian watching over him.

Grilled squids. Hmm, it was alright, I wouldn't say the taste was repulsive but it wasn't superbly delicious either.

Guess what I found down the Manila Bay. Pleaseeee forgive me.

2046: Makati- Mandayulong. 
We decided to take the LRT from the Bay back to Makati for dinner. Makati offers a wide variety of choices  of food to choose from but we decided on the local's fast food chain, the Jollibee. Manila offers many local fast food chain for different types of cuisines even; Chinese, Philippino, Italian, but Jollibee, its Western local fast food chain, was the most well known of all. You have to try it(its burgers that is, don't try their local specialties though), please take my word for it.

I honestly couldn't remember what is the name for this baby but it really does taste really good. The crispy fried chicken as the burger patty is crispy yet juicy and with every bite, you can taste the tender chicken with its juice overflowing. We also tried another burger(again, I can't remember its name) but it was pretty good as well.

Apple pie! The apple pie was way better than McD's. Its half the size of McD's but its apple filling sweetness was just nice. 

I had a terrible craving for macaroons when we went to Manila and when I saw how widely sold it was there, I couldn't help my self. I bought a couple to try them out myself. The one above is mint in flavor and the one below is the  Raspberry macaroon. It was actually pretty good. But still not as good as the ones from Nathalie's Gourmet Studio. We retired to our beds the moment we reached Mandayulong, ready for Taygaytay's Volcano and Lake scenic view early tomorrow morning!

That perfect tranquility of life is when we are closest to living through our eyes, through our mind and through our heart. And this for me is when I travel.- melaniehwa.

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