Friday, May 01, 2015

ROADTRiP | Intramuros - The Walled City

Happy Labor Day! 

On this meaningful occasion for us, workers, allow me to share with you one of my many dreams and perhaps my motivation to slave so I can one day achieve them all. *wink* 

My desire is to travel to distant, historic places. Visit medieval castles in Europe -- walk inside the home of Vladimir the Impaler, follow the trail to Donnattar Castle or feel the stone walls of the Hever palace. I've been wanting to see the Valley of the Kings, the Nazca lines, Machu Picchu, the Mayan Aztec Temples... There's just a lot to write down here!!

History fascinates me. I love to find answers to questions and know how things came to what they are. Who wouldn't want to know the story behind Pumapunku? It's thrilling and mind boggling at the same time. History is knowledge and knowledge can be powerful, don't you think?

While I still work on my dreams, what better place to start than home. Here's an  untold adventure of the time I played tourist in my own city and went to the historic Intramuros - also known as The Walled City.

Coordinated with this black wall
The Spaniards influenced much of our culture being colonized for 300 years. Even my surname, Suarez, is a common Spanish last name. I'll no longer mention the struggles our ancestors have during this period. Let's just say that our history is painful yet victorious.

With my sister, brother-in-law and 2 friends, I get to drive to the oldest district of Manila, Intramuros. A 64-hectare stone citadel, it was the "seat of government when the Philippines was a component realm of Spanish Empire" (Wikipedia). These defensive walls were constructed by the Spanish Empire in the 16th century. Only the Spanish elite and mestizos were permitted to live inside this fortress. All the entrances and gates were locked down at night during that time.

This is the only Manila district were old Spanish-era structures were retained. Intramuros is a picture of how the city was like during the Spanish colonization. Walking through the cobbled stones was such a rush, and uhm... a challenge. Challenge because I wasn't wearing the right shoes! Haha. I've stumbled many times much to my friends' amusement.

At present, Intramuros has been spruced up. But the old walls, streets, churches and gates were left untouched by modernization. The restaurants and cafes here feature an atmosphere like no other. I so love the feel of as if you've gone back in time. 

We dined at a restaurant called "Ilustrado". The name refers to the educated, well-traveled Filipino elites during the Spanish era. The restaurant's design was well themed. I enjoyed the old world interiors! Not only that, the food was amazing! They offer "exotic, cosmopolitan and neo-classic flavors of international and Filipino cuisine." But it's their Sampaguita ice cream that I loved the best. Sampaguita is the Philippines' National Flower. Yes!! An ice cream flavored after a flower! The taste is sumptuously different! 

Puerta Del Parian: One of the 8 entrances of Intramuros
One of the eight drawbridges
The original stones that make the bridge
There were guardia civils all over here more than a hundred years ago..

Muralla - Defensive wall
Antique shop
Cobbled stones and these insanely high pumps.. not a good idea.
Dining at the Illustrado
Oh, yum, yum, yum!
My Aussie brother-in-law and my older sister!
With friends
Sissy and I
Walk this way!
Outfit Details:

Kimono - Forever 21
Sunnies - Mango
Shorts - (not seen in photos) Thrifted
Tank Top - Thrifted
Purse - Forever 21
Suede Pumps - Forever 21


Discovering hidden secrets in my country has been a blast. There is so much to see! I haven't even been to the 8 museums inside Intramuros. I guess another adventure is on the list. Have you been to any historical sites lately? I would love to hear them! Please share your stories or comments below. I love you all!

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