Flight chronicles of the backpacker Tutubi, with travelogues, pictures/photos/videos, travel guides, independent and honest reviews, affordable, recommended resorts and hotels (including inns, guesthouses, pension houses, lodges, hostels, condotels, bed and breakfast and other cheap accommodations), commuting guides, routes (sometimes street maps and GPS coordinates/waypoints) and driving directions to answer "how to get there" questions, information and tips on tourism, budget travel and living in Philippines, Exotic Asia and beyond!
Backpacking, independent travel, and flashpacking are cheaper than the "cheapest package tours" and promotional offers around but you can also use travel information for family vacations, even romantic honeymoon destinations.
More than the usual tourist spots and "places to see," this blog advocates heritage conservation, environmental protection, and history awareness for Filipinos, foreigners, and ex-pats wishing to explore Paradise Philippines and Exotic Asia!
Once Upon a Time in Manila (Tour of Intramuros and Nilad Tree)
Would you imagine today is the 435th birthday of someone familiar yet often forgotten and treated with contempt? People in San Juan celebrate this day by dousing people with water sparing no one.
It's Manila's birthday!
It was on this day 435 years ago that Miguel Lopez de Legazpi forged a pact with Rajahs Suliman, Matanda and Lakandula founding the city of Manila.
I celebrated this day by heading to the old business district of Manila- Binondo. 'Twas here where the Christianized Sangleys, as the Spaniards called Chinese at the time, settled outside the walls of Intramuros.
Last July 5, 2005, while meandering through Ongpin St, we passed by Eng Bee Tin, every hopia lover's haven and the fabled Estero "fun" dining. While looking for the traditional chocolate factory, I blitzed through Nueva, renamed Yuchengco in honor of the chinese taipan.
La calle anterior de Nueva ahora es calle de Yuchengco!
On discovery of the name change, I sent an email (July 15, 2005) to rant about it to the hcs-youth yahoogroups. Aside from Nueva, Gandara was also named Padilla St.
Two weeks later, the streetwalker, Ivan ManDy, campaigned to petition to restore the old name to Nueva but fell on deaf ears.
Manila folks are truly apathetic.
Manila government really is doing a very good job of renaming historic streets at the same time demolishing historic landmarks and architectural sites that should've been preserved for posterity.
Back to the present, after brief Chinatown tryst, I proceeded to Intramuros to join Ivan's walking tour of the old walled city, a visit to Bahay Tsinoy (my second time there actually) and San Agustin Church and adjoining museum
San Agustin Church and Museum
Upong entering San Agustin Church, with its redolent "historic" smell and listed as one of the four UNESCO World Heritage churches in the Philippines, I again marvelled at the magnificent walls and ceilings painted, though appearing to be carvings using a style known as Trompe l'oeil. The choir loft floors were made of Philippine molave (though Ivan wasn't sure what kind of wood it was). It's huge buttresses used as altars double as structural support during earthquakes.
The adjacent museum houses and protects a sizeable collection of religious icons and images numerous ones trace provenance from my hometown Paete in Laguna. This structure also houses the tomb of Juan Luna and was the site of the surrender of the Spaniards to the Americans after a mock battle.
Ivan, our guide, is chatty tour guide though he prefers not be called as one. He's one of the best guides we have. Visit his site here.
The Monument to King Charles IV of Spain (in silhouette)in gratitude for sending smallpox vaccine to Manila located at Plaza de Roma in front of Manila Cathedral
Al Rey de Carlos IV en gratito al non beneficio de la vacuna los habitantes de Filipinas.
The Manila War marker at the back of Manila Cathedral
San Agustin Church
Baluarte De San Diego
the kalesa along the ruins
tee off at Intramuros
Casa Manila showing fusion of Spanish and Filipino Architecture
"klasmeyts" with Ivan
Finally, for those who still don't know how a Nilad tree, from where Manila got its name, looks like: