Philippines Day 2

Little Drummer Boy!

Man it was a good sleep last night we both got nearly 12 hours. Because of the time differences we were still up and ready by 9 o’clock. We grabbed a grab car across to Intramuros. Intramuros Philippines is also known as the old Manila. It was the main area of Manila during Spanish occupation, and was still fully standing up until WW2. The walled city of Intramuros was owned by the SPanish from 1571 until 1865 which is a significant part of history of Manila. It is also the place where the Philippine Martyr and Hero Jose Rizal was imprisoned and killed. We drove around the walls and made it to our starting point of the day which was Intramuros gate.

Intramuros gate is the entrance into the walled city. After ducking past many people trying to offer us tours on their tuk tuks. The main street of Intramuros is all bricked beautifully and has lots of spanish influnced buildings either side of the road. We headed to La Cathedral Cafe but it was shut so we back tracked to Starbucks. Even the Starbucks building was so cool. We grabbed some cold drinks (it was very hot today) and had a relax for a bit.

View From Starbucks

After getting refreshed we headed to our first stop in Intramuros whch was The San Agustin Church. It was the only building left intact after the destruction of Intramuros in WWII. It was Built in 1587 and it is the oldest church in the Philippines. It is a very cool Baroque style and is currenly a UNESCO World heritage site. It was so beautiful even the side doors were so detailed. We arrived as a mass was finishing so we go to look inside as well.

Across from the church is the Plaza San Luis. It is a complex that has five different houses showing the different syles of spanish buildings. We didnt go inside any of them but had a look around the plaza and the outsides.

The next stop was another church. This time it was the Manila Cathedral. This church is the main catholic church and has been rebuilt 7 times. I said to Anthony I feel that if this got burnt of destoyed in an earthquake 6 times I would be thinking maybe god didn’t want a cathedral to be built in this spot. However they obviously perservered and it is really beautiful. We went through security to et in which involved your bag going through a scanner and got to walk around inside. The stained glass in particular was really really beautiful.

Then it was onto the main attraction for today which was seeing Fort Santiago. Fort Santiago is one of the oldest fortifications in Manila built by the Spaniards in 1571 as the premier defense fortress of the Spanish Government during their rule of the country. It is made with thick stone and a lot of it is not still standing between earthquakes and the bombings in WW2. We explored the different areas of the fort and learnt about the trageies that occured here. It has been owned by many other countries over many years but in 1942 during World War II, the Japanese conquered the Philippines and made use of the fort as their military base and prison. It is said that they have imprisoned and tortured about 2,500 to 3,000 Filipinos and Americans in the site. This is a lot of the dark history that surrounds the site.

We then headed bck to the hotel. Anthony wanted to stop for a sausage he saw so we did that then took a Grab back to the hotel to cool down.

After a rest it was back out to go to the biggest mall in the Philippines. SM Mall of Asia. There were going to be Christmas fireworks here. We arrived in time to catch a magnificent Manila sunset over the bay. The area was so full of people watching the sunset it was crazy. Anthony grabbed some food at Crackles and then we made our way into the mall to have Hawker Chan for dinner. It was pretty good food.

After dinner we followed the crowd back to the SM by the bay area to watch the fireworks. We were really close to the action and it was a good crown everyone kept some space between them.

Now you might be wondering but why Amy is this blog called the little drummer boy. I would tell you its normally cause I let Anthony name of the blogs and often there is not a good reason. However when we returned to the hotel tonight there was a huge drumming parade that went for about an hour. All we have been able to hear is the marching and drumming. And with that I am going to sleep!