Walking around Intramuros: Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral and Bacolod Chicken House

05 May 2016

This post is really a continuation of our trip from the National Museum and the Museum of Anthropology,  From these two museums, Intramuros was just a stone's throw away and I wanted to visit Fort Santiago (which was within Intramuros) so that Dana can have the chance to visit it as Dylan already had.

We tried walking until we reached the San Agustin Church.  Remember that we haven't had any lunch at all and we've already been walking around museums for about 2 hours.  I thought maybe we could sneak a trip to the San Agustin Museum despite our energy beginning to wane but when we went in, we found out that we needed to pay P200 each!! So, NO! haha I think that's way TOO expensive!  I remember when I was a kid and anyone can stroll into the Church and visit.  Now, they're charging and at exorbitant charges, NO WAY!

Anyway, it was terribly hot outside and I knew we wouldn't make it to Fort Santigao on foot so we decided to hire a pedicab/tricycle to take us to Fort Santiago.  We paid P50 for the trip.  As you can see from the map, it was still a long way off and that P50 was worth it.  The red dots are the places we visited while San Agustin is in yellow because we never really went it.

Anyway, we reached Fort Santiago, tired and hungry.  I was surprised to see that the entrance was moved.  Apparently, there was some renovation going on in one side of the grounds and sections in and around Plaza Moriones were closed off.  We paid our entrance fees:  Adults-P75, Children-P50.  Remember to ask for a map!  We took a break at the Coffee Shop at the Visitor's Center just to recharge.  By that time, we had also ran out of our water so we needed a refill.  A quick restroom break and we were ready to tackle a new adventure!

The Baluartillo de San Francisco Javier is actually where the Visitor's Center and the souvenir shops are located but adjacent to it is a tunnel that the kids immediately went into, feeling like Chihiro in Hayao Miyazaki's "Spirited Away".  It was originally "built as part of the seafront defense line of Intramuros".  This tunnel led to the Reducto de San Francisco Javier where a chapel, Our Lady of Guadalupe, is found.  The kids didn't cross to it this time because there were golfers around and they got scared :) They did enjoy climbing up and down the inclined walkway outside the tunnel.  At the top was a flat surface and the kids "hid" at one of the outposts.

 Moving further on, we stopped to take pictures with the statues at the Picnic Area.

Then we reached the moat and the grand Fort Santiago gate.

The kids were fascinated by these metal footprints on the ground.

We headed straight to the Rizal Shrine and Museum.  I was surprised when they asked for a "donation" because the last time we were there, there was no need and I thought that was what the entrance fees were for.  Hmm.. Anyway, Dana was fascinated by the exhibits on Rizal's life but conditions weren't favorable for taking pictures at the Ground Floor due to really dark lighting.  After going around the displays, we reached this photo opp section and the kids (and I!) got excited.  I couldn't prevent Dana from putting on the coat but I did insist that she lather on some rubbing alcohol after hehe

The exit of the Rizal Museum was on the 2nd Floor.  You can either go right to the Baluarte de Santa Barbara (overlooking the Pasig River) or left to the Baluarte San Miguel (overlooking the Intramuros Golf Course).  We chose to go to the Baluarte de Santa Barbara!  Oh and on the way, we passed the Rizaliana Furniture Exhibit but we didn't go in because it has a separate entrance fee of P10 (maybe next time because it was also getting late).

The kids couldn't endure more walking so we may have skipped the Memorial Cross and the display of the "My Last Farewell", Rizal's poem which he finished while he was imprisoned here.

We did take pictures at the Plaza Armas where a huge statue of Dr. Rizal stands.

We ended up passing the Dulaang Rajah Soliman which intrigued the kids because it was brick and there were a lot of mangoes lying on the ground presumably falling from the nearby trees.  For some reason, despite their fatigue, they wanted to do some jump shots on the elevated stage and failed miserably at it hahaha

Passing the picnic grounds on the way back, the kids decided to play on the seesaw.  It was interesting to note that even at around 430PM people were still coming in, both locals and foreigners alike.

Dana suggested that we pass by Manila Cathedral because she noticed some of her teachers posted photos of it on their Instagram so she wanted to visit too.  It was two blocks away but we soldiered on! :)  I thought at first they were closed because of the bars on the main doors but there's a small door on the side that's open.  I didn't notice the Pieta before and it was only now that I found out that it really is an original copy (in the sense that they used the same marble and the same mold like what they used to make the one in Italy).  Imagine that?! Wow!

Now, we're ready to go home feeling very accomplished.  We had one more stop and that was the Bacolod Chicken House.  Before we've ever heard of JT's Manukan or Mang Inasal, this was the restaurant that we used to love when you want authentic Bacolod Inasal.  I wanted the kids to taste the original.  It was kind of disappointing that the chicken was quite small and that although we wanted pecho (breast part), they were out of stock and we had to settle for the thigh part :(  It was still tasty good though :)

Going home, we had a bit of difficulty because though we wanted to ride a taxi so we can relax and rest, there was none available and even if there was, the drivers were picky.  We were lucky that an empty jeepney came to a stop and we were able to ride it all the way to Quiapo for another jeepney ride home.  We were all exhausted and we couldn't wait to put our feet up when we got home.  BUT, we couldn't stop talking about our adventure either so all in all the trip was WORTH it!! :)

I hope you guys can go on the same adventure as we did! :)