Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Walking inside the walled city of manila

The most insightful tour I've participated on. I highly recommend this for Filipinos and tourists who have a passion for Manila.

'Walk this way.' Carlos Celdran's most said phrase during the tour. It may seem simple at first, but throughout the tour it grows on you. Somehow Carlos, our tour guide, enabled the listeners to be molded and be influenced by Manila's rich history by walking with him through the walled city.

It was truly informational. I enjoyed the whole thing despite the toasting hot rays of the sun. The mix of music, humor, and history just makes me listen in awe. As you can see from my snapshots below, he is truly a colorful character.

For more information on his tours, you may refer to his website http://Www.carlosceldran.com/.

Rates: PHP1,100 for adults.
PHP 600 for students. Just bring your ID. You even get a cool Rizal hat.

Below are the key tidbits I took. Do not read below if you do not want to be spoiled. :) Notes were retrieved from Celdran's tour. -- not really my thoughts
- It started with singing the Philippine national anthem.
- During the spanish era, intramuros' cross marked the center of manila. It is the 0 kilometer.
- The seal to symbolize Manila, is the same seal used by malacanang palace and smb. The lion symbolizes the four seasons, its odd because we don't have four seasons. I think its more to symbolize changing times.
- The word 'Manila' means 'my Nila', which is a small flower by the river.
- The word 'Philippines' mean 'My Chosen Land.'
- Language used for street names are derived from the colonizers' names.
- "kodac time"
- intramuros was originally made of bamboo not stones
- The reason why we cant make big intfastructures like Angkor What is because the Philippines does not have stones. We are only abundant of a type of volcanic ash rock "adobe stones"- not stable.
- The Manila cathedral got destroyed 8 times , shows the Philippines is a work in progress.
- Manila does not have oil, but is abundant of organic materials.
- The mentality during the spanish times was "to be Filipino is to be catholic"
- The spanish did not really find any good value to the Philippines, only the Americans found gold.
- The spanish friars on the other hand has different feelings. For them, language is power. Priests here didn't want to teach spanish. So we were controlled by the friar class. They manipulated the system and kept the Filipinos under the class.
- Celdran believed that theocracy was present in the Philippines for the 300 years the Spanish was here.
- The fort santiago begins only after the arch. Its quite small.
- If you read Jose Rizal's novels, he was warning us of theocracy.
- During the American era, they gave us Hollywood and education.
- Tomasian teachers were public teachers.
- Filipinos had great identity issues. But we are the 3rd largest English speaking of the world.
- We were made in America's image, and they even gave us national symbols. The masses preferred someone close compared to Jose Rizal like Andres Bonifacio or Emilio Aguinaldo. But the Americans thought Jose Rizal was the safer choice.
- Rizal's body can be found under the Rizal's monument. The americans changed kilometer 0 to rizal's monument. Thus symbolizing that our center has now shifted from churches.
- Secular happened- separation of church and state.
- We were the first in southeast Asia to have Hollywood movies and malls and PAL - airline company.
- They changed the work ethics and structures we got from the Spanish.
- We were then known to be the pearl of the orient. The decompression between chinese east and American west.
- An american bomb killed 100,000 civilians. This bomb was released by Douglas McArthur to kill the Japanese residing in Manila who were killing 70,000 civilians by sword.
- Manila's spiritual center was intramuros. Intramuros was the heart and soul of Manila. The americans focused on rebuilding Manila to its image. They left or killed intentionally its spirit. Thus after world war two hollywood won in Manila. Our soul died.
- Celdran believed that 'geography is destiny'. He believed that we are originally a mix of good things. Just like the Halo-Halo which is a FIlipino delicacy.
- Celdran ended his tour by giving the people Halo Halo. :)