Sunday, June 12, 2016

Walk this Way!

Today being the Philippines Independence Day, I am reminded of a tour that I went for a few months back ^_^

Walk this Way by Carlos Celdran is one of the most interesting and informative walking tours that I have been.

It's centers around the walled city of Intramuros, which was the center of everything way back when. In fact if you didn't know Manila Cathedral use to be kilometre zero. It tells a lot what was the center of everything during Spain Colonisation of the Philippines.

Carlos, with his little boom box walks us around and starts his storytelling during the Spanish era. One of the things I remember from his stories (hopefully without spoiling much of the tour) is that Philippines was never significant to the King of Spain, in fact it was only considered as a province of Mexico and has been given to the Religious Orders. The Philippines, if you observe, is the only non-Spanish speaking country after 300+ years in the colony, and the religious kept it that way for a reason. Not sure how factual is that but it does make you think doesn't it?

 Then in June 12, 1898, Emilio Aguinaldo declared our Philippine Independence after Filipino rebels defeated and demoralised Spain forces... Or so we may have thought when Philippines was actually sold to the US for 20 million dollars in the Treaty of Paris. However, American's coming to Philippine shores brought all the advancements of that time, from Education Thomasites, First Theatre,  and the First Airline in the region. They have bought all of these in 50 years (versus the 300 years of Spain)

Part of the tour was going to my Alma Mater's church, the last standing original church within the walled city after WWII. San Agustin Church, thanks to Red Cross that the church still stands where it is today, because it was used as the red cross center during the war. Eerie if you ask me, I remember having field trips here as a child and I never want to step on the floors, if you haven't notice they use to bury the dead on the church floors (and yes, I think they are all still there)

We end the tour with one of Filipino's favourite dessert called 'Halo-Halo', mix-mix if directly translated to english. It is a good analogy that Filipinos are like its favourite dessert, when you ask what is distinctly Filipino we are just a mix of everything.

I did enjoy the tour a lot, there is a lot more of information that you never thought made sense but it does. So, if you do have time or have tourist friends visiting I highly recommend this tour for you.


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