I’ve been to Intramuros countless of times before and was able to tour some foreign backpackers around but the Walled City is a place of learning new lessons every time I go.
Here’s 10 new lessons I got on my latest visit. Special thanks to Ivan of ivanlakwetsero.com for guiding the group and sharing amazing facts during the photo-walk.
1. Intramuros = Manila, before.
The Old Manila in only the walled city, everything outside the wall is considered province. Meaning even if you live in the poshest condominium in Makati right now, it is considered “probinsya” before. Intramuros is a Spanish term that literally means “within the walls” any place outside is “extramuros.”
2. The original Km.0 is the Mania Cathedral’s dome not in Luneta.
Well, I know this already but most of the people who joined me on my first day of #isangdaan just knew that the original Km.0 is the Manila Cathedral and not in Luneta where Rizal Monument is. This is also the reason why I started my journey in Intramuros, it is Km.0.
Km.0 is the basis of all kilometer markers you see on the road. So next time you see a kilometer marker, say Km.64 (UPLB) that means that it is 64 kilometers away from Manila.
3. There are 7 Great Churches inside Intramuros.
So I guess almost all religious orders are represented in the Old Manila. Agustinians have San Agustin; Seculars built the Cathedral (the most garbed and grandiose of all); Dominicans have Sto. Domingo Church which was transferred to Quezon Avenue after WWII; Franciscans, Recollects, Jesuits and Franciscans also added their church buildings inside the Old City.
You want the complete number? 28. There are twenty eight churches and chapels inside Intramuros. Speaks of a very populous and bustling city huh?
My friends Ivan and Estan wrote something about this too-
4. All structures inside Intramuros are destroyed after WWII, except for San Agustin Church.
Blamed it on the Americans?! They bombed the whole city during the war against the Japanese in 1945. San Agustin was spared because there was Red Cross and many American soldiers are there. One account says that blood in San Agustin was 1-inch thick because wounded people are brought inside. Imagine the stench of blood inside that church. Now, it is one of the UNESCO-stamped church in the Philippines.
5. Only Letran and Colegio de Sta. Rosa are the only original colleges left. PLM, Mapua, and others came after WWII.
6. Here stands University of Sto. Tomas where Jose Rizal studied college.
Jose Rizal should have studied in Letran (do I hear Aribba?) but his father, Don Francisco Mercado said that Letran has a poor system of education so he studied in Ateneo during highschool and then transferred to UST Intramuros for his college education.
7. One bulwark is called “Baluarte de San Franciso de Dilao.”
De Dilao literally means ‘of the Yellows’ because it is where most Chinese were living (Parian). This part of the wall is one of the most fortified because of the Chinese uprising.
8. The golf course are actually moat.
Same as what you see in the castles of Europe, the Walled City is surrounded with a moat. There were even drawbridges that is open 4:00am till 11:00pm.
The Americans converted it to a golf course because they say its unhygienic, as the stagnant waters are breeding ground of mosquitoes carrying Malaria and other diseases. And maybe they love to play golf too! 🙂
9. The bricked path on some parts of the wall are from 1981 not 1861.
During the time of Pres. Marcos, some parts of the wall are restored. So the bricks used are dated 1981 (Marcos regime). Maybe these bricks came all the way from Ilocos, home province of Marcos?
10. It is a skaters paradise now.
This is one of my fave spots in Intramuros because of contemporary art. Everytime I go here, I see a different design, a different graffiti. Skaters from near and far pay a visit in this place to play and do some tricks.
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Day 1 of 100. Intramuros, Manila. 9:00-11:00am.
This is post part of ISANG DAAN Journey. ISANG DAAN is a personal journey and challenge to backpack around the Philippines the cheapest way possible for 100 days.
You may also watch my teaser vid on Youtube: ISANG DAAN CHALLENGE