Friday, May 11, 2007

Manila, Way Back When

Showing my CouchSurfing guest Stijn what Manila looks like was as much a pleasure for me since I was fiddling with my brand new camera. After checking out San Agustin Church (there's an article about it below, before Spider-Man 3 made a splash in my blog), we headed for good old Fort Santiago. Silly me, it was just across the street from Manila Cathedral. Anyway, it was probably in Grade 3 when I went here last - it looks fairly familiar, yet enticingly new.

There were 18th century guards, ancient Spanish brick gates, and, (in)appropriately, a well-manicured golf course. Even the caretaker of the 3mx4m artillery room-cum-chapel scratched her head at the thought of the golf course. Well, at least the grass is definitely well taken care of.

The picture is a little too bright - since it was around 36C that day...

If you think the golf course was quite peculiar, then you should try the Rizal Museum. His old cell, all his writings, and photos of the women he loved; nothing was strange here, but the writings were presented in a very modern way. Etched glass, steel bars that draped from ceiling to the floor, and as an ending, the Mi Ultimo Adios written on the floor. Sure, it was a novel way of presenting his works, but for me, it was a little anachronistic. It was modern, too modern even.

The rest of the beauty of Fort Santiago seemed to have eluded me, as I was busy answering phone calls that morning. Drat. But, there was enough time to take a picture of Pasig River, and imagine the glory days of the fortress. Even one of the brazen guards spread across the grounds seemed to think so.

Contemplating the past days of the Pasig River

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