Manila: Intramuros Revisited [April 2011]


The Walled City: Landmarks and Ruins

I am a Filipino and yet I get the feeling that I’m still a “turista ng ating sariling bansa” [a tourist in our own country]. In Manila alone, she was rich in cultural diversities & historical events. What more beyond Philippine borders, island to island. We may passed the street as a commoner, little do we know something significant happened around it for quiet some time, not too long ago.

Church Ruins beside the Panda’s Last Night Out 
Beside and across the ruins, an enjoying ambiance and  busy street at night with al fresco diners and bars to choose from. The area can be seen across an old walls of military barracks, about 200 meters away. Of course the night out scene completely disappeared along with the monument marker [around 4 statues with 7 feet high]. The place turned out to be gloomy at night, no more lively activities, food stalls and live music performances. The sad part we documented, the looters perhaps picked up the statues piece by piece probably made a living out of it. We can’t verified what material the markers were made of, a steel or bronze maybe, that interests others. If only Intramuros management was able to restore the figures, but whose to blame, there’s reason for everything.

The ruins of Intramuros
Before: photos of Panda’s Last Night Out
Source: Geocache

Intramuros is the oldest and special historical district within the City of Manila. Gates are open to pedestrians and light motor vehicles only. The efforts of restoration of the Spanish-era influences and development of this priceless heritage is continuously progressing from concern citizens and groups. Built by Spaniards during the 16th Century in a Spanish colonial period, Intramuros was considered Manila itself. Intramuros literally “within the walls” – meaning within the wall enclosure of the fortress, the structure design is surrounded by thick, high walls and moats. 

Memorare Manila: Plaza de la Fuerza
The Shrine of Freedom also known as the Memorare Manila Monument was built in 1945 in memory of World War II victims. The monument is located at the Plaza de Santa Isabel, commonly known as Plaze Sinampalukan, can be found in the corner of General Luna & Anda Streets.

“torogan” is a stiff-roofed building decorated with seven or more panolongs at the front and sides. Panolongs are not found in the ordinary houses in a community for they symbolized power, rank and leadership.

The panolong is a beam-end or prow carved with a combination of floral and naga [dragon] okir designs. It is also used to decorate lamins, mosques and bancas. The wall siding and other part of the house are also decorted with designs.Bedrooms cannot be found in torogans except or one called a gibon, which is constructed only for the sultan’s daughter.

Wall Art
A group of Manila artists sprayed-paint an abandoned site, a grafitti – a visual expression forming in a wall art. 

Manila Cathedral 
The famous Neo-Romanesque Manila Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica, commonly known as the Manila Cathedral. The cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Manila, it was built in 1581 [originally made from nipa and bamboo materials]. The church was destroyed by several catastrophes year after year, from typhoons, raged of fire, a couple of earthquakes and World War II bombings during the 1945 Battle of Manila. It underwent several major renovation and was finally completed from 1954 to 1958, under the tenure of Manila Archbishop Rufino Cardinal Santos and supervision of architect Fernando Ocampo. In 1981, it was consecrated as a minor basilica by Pope John Paul II, dedicated to the Patroness of the Philippines, Blessed Virgin Mary under the title of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. The present Archbishop of the catheral is Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales.

“La Pieta”
Replica of the legendary work of art by Michaelangelo Buonarotti
– portrays the scene of faith and sorrow
Detailed wood-carvings of the main door of Manila Cathedral
Plaza de Roma
 statue of King Carlos IV of Spain
Intramuros nowadays served as a venue for various activity and special events. Local visitors and foreigners frequent the line of restaurants and other establishments. This coming 19th of June 2011,  Jose Rizal will be celebrating his 150th [1861-2011], Rizal @ 150: Haligi ng Bayan. In line with the celebration, selected establishments along Intramuros will offer a special promo and discounts to the public patrons for the while month of June.
The Walled City
Southern bank of Pasig River
5th District of Manila

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