SAN AGUSTIN CHURCH
San Agustin is well worth a look if you're interested in religion, history, architecture or organ music. This church has been maintained and re-built after earthquakes and wars and is one of the oldest catholic churches in Asia.
I did a walking tour of Intramuros with a friend who has a good sense of the country's history and was able to fill out the rather dry and under-documented displays on offer here with interesting side bars.
We spent the bulk of our time in Fort Santiago where Jose Rizal, the country's inspirational poet/doctor leader was imprisoned in the last century before his execution. The site also honors the hundreds of filipinos who died at the hands of the occupying Japanese.
The sense it gave me was the the Philippines has long been ill-used by one occupying or another or even from corrupt internal officials. There's a certain abiding hope under a lot of resignation. This site overlooking the river really doesn't make a huge difference given how few people visit, but it's an important reminder of times gone by.
Enjoy the history and Spanish architecture of the city ,within the walls. Follow the steps of Jose Rizal,walk the grounds of Fort Santiago,sit in the garden,take a ride in a horse drawn carriage,tour the museum, San Augustin Church, watch the people and absorb, Filipino history and culture.
Intramuros, was the first historic place that my husband and I visited together, in the country , in which he was born. He had told me about-Intramuros, his school, Letran College, the Spanish Architecture and influences that shaped the Filipino culture and his character.
We were pressed for time- give yourself the morning to enjoy the museum, fort ruins, and lovely landscaped grounds. It is a place worth seeing and exploring.We will have to go back to visit. Lots of walking. Too hot and too much walking in the PM for my elderly father. He still enjoyed the historic site., as we did.
Intramuros surrounds the old Manila city with many attractions inside worth visiting such as Manila Cathedral, Fort Santiago, San Augustin Church, Casa Manila. Another interesting thing is the golf course which is just beside Intramuros. You can spend a full day visiting this area which summarizes the history of Manila at a glance.
San Agustin Museum was originally a monastery that was converted into a museum in 1973. The Museum showcases Filipino, Chinese, Spanish, and Mexican art treasures.
Entrance fee: 80 Php. Keep your ticket; you may exchange it for a complimentary drink at their coffee shop. (I got my iced tea! Thank you, San Agustin! I needed it!)
Even how many times we've been to Manila, I never bothered to visit the Intramuros, not until 2005. I finally wanted to see how it look and i dont regret it.
The Intramuros is like the old version of Manila. You will see alot of different architextures and buildings of the past, some even since the japanese war. But for me the best part here was taking a Calessa and feeling like a tourist in my own country! I love the Calessa ride! It takes you around the Intramuros. So if your fat and lazy like me, simply take a Calessa, its a better and relaxing way to see the Intramuros!
But did you know Intramuros has a dark secret? From what I heard, that at night, spirits of the past linger around this area, and many people seen headless ghost that are roaming around the whole Intramuros. So if your planning to go to the Intramuros at night for some romance (A popular spot for romance at night) You better beware and watch out who your kissing! It might be a ghost!
With the exception of escaping as quickly as possible, there is precious little to recommend doing in Manila. It is, however, worth visiting Intramuros. A city within a city, Intramuros is the old Spanish capital of Manila. Constructed in 1571, much of Intramuros was reduced to rubble in World War II. Some of what remains has been reconstructed, with the highlights being the Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, the Casa Manila Museum, and the ruins of Fort Santiago.
Intramuros is a district in Manila which was built during the Spaniards during their colonization of the Philippines in the 16th century. The walled city served as fortress during wars.
Presently, the Intramuros Administration restored the city and retained the old Spanish look of the vicinity although present improvements around the district are continuously seen.
For golf enthusiasts, an 18-hole course was built on the west, south and east side of the walled city.
Things to see:
1) Fort Santiago
2) Manila Cathedral
3) San Agustin Church
4) Manila Aquarium
5) Club Intramuros
7) or, just roam around the area riding a horse drawn carriage (calesa) and enjoy the buildings which were reconstructed with a Spanish architecture concept
San Agustin Church is the oldest stone church in the Philippines. It was able to stand the test of time by withstanding numerous typhoons and earthquakes and wars.
The church is also included as part of the World Heritage Site "Baroque Churches of the Philippines" in 1993. Other churches in the Philippines included in the list are Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion in Santa Maria, Ilocos Sur, San Agustin Church in Paoay, Ilocos Norte and Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Church in Miag-ao, Iloilo
Similar to Manila Cathedral, the few instances that I visit San Agustin Church is during Visita Iglesia and weddings of friends.
I am so proud that we Filipinos still have this churches that are preserved by heritage society. I hope the church can last another century so that our grandchildren can see the difference of modern and classic architectures particularly church architectures.
Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
The first time I went to Manila Cathedral was during our educational field trip back in the 70's. At the time, we had the chance to visit the tombs of the past archbishops of Manila. They were laid at the basement of the cathedral. I am not sure if they still allowed people to visit the place.
Presently, the only opportunity that I visit this church is during the visita iglesia which our family never miss every year (except last 2006 because I was in Qatar). Sometimes, I also had the chance to attend wedding of relatives or friends.
The cathedral which is the seat of the archdiocese of Manila has been rebuilt several times. From what I read the present edifice is the 6th building church constructed on the site. The previous buildings were destroyed by fire, damaged by earthquake and bombarded during the 2nd world war.
This place was originally built by the Spaniards and Jose Rizal was held captive here. Nowadays, there is a romantic garden dining place where some of the gentlemen propose to their girlfriends and they get positive answers...most of the time. =)
Still within the premises of the walled city is a golf course. This golf course was transformed from moats. You can even play golf at night because of the very good lighting they provide.
For more inquiries you can go to the Intramuros Visitors Center, Fort Santiago or at the 5th Floor Palacio del Gobernador, Intramuros Manila.
According to history books, San Agustin Church, the oldest stone church in Metro Manila and one of the four Philippine Baroque Churches inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. This church is very special to me because my mater and my dada got married here last September 4, 1966. =)
(by the way, that's one of their wedding photos...)
I wanted to start with the Off the Beaten path tips, but I don't have pictures, so I'll start with these famous ones first...
The Manila Cathedral's real name is the Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception Manila Metropolitan Cathedral, but people are so used to calling her Manila Cathedral.
I love going to this place because I love going to old buildings (there are lots of old buildings in the Intramuros area).
Please check their official website for History and other stuff...
You definitely should take a walking tour through Intramuros, which is this walled city that has many interesting things to see. Make sure you get a tour guide that keeps things fun. My tour guide was hilarious, so much energy. He was very knowledgeable about the area and i learned alot. Here you will see the beautiful churches, fort Santiago, Spanish style homes and you might even catch a parade going through the streets plus more. I was only able to do half the tour, due to time conflicts, but im sure the full tour would have been well worth it. I only saw parts of the place and hope to get back to see the rest of it some day..