A Sunday Afternoon in Manila

The Central Post Office - once the office of my great grandfather

The Central Post Office – once the office of my great grandfather

There’s more to Manila than its monstrous malls and its faddish crazes. Although there is much to be desired from our heritage sites, they are still there – needing both badly needed maintenance and visitors.

Several Sundays ago, my sister and I left our house in Cubao at around 2:00 PM to enjoy a leisurely afternoon in the old Walled City and its peripheries. We began at the Metropolitan Museum then skipped to the Manila Central Post Office then finally crossed over to Intramuros, entering through the Puerta del Parian.

We basically circled Intramuros.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran, the oldest secondary level school in the Philippines.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran, the oldest secondary level school in the Philippines.

We started at Letran, made a left towards the Dominican quarter and frolicked around the beautiful Maestranza. Afterwards, we took a while absorbing the haunting Intendencia edifice, a skeleton of an old important building which could be restored and turned into either a bazaar or even a cool-concept cafe or night club.

La Intendencia - the former Customs House and Treasury

La Intendencia – the former Customs House and Treasury

Tastefully reconstructed, the former Ayuntamiento now houses the Bureau of Treasury

Tastefully reconstructed, the former Ayuntamiento now houses the Bureau of Treasury

Afterwards, we plied Don Andrés Soriano Avenue and found solace from the unrelenting rays of the sun under the shadows of the impressively reconstructed Ayuntamiento, which now houses the Bureau of Treasury. The Ayuntamiento was the former City Hall of Manila (conversely Intramuros) and also housed the Real Audienca de Manila or basically the Supreme Court. When the Americans established their version of the Supreme Court, it was still initially housed in the Ayuntamiento. Because of its renowned generous use of marble, it earned its nickname of “the Marble Palace”. It was bombed during the Liberation and was turned into a parking space. It was only a few years back when the project to reconstruct it was turned into a reality. It’s a handsome edifice today.

Calle Real now known as Gen. Luna

Calle Real now known as Gen. Luna

Plaza Roma, of course, is a place to unwind and take photos. We noticed that there were many, many foreign tourists that day and we were really pleased to see them.

Plaza Roma with the majestic Manila Cathedral Minor Basilica serving as background

Plaza Roma with the majestic Manila Cathedral Minor Basilica serving as background

From the Manila Cathedral, we walked along Luna street and of course, stopped by the San Agustin Church – the only structure left standing after the violent Liberation of Manila – and cooled down within the shade of Plaza San Luis.

Calle Urdaneta, near Plaza San Luis, across San Agustin

Calle Urdaneta, near Plaza San Luis, across San Agustin

That’s where the amiable staff of La Cocina de Tita Moning, headed by Trining, called my attention! They were so happy to see me. They brought halo-halo from the house for Carlos Celdran’s guests.

Walking around the area near the former Dominican quarter of Intramuros

Walking around the area near the former Dominican quarter of Intramuros

After Plaza San Luis, my sister and I went further down Juan Luna and took a left at one street I forget the name of, which leads back to the Puerta del Parian. We then climbed the walls of the muralla and took many pictures of the ramparts as well as cannons and the view of Manila City Hall.

A lazy Sunday in the old Walled City; a calesa passing by

A lazy Sunday in the old Walled City; a calesa passing by

At the muralla rampart (Baluarte de San Francisco) overlooking the neoclassical corridor

At the muralla rampart (Baluarte de San Francisco) overlooking the neoclassical corridor

Apunte! Fuego! Nice perspective shot.

Apunte! Fuego! Nice perspective shot.

We capped off our day on top of the Bayleaf Hotel, specifically, at their Skyview Deck, which has marvelous views of Manila’s glorious bay and well, err, its less attractive city.

A fantastic view of the National Museum Complex - part of the neoclassical corridor of Manila - from the Bayleaf Hotel's Skydeck

A fantastic view of the National Museum Complex – part of the neoclassical corridor of Manila – from the Bayleaf Hotel’s Skydeck

The buildings, billboards and other hideous structures truly destroy Manila’s skyline. But at least, one can still see some of the more notable elements of Manila’s neoclassical corridor starting from the Manila Central Post Office down to the National Museum.

The sun setting over the Manila Bay across the old walled city, bereft of its formerly numerous towers, domes and spires

The sun setting over the Manila Bay across the old walled city, bereft of its formerly numerous towers, domes and spires

At night, one can marvel at the illuminated buildings from afar, probably Makati but feel a tinge of sadness for the dark edifices in Manila that were unlit.

Night time view from the Bayleaf Hotel Skydeck

Night time view from the Bayleaf Hotel Skydeck

At any rate, it was truly a unique, different way of spending our weekend.

My sister got super tired after our walking tour but she thoroughly enjoyed…most especially since it was my treat!

About hechoayer

Things made yesterday still influence us until today. Things made today will influence us tomorrow. Things of the essence such as faith, culture, food, music and values should never disappear nor eroded by the times. Instead, these must be recorded, lived and shared. Something made yesterday - hecho ayer - can be tomorrow's saving grace. Never ignore the past.
This entry was posted in CULTURA, GUIA: TOURS, HISTORICA, OLD MANILA and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Sunday Afternoon in Manila

  1. Nice post. Try street photography, Malate and Ermita🙂

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