Must See Places in Manila Manila is not only a city of Mega Malls. There are also historic and cultural places to visit. Read on to find out about them.
Intramuros. It is the oldest place in Manila built by the Spanish in the 16th century when the Philippines was a colony of Spain. It was built on 64 hectares of land and surrounded by 8 ft. thick wall of stone and about 22 feet high. It housed churches, universities, and the Governor’s Palace. The natives and chinese were not allowed to live inside this walled city, only the Spaniards and the Meztizos (from intermarriages between the Spanish and Filipinos). It is best to join a walking tour of Intramuros by Carlos Celdran. More information about the walking tour may be found in his website (http://celdrantours.blogspot.com/).
Manila Cathedral. The Manila Cathedral is found in Intramuros and is included in the walking tour. The original church was built in 1571 and has undergone numerous renovations to preserve and maintain it.
Fort Santiago. It is a fortress that form part of Intramuros. It is the defense fortress of the Spanish in the Philippines. It was heavily damaged in World War II but was restored in the 1980s. The fort is now a museum which houses Plaza de Armas, the Rizal Shrine, and dungeons for criminals. Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero was held there before he was executed in 1896. His footsteps walking from his prison to the place of execution is embedded in bronze.
Rizal Park. This area was originally intended to prevent sneak attacks on Intramuros by the natives. Also known as Luneta, it was the place where the national hero Jose Rizal was executed on December 30, 1896. Also, the declaration of Philippine Independence from the Americans was made here on June 4, 1896. Today it is a place to relax. It is situated right in the middle of the city of Manila and has a planetarium, restaurants who employs the blind as waiters/waitresses, a theatre, an open air concert hall, unique fountains and much more.
Corregidor. It is an island fortress located at the mouth of Manila Bay. During the second world war, long after the fall of Bataan to the Japanese, American and Filipino soldiers held out for almost a month before being forced to surrender. Today, it is a memorial to those brave souls, the ruins, tunnels and cannons telling the story of heroisim during battle. There is a day tour and an overnight tour to the island.
Pasig River Ferry. Inaugurated in 2007, the ferry travels the Pasig River from Guadalupe to Escolta. It a great way to avoid traffic and see the real Manila from the skyscrapers of Makati to the shanties by the river. It passes by Malacanang Palace where the president of the Philippines resides and holds office.