Sunday, November 6, 2011

Walk This Way: My Intramuros Experience with Carlos Celdran

My favorite subject in school next to English was History. Whether it was Philippine history, Asian history or World history I really enjoyed learning about the past. In fact, back in high school, I was always Best in History for four straight quarters.

I've always thought that the Philippines' history has been a very interesting and colorful one. I remember taking a trip to Intramuros when I was still a student, exploring Fort Santiago and imagining the old city of Manila during the time of the Spaniards reign and when our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal was still alive and locked up. And no matter how many times I've taken a trip in Intramuros, I never get tired of re-learning our history.

So imagine my delight to find out about Carlos Celdran, a man who gives historical tours in Intramuros for Filipinos and tourists alike complete with theatrics. I think it was back in 2006 when I first read about him and ever since I've been wanting to experience his tour for myself. It's taken me this long, (hello 2011!) to actually get around to it. It's all thanks to When in Manila and my friend, Ryan, who got the assignment and was kind enough to make me his plus one (after much begging hahaha)



It was a sunny day when I made my way to Intramuros but as soon as Ryan and I got to Fort Santiago, it became an overcast sky. Luckily it didn't rain. 






The man himself, Carlos Celdran, in the flesh. I was so excited to meet him. Haha.





Getting a little story telling done by Carlos. I love the little trivia he gave during the tour. I truly didn't know the famous General MacArthur's Leyte Landing photo was taken thrice! Carlos makes history a whole lot more fun to learn I tell you that because aside from learning history while walking in and along the historic walls of Intramuros, there's background music playing while you do so and of course there's the entertainment factor brought about by Carlos Celdran and his theatrics. 




Picture souvenirs to remember our little trip to Intramuros at Carlos Celdran's Walk This Way. (",) 




That's Ryan inside the calesa that took us to the other side of Intramuros where we saw the old Ateneo de Manila and St. Ignatius Cathedral...or what's left of them. That was his first time to ever ride a calesa. 


A view of the Ilog Pasig. You know what I noticed? The river doesn't stink anymore. Kudos to the Clean Up Pasig project of Mrs. Gina Lopez. Hopefully in the near future the river will become as beautiful as it had been during the Spaniards time in Manila and we can all take a bangka ride... Yes, I do mean bangka, not the airconditioned ferry. 




The ruins of Ateneo de Manila and St. Ignatius Cathedral after the bombing incident of World War II. 



Our tour ended with Carlos giving us all free halo-halo for snacks. Why halo-halo? There's a story on this. Carlos compared us Filipinos to halo-halo. Why? Well because we're a mix race. We come from the lines of Chinese, Malay, Spaniards, Americans and Japanese. And our culture is a mix of these races. Our procrastination habit - Spaniards. Our love for Coke - Americans... 

It was a really great experience overall. Would I have tried it if I didn't get to go for free? Yes. It's quite expensive - Php1,100 for adults, but if you love history like me, I would still go. It's worth it folks. I've an assignment for When in Manila too similar to this - I'll be going on the Livin' La Vida Imelda tour on the 19th! Yey! I'm so excited! I'm taking a picture with Carlos Celdran on my next trip.