Monday, 27 August 2012

MANILA 25&26aug2012

We had a lovely weekend in Manila.we were impressed with the history.caught cheap flights with cebu air.lovely airport at Manila.Our hotel was the W hite Knight,in Intramuros.400 hundred years ago ,the spanisd built Fort Santiago,with 4.5 km of big stone walls,enclosing a 65 acre city,= I ntamuros,within the walls.I t must have been grand in its day.the americans took over in 1898.and they had their army hq there.then the japanese took over in WW2.Much of it was bombed as manila was retaken .recently it has been partially restored as a national monument.
we went to the main part of fort,which overlooks the pasig river,near the sea.macarthur said as he escaped-I will return,which he did,to help defeat japan.
this section includes the Rizal shrine.he is the philippines main hero,an intellectual,,who was for phillipino independence.He was famously executed by the spanish ,in 1896,and his last days were spent imprisoned in the fort.
we then walked the wall.an impressive wall and an impressive walk.apart from the river,the wall is mainly surrounded by an immaculate green golfcourse,creating an elegant,barrier with the modern city.some parts od wall are quite thick,with many people,mainly young students from intramuros educational facilities,doing exercise classes,relaxing,being couples.no obvious bars,.lots of armed soldiers,in period costume,so a safe place.out to a nice little restaurant near our hotel.
Awoke to soum=nd of bells of St Augustin church across the road.had breakfast at Mitre cafe,looking at st augustins.cafe has a bishop theme ,and the placemats are a photo of bishops.st augustis is the only one of 9 intramuros churches to survive WW2.It is 400 years old,UNESCO listed and has a great museum.the museum covers 2 floors,contains all sorts of religious treasures,like local wooden church carvings,statues with ivory heads and hands,colourful procession carts.upstairs gave access the choir section on mezzanine at back of cathedral-during a mass,but no choir,a good view.
casa manilla is a museum in intramuros -a restored house in same walled compound as our hotel,showing how the wealthy lived in late spanish times-lots of lovely timber,very tasteful,very nice.
caught a pedal trike to national museum.I particularly liked the burial jars ,from ayub cave,2000 tears old,with each jar top an individual face.also the room with photos of church ceilings from bohol.

late lunch at barberos again,and then it was time to catch taxi,through busy manila traffic,to airport,and fly home to haven,Just in time for sunday night buffet at yacht club.a good crowd,and a great meal.visiting manila was certainly worthwhile.

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