Inside the Walls of Intramuros

The other day, I finally dragged my lazy ass off to Manila Bulletin's office in Intramuros to pick up my styling cheques. Mich came with me since Manila is like a foreign land to me (like Paranaque haha). We got there at around 2pm. Cheque claiming was just a breeze, so we had a lot of idle time. Even if it was raining we both decided to go around and explore Intramuros, the walled city. Haven't had the chance to explore this famous tourist spot until that day. We started by asking around. For half an hour we looked like little lost kids until we spotted a pedicab driver who was kind enough to give us enough information to keep us going. He dropped us off to our first location--Manila Cathedral!

Let me give you a tour through some photos we took (starting with some outfit shots, of course)...

shirt - CPS Chaps, shorts-thrifted, blazer-from thailand, boots-thrifted, bag-thailand

I'm so glad I was wearing boots and tights! It made walking under the rain less of a hassle. I failed in making myself invisible to bystanders though. Boo. Anyhoo, back to the tour...

Rode a pedicab going to Manila Cathedral near Fort Santiago for P40

In front of Manila Cathedral! Kuya at the side, photo bomber. Tsk. Hehe.

 replica of Michaelangelo's "La Pieta" (um, I was trying to emote ba hehe)

Amazing front door. WOW. It's in fact bronze (thought it's wood) and made by Italian sculptors. Each bronze panel show artistic relief representation of the important episodes of the history of the Manila Cathedral. (um nope, no Sharon-Gabby wedding here)


 Exhibit inside the church of it's colorful history. It's the only minor basilica in the Philippines approved by the Vatican!

 Thought this is a Pinoy version of madonna and child

 The church was not spared during the Japanese occupancy, but a few devotees stood outside and pleaded for what's left to be spared. 

At Plaza de Roma across the church. Behind me is the bronze 1824 monument of Spain's Carlos IV

 Across the street is the famous Fort Santiago--where our national hero was imprisoned before his execution.

"Fort Santiago is a natural defensive position that has been used for centuries. Situated at the mouth of the Pasig River, which runs into Manila Bay it is the ideal place to put fortifications to ensure the safety of the area and to defend against the pirates and marauders which frequented the area."

 Kalesas for hire--no thanks. They charge P250 for 30 mins! Weh?

 Tickets are priced at P75 per person--and i tell you, it's worth it. :)

Being the history addicts/vintage junkie that we are, we got giddy from excitement. We didn't know where to go first, it's a good thing they have a map/guide of the place. I of course easily gets attracted to dark, creepy areas. Lol!

 told ya--creepy. haha

 creepier? hehe

Humongous guns. Reminds me of Corregidor. Keri mo? Hehe

 it's like we're in another country. so beautiful.

 Here we gooooo--we're now entering the real real walled city of Fort Santiago.

 Explanation--READ. hehe

 Can't seem to take my eyes off this original wall. The carvings of wood and stones--WOW.

 emotions # 2

 Immediately upon entering the gates, you'd see this gorgeous "secret garden" as Mich and I called it.

 Brick ruins that's part of the oldest building in Fort Santiago.

 segway: took a photo of this super small snail! feeling photog hehe

 Dr. Jose Rizal's monument. he's holding a book and Mich is holding an umbrella. wow, trip. haha

One of the main attractions inside is the recreated footsteps of our national hero during his final hour from his cell to his death. Mich and I backtracked and followed it to know where it started.

 Aisa: Mich, ito talaga yung footsteps nia? Pano yun habang naglalakad sha tinetrace na? Mich: Cge oo bahala ka. 

 and this is where it led us--a quiet corner. 

While I was reading the description above, I heard Mich say, "ay nakakagulat" (in english: ay it scared me hehe). I asked her what, I looked at where she pointed and I nearly had a heart attack! My scream (and curses) reached the other side I swear. 

 post heart attack laugh
Imagine, it's all quiet, deserted, serene and we were like imagining a million things--and then you'll see this...

This replica of Jose Rizal fuckin' scared me! WTF?

 so this is where his "death walk" started. I think this was a chapel before. Or a pantry?

Teodora Alonso? Josephine Bracken? Best actress!!! clap,clap,clap, wooooooooo!

After this heart attack inducing episode, we then headed to the "Dungeon"--the creepiest place in all of Intramuros. I swear. I love this place! Haha!

 wanna know what this cross is for?

 Here. But wait, RAMAINS? seriously?

I kept shouting "welcome to the dungeon!" but not after I saw this...
The creepiest place ever. Mich asked me not to go down, of course I still did. Heh.

This is where the 600+ remains of Prisoners of War was found & kept. Tortures and killings galore. Shiiiz.

Mich just stayed at the stairs and I, well I went to the door! 

Whenever I'm in historical sites, I have this urge to touch things or stare or climb (remember my thailand post?) while imagining what really happened there. So I stood in front of that freakin' small door (while Mich stayed on top of the stairs) while staring inside. Tried to get a glimpse of how it looks or whatever. I saw railings and just plain darkness. I don't know why Mich suddenly had to shout, "Creeeeepy!". It jolted me and I suddenly felt scared, so I ran. HAHA.

whatta reaction meeen. Mich took a photo as evidence--assssss. haha

We never got over the creepiness of that dungeon. So on with our tour...
the old and the new (pasig river)

Our last stop was the Rizal Shrine (museum)--a tribute to our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal...
Hundreds of memorabilias on display--from photos of his parents, to his medical tools to his books. 

 Rizal's writings etched on wood panels. It's in spanish and tagalog. Amazing.

 not sure if this is the original but OMG! Imagine if you have this in school--sikat! Hehe.

 the beautiful cover--and me. Chos. Haha.

 closeup--sorry nagaadik (in english: addiction galore)

 his original medical tools

 i don't know what this is--passport? immigration card? hehe

 a replica of Rizal's prison cell

inspiring Rizal quotes in what they call the contemplation room.

 the cell--heart attack moment again when I saw his reflection in the mirror! haha

In his prison cell during the last few hours of his life, he wrote his famous farewell poem--Mi Ultimo Adios (the last farewell). He hid it in a lamp and gave it to his sisters.

We then went up the staircase to 2 more rooms. There were lovely paintings depicting Rizal's life as we ascended.

 This caught my eye. It's a photograph (or painting?) of Rizal's wife Josephine Bracken. 

 Rizal's original winter coat which he used during his travels. Fasyown.

 and his trusty jacket which you'd see him wearing in most of his photographs.

 vests his sisters made him. Extra small. Mini mini. 

 creepy, but that is his real real bone with a bullet wound. 

 love this last room. his farewell poem is written on that white wall (but it's not seen here)

 real photos!

 his execution :( full cast? Over sa dami ha.

But most of all, I really enjoyed looking at the photographs below mainly because they're vintage! I could almost imagine the story behind every one of them. 

 who's that girl watching at the left? 


what were they playing kaya?

 the guys and their bitches in Paris! joke lng po. Rizal & his kadaberks. Bongga their clothes.

 parteh parteh in Paris. naks.

kadaberks in Paris again. Sushal.

So, that's the end of the tour! It really felt like we were in another place, in another time. One of the best tours we ever had. It was a good 2 hours well spent. Hope you enjoyed reading this post and hope I convinced you guys to visit this semi-neglected place. Cmon, let's support Philippine tourism!:) Ilocos next?

P.S. Don't forget to join my Primadonna shoes giveaway!


  1. haha natawa ko sa post na to! (in english: this post is laughtrip!) hahaha! benta your candid moments, plus goofing around with travel buddy Mich. =P salamat at it felt like i've toured Manila narin, that place is foreign land to me too. haha! looks like you had a lot of fun! =)

  2. ampft! naging Sisa ako dito sis! wtf for rizal's creepy replica then mich hilarious fez=ROTFL!!!!

  3. wow..nice i have lived in Manila for almost five year but I have never been here..but now I'm away..I learn a lot from this entry eh... thanks.

    Next time I visit Phil i should go here..

  4. Seems like there's so much beauty to see around Manila!

    Cess O. <3 The Outfit Diaries

  5. nako I am a fan of historical tours and naalala ko bigla yung tour namen nung college, I have ltos of photos din hehe :) I lvoe the outfit! :)

  6. I can relate, Manila is a foreign land for me as well (hello, born and raised in Laguna!). I've been to Intramuros only once, and it was for a field trip back in second year highschool, 8 years ago. Haha! Pax, just wondering, what course did you take in college? :)
    Mars of fashion insouciance

  7. Hello Aisa! My workplace is within Intramuros. I could be a volunteer tour guide the next time you visit the place. :-) Aside from Fort Santiago, there's another area in Intramuros you have to see. I'm not sure if you have seen the San Agustin Church. There are also historical and picture perfect restaurants near the area. Pero overall, I love the shots, ang ganda and ang kulit ng captions. :)

  8. Love your outfit Pax :) And what a hilarious post! You can pass for a tour guide already!

  9. nice post aisa, ganda for outfit shots no? oh, how i missed this part of manila!^^

  10. wow, great post! it's like a live guided tour, with the pictures and all! i didn't have the chance to visit all those places (including fort santiago) last time i visited manila, but after this post it's like i kinda did!


  11. @ghoent- hehe thank yooou. visit intramuros na din!:)

    @charles - haha winner si mich noh!

    @Mira - thanks dear!:)

    @Denise- thanks mother!!!

    @Mars - Business Ad from UST!:)

    @Yna- thank yoooou! Iconsider ko nga yang tour guide na yan. Wahehe'

    @Diane - where do you work? Cge next time! I know madami pa kami namiss sa Intramuros. We're going back soon!:)

    @Dianne - super! so many nice corners for outfit posts!:)

    @Flor - thank yoooUu!:)

  12. Ay aliw! In full detail talaga ang kwento :) Now I really2x want to go on a tour the next time I go to Manila. :)

    P.S. Those cards you took pictures of aren't passports nor immigration cards. Those are the business cards Rizal used when he was in Hongkong. Tapos nung na-exile siya sa Dapitan, ginamit niya yung reverse side para gawing flash cards nung nagtuturo siya ng English sa mga bagets. (at di naman halatang nerd ako hahaha! :P)

  13. @joyce - ayun thank you! hehe yun pala yuuuun. so yung hongkong is his address cguro. coooolio. thanks sis!:) gow come visit na:)

  14. Hello! Thank you for following me, kinilig naman ako. :D I linked your blog already, thank you for doing the same! I asked about your course kasi you work in the fashion industry, na-curious lang ako. You are a stylist, di ba? :)

  15. Ahlavet 'te!!! Mala-turista!! Hahaha.. At tawang tawa ako sa pic ni Mitch na nag iiyak iyakan sa may rehas.. LOL :))) Miss you!!!

  16. This reminds me of my grade school field trips! Looks like fun! :)

  17. I enjoyed reading this post. Makes me wanna visit Fort Santiago since Ive never been there. Plus points sa super funny narration and photo captions! Winner ;)

  18. awesome! I love how you insert a bit of history in your fashion blog, makes me proud to be Filipino :)

  19. I was there last Sabado lang and it was my first time haha (turista much). Actually I'm gonna blog about it later this week din siguro hehe. While we were retracing Rizal's footsteps, I told my friend "And igsi ng footsteps! Ganun ba kapandak si Rizal?" Then when we saw his clothings, naloka ako sa liit ng vest. Baka nagshrink lang? Haha.

    I like this post very much! :)

    The Explosive Orange

  20. im studying in mapua intramuros, but unfortunately i never been there.


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