What if you had a free day, and a willing date to tour you around, where would you go? Weirdly, I chose a walking tour, and it was what I got. A heavy breakfast was prepared while Justin, and the rest of the family listed places I may want to check out. He wanted to just drive up to somewhere else but my flight, and his required flight hours left us only a day to tour around. We had a good dose of walking in between hunting a parking spaces in the most iconic tourist destinations in Metro Manila – Intamuros, and Luneta Park.
Intramuros and Luneta Park Walking Tour in a Day
We started our day visiting ST. JOSEPH PARISH CHURCH. Okay this is probably the only one on the list that is not located in Manila but we had to stop by before heading to Intramuros. Located 10 kms. from the center of Manila, the St. Joseph Parish Church houses the Bamboo Organ in it’s old walls, and structure. It has a museum, and a souvenir shop that you might like to check out. It took us a bit longer than we intended to stay, it turned out Justin was an eager museum rat as well.
Dominating Manila Cathedral
Our first visit at Intramuros was the MANILA CATHEDRAL. Formally known as the Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica serves as the seat of the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila. Located at Plaza de Roma in the Intramuros the cathedral was originally a parish church owned and governed by the diocese of Mexico in 1571, until it became a separate diocese on 1579. There was a renovation going on at the time of our visit so we did not get to stay there long. We just took enough time to check out the facade before heading down the cobbled streets of Intramuros.
San Agustin Church
SAN AGUSTIN CHURCH. San Agustin Church originally known as “Inglesia de San Pablo”. It is the oldest stone church in the Philippines built in 1589. And declared by UNESCO as World Heritage Site in 1993.
Lunch at Barbara’s
We went to BARBARA’S for lunch because his mom says it’s where I’m supposed to be taken. And in the heat of noon, the tiredness of our feet, and the quiet growls of our stomachs found welcomed in the warmly lit room, dark wood, and white linen covered table tops. Ofcourse there was live entertainment to go with food, and the sound of conversation added to the ambiance’s charm.
We waited until the sun was not as harsh as we walked, and explored INTRAMUROS. When I was asked on how I wanted to spend my day, I opted a walking tour, and even slightly brushed off the offer for a company. I knew Intramuros is too much for just one day to fit, if I must enjoy it in an unhurried time. So we rested a bit before continuing on a Fort Santiago Tour in the afternoon.
Afternoon at Fort Santiago
FORT SANTIAGO. This iconic, and dominating structure was first built is a citadel first built by Miguel Lopez Legaspi for the established city of Manila. It is the one of the most important historical sites with many people losing their lives during the Spanish Colonization of the Philippines, and the site where the country’s national hero was imprisoned.
We then headed out to the BALUARTE DE SANTA BARBARA that protects the entrance to the Pasig River. And in the corner we found ourselves peeking through tunnel gates, and darkness looking back at you. A cross, as well as a marker stands In Memory of the Victims at Fort Santiago, and neither Justin, and I stood there too long. On our way out we followed the last steps of Jose Rizal before we head out to our last destination.
The guarded bronze-granite RIZAL MONUMENT at LUNETA PARK is not merely a statue but it is also where his remains is located. It is one of the most famous sculptural landmarks in the Philippines.
When in Luneta Park also check out RIZAL’S EXECUTION SITE. It is obscured Rizal’s Monument. At the time of the visit, some part of the park, this specifically, was under renovation, as well as the musical dancing fountain.
3] List of Historical Markers