Saturday, January 31, 2009

Rediscover Intramuros

My History of Philippine Broadcasting class (one of my graduate studies’ courses) had our Intramuros exploration Sunday, January 25.

It was a modern take on viewing Intramuros, which was Manila - a growing city then comparable to those in Europe, and entry to this was only to those of Spanish blood or descent.

The trip, composed of series of explorations of texts, places, events, and artifacts aims to have a critical reflection on colonial influence on the Filipino consciousness and identity.

It was designed ala Amazing Race, though since we were only a class of five, we worked as a group, and were able to found what was asked from us:

At The Manila Cathedral premises, we were asked to find the residence of one of the three famous martyred priests;

At Fort Santiago, we found the martyr’s bones, A Christian warrior against the Muslim faith, footsteps of doom, a hero’s bed, and goodbye in many languages;

At the San Agustin Church and Museum, we found the maestro’s final resting place, tribute to the Adelantado, an artistic spectacle of visual illusion, and an ancient parchment (I was a bit nostalgic here; I visited this more than a year ago, and it was on a first date with my fiance, who was non-religious, but still marvelled - and dismayed at such wealth the Catholic church amassed);

At Casa Manila (photo taking strictly prohibited), we saw a conjugal toilet and an ilustrado refrigerator;

At the National Museum (National Gallery of the Art - strictly no photo taking also), I first laid my eyes on Juan Luna’s Spoliarium, among other exhibits (since perhaps the museum is undergoing renovation, there were exhibits that shouldn’t be housed there, being the gallery of art);

At the Museum of the Filipino People, our eyes feasted on most galleries dedicated to the San Diego Spanish galleon recovery, among other exhibits that fill the four floors of the former finance building;

I dig this kind of trip - when I was in high school, the history buff in me was boosted when I joined history quiz competitions and the likes. I must admit I knew history then merely by memorizing the dates, the events, the people, and I had no complete understanding of what really transpired then.

So, given the time, and the bodily energy, I would go for more historical trips of this kind - a day touring Intramuros is not really enough.

Here’s Intramuros from my view. Please take note the photos here were taken whenever permissible, as some areas were not allowed to be photographed. (The orientalist textual representations’ class assignment, to follow).
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