iii. Intramuros

Hannah was keen on showing us this place in Manila. When we reached Central station, Hannah quickly approached the tricycle bikers and asked for the price. After agreeing then she asked us to quickly hop in. Sat was worried on having enough time to get to the airport. But seeing the sparkle and eagerness in Hannah’s eyes, we hopped in.

And I was glad we did. The journey to the place that Hannah wanted to show us was totally beautiful, despite the bumpy and scary ride. I later discovered that the area behind walls/fortress is called Intramuros – the oldest district of Manila.

I was in the tricycle with Hannah and Daniel. Sitting in the tricycle with Hannah is like having a personal tour guide. She told us stories and also even pointed out few places we should look at.

While being cycled in Intramuros, I just felt like I’ve wondered back to the Spanish colonization area. The buildings, the atmosphere, the weather!, the smell, the way it looks – just gave me that feeling! I know understand why Hannah insisted on bringing us here.

I remembered Hannah telling us the story of the slum when we were passing by a street. We spotted a basketball net and she told us that people there are good at basketball as they played most of the time, but couldn’t go far as Asian are generally shorter than the westerner/African.

Well, except for Yao Ming I supposed.

All tricycle bikers stopped in front entrance of Fort Santiago.

In front of Fort Santiago there are beautiful colonial houses. Or buildings. Looks very upclass-y.

There are many beautiful horse carriages parked outside the park and I couldn’t stop looking at one – which looks like a carriage for royalties.

While admiring the horse carriages, one of the horses decided to take a BIG leak. The pee came out like someone turned on the water tap to the max. It was that much and the horse peed quite long too. -.-“

We went to the ticket counter only to find that Hannah already paid for our tickets. We wanted to pay her back but she refused. Ahh!

The park is beautifully decorated with floras. There are few weird monuments at the side, as well as cannon and bombs! @_@

Since we have only half an hour to spare at this beautiful place, we quickly snapped and ran as Hannah walked super fast in front of us.

Then we came to a moat and there it is, the Fort Santiago. The fort, in my honest opinion is more interesting than our own Fort Farmosa. At least this fort looks more like a fort.

Totally love the details. This fort was badly damaged in the Battle of Manila, but was restored back to original. See the colour difference there? XD

Hannah pointed out the bronze footsteps on the floor. Then she told us that the footsteps represented the final walk of Jose Rizal from his cell to the location of his actual execution.

When I looked at where it stopped, it was just few steps away from where I stood. Immediately I jumped as I don’t want to stand at where the hero was prosecuted.

We then walked into the fort.

I don’t really remember in details but upon entrance, the Rajah Sulayman theatre is on my right and prisoner cells on the left and a nice building further down.

A figure of Jose Rizal was built on the middle of the fort. The place looks peaceful, but there was occasionally chill wind. Brrr~

Hannah guided us to deep into the fort. We walked passed floor dungeons which terrified me. It has stairs leading down and that’s it – nothing else. Hannah pointed out that the prisoners ate, peed and slept all in that 3×5 space. I then asked what if it rains. Then the whole area would be filled with air, wouldn’t they? Hannah nodded and then shook her head in sympathy. I couldn’t imagine people would build such floor dungeons for prisoners. Tsk tsk.

I realised I didn’t take any picture of the dungeon. Probably I got freak out by the dungeons. Lol. Anyway, in the picture above the metal grill on the floor is the entrance to the floor dungeon.

Besides the horrendous dungeons and execution of the national hero, Fort Santiago offers breathtaking view of Pasig River too.

However as fabulous as the view is, the stench is hmm… unexplainable. Lol! We took 2-3 group photos there before we were asked to do jump shots. When all 8 of us jumped, it was although we jumped to test the foundation of Fort Santiago. Lol!

Why I mentioned 8 only? Where’s another 3?

Hannah was the camera girl and another 2 went missing! We didn’t even notice their missing until when we bumped into them on the way out. Hannah then encouraged us to walk faster as we need to get to the airport as soon as possible.

Albeit all the hastiness, Sat and I managed to ber-romance a little as the park outside the Fort Santiago is absolutely a suitable place to paktorLolololol!

And I found a very nice wall to lean against for photo shooting – but I have no time to do so. Boohoo!

We headed back to Central Station via tricycle again. We took their service for 150 pesos (RM11) per tricycle for return trip. Since Hannah, Daniel and I shared one – so we paid 50 pesos (RM3.65) each.

What a cheap way to see Intramuros – suits budget travelers like us.