December 6, 2008

Intramuros Tour

Today we went on a tour of Intramuros with Carlos Celdran. Intramuros is the old walled city of Manila originally built by the Spanish in the early 16th century. Carlos has a flair for drama, passion for preserving and sharing the history and culture of his country. He has been hosting walking tours for tourists and locals alike for several years. We joined him on a morning tour he calls “If These Walls Could Talk”.

We joined the tour group at the ticket gate for Fort Santiago. The tour took us from there through Fort Santiago, to San Agustin Church, and ended at Casa Manila. Throughout the morning Carlos shared information about the city, history, people, and culture of Manila; and focused on the time period from the arrival of the Spanish in the early 16th century up to present day. Carlos' enthusiasm and passion for Filipino history and culture is the theme of all his narratives and presentations during the tour. Even when talking about the austerities and collateral damage that occurred in Manila during WWII, he is sincere and committed to showing visitors that this is an amazing city with diverse and wonderful people and a unique heritage.

Several individuals on the tour, including my husband Jonathan, were Filipinos. Jonathan mentioned several times during the morning that he was learning new facts about and gaining a fresh perspective on several different periods and events in Filipino history.

One of the themes Carlos weaves through his presentations is the origin of each different aspect of Filipino culture, cuisine, architecture, customs, and traditions. He talks about the influences of external societies and occupying forces on the indigenous heritage of the 7,107 islands that make up the Republic of the Philippines today.

Throughout the tour Carlos continually used his talents for theatrics and humor to communicate to his audience; and provide emphasis to certain historical events or details. He has a great ability to share his passion and show his enthusiasm for the city of Manila and his pride of his country, culture, and people.

I too learned a great deal and throughly enjoyed the Carlos' tour! I highly recommend it to individuals visiting Manila.

1 comment:

Judy said...

Thank you, Jess, for whisking us along on this tour with you. It is fun to hear about!