My first visit to Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila was in elementary. I guess I was in grade 3 or 4 when my best friend and I went to this place to represent our school in an on-the-spot poster-making contest. I remember drawing the gate of Fort Santiago. I also remember that there was a train nearby and that I was able to see the cell of Philippine National Hero Jose Rizal. I also remember that there are so many tourists (foreigners) on the grounds of Fort Santiago and that we’re playing habulan with my classmates.
My second visit to this historical place happened just recently. It’s a great feeling to be back in this place. The train is no longer there but there was a magnificent fountain located at the center of the park. There are also a lot of souvenir-shops present just near the entrance. There’s an entrance fee by the way and I can’t recall if it was P70 or P90. It’s worth paying this amount for the tranquility and feeling of being in the past when you visit this place.
I also notice that there’s a new Bamboo Park inside Fort Santiago. It’s very similar to the Chinese Garden of Rizal Park only smaller. There are some species of bamboos present but not the huge species that I’m familiar with. I adore places like these.
I also notice that Dr. Jose Rizal has a new monument made of a black stone material. It’s located besides the Rizal Shrine which opens in the afternoon. I was there at Fort Santiago before lunch so I wasn’t able to see the place.
Fort Santiago is also located besides the river and you’ll have a magnificent view from the battery of Santa Barbara (the highest point in Fort Santiago). There were some Koreans present in Fort Santiago and I was able to take pictures of them as well.
Let me share with you the pictures I took of this fabulous place. If you’re living in Metro Manila and you haven’t been here, you’re missing a lot.
Intramuros Visitors Center
Baluartillo de San Francisco Javier
Ruins (of an American Barracks)
Fountain at the middle of Plaza Moriones
Gomburza and another priest
Picnic Area and Playground