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Monday, December 22, 2014

the last Royal Postal Heritage Tour of 2014:INTRAMUROS

yesterday was the last day of the Royal Postal Heritage tour and auction by Filipinas
Stamp Collectors Club, I was at Philpost for the auction and after attending the auction
with 2 hours left til sundown, I went with a friend to Intramuros for some more history.
Intramuros has remained one of the most intact time capsules of Philippine history in
the Manila. The height of the Spanish influence and power in the country hundred of
years back still resonates in its walls and infrastructures. driving along its cobblestone
streets will take you back in time. where Manila's elite lived and walked.
My love with Intramuros and history started way back in 1989 when we are required
to go on a field trip to Fort Santiago, I was still in my 4th yr high school. and  I
developed a fascination with Philippine history, right there.
and with a trip to the San Agustin Church back at my brother's wedding day. I started
to get curious with our Spanish past, with Lawrence's Postal Heritage tour, I got the
chance to visit Intramuros again, and Now, before the year ends, I decided to visit
Intramuros again.

Casa Manila is located just across the street from San Agustin Church. The structure
stays true to the colonial architecture of its time. photography is not allowed inside guards
are on stand by to watch over you, we have been lucky that there is a tour guide
explaining each room inside and I got to learn something from him that day, since
photography is not allowed, I didnt take his picture. ticket price is 100.00, but the place
is also for rent for 12k for 6 hours with 3k per succeeding hour if you will have your
wedding reception,  its worth it. just click on the video to have a glimpse of whats
outside casa manila.


One of the main attractions is the stone courtyard located at the heart of the
building. Several Filipino films have shot their scenes here. Next is the Casa Manila,
a museum that serves as a replica of colonial residences of the elite society. go
downstairs and there’s a fine dining restaurant called Barbara’s which serves excellent
Filipino cuisine topped with an ambiance of pure elegance.

30 mins before 6pm, I decided to go cross San Agustin Church because it will be my first
time to go to Father Blanco's Garden. (the first time was during my brother's wedding)
San Agustin Church is a Roman Catholic church under the auspices of  the Order of
St. Augustine, located inside the old walled city of Intramuros  Manila. Completed in
1607, its the oldest church still standing in the Philippines. No other surviving building
in the Philippines has been claimed to pre-date San Agustin Church.

In 1993, San Agustin Church was one of four Philippine churches constructed during the
Spanish colonial period to be designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO , as a
classification: “Baroque Churches of the Philippines”. It had been named a National
Historical Landmark in 2011.

its not that beautiful outside, but inside It’s a grand masterpiece, the only church in
Manila I know that has a huge garden and a museum in one. not just a place of worship.
being one of the oldest and most revered churches in the Philippines,  its sheer size and
ornate details of its architecture are enough indication that a lot of money was spent on it.
Massive wooden doors in the entrance are decorated with intricate carvings while the
interior resonate Baroque influences.

The ceiling and walls are covered in a magnificent murals.  The aisle is lined with
14 chapels complete with wooden confessionals and on the right side facing the altar
you will see an exquisite pulpit.

Many people are also interred there, including conquistadors Miguel Lopez de Legaspi
and Juan de Salcedo, the Zobels, Juan Luna.

Adjacent to the church is the museum, which used to be a monastery. Artifacts dating
back to the Spanish colonization are showcased here and there is also a columbarium
where some of the famous Filipinos are interred.

My favourite part of the museum is the garden that most people overlook when
ouring inside. It’s a simple garden with a backdrop of rolling grass, a pretty fountain
and an old brick wall that completes the romantic garden of Fathewr Blanco.

this concludes my last Postal heritage tour for the yr 2014.

pic by Joven Tabamo

credits to Joven Tabamo for this pic

thanks Lawrence for organizing the Royal Postage Heritage tour, with this tour Ive
met a lot of new friends who share the same likes and hobby as mine.
more tours to come next yr.

Merry Christmas!

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