Archive for the ‘Philippines’ Category

It was a very beautiful Saturday morning when we planned to have a trip to Intramuros. It is an hour away from Metro Manila were the center of business and modern living are in. The last time I had been in this old city was 15 years ago, so I’m really excited about it.

Intramuros comes from a Latin phrase “within the walls” because it is surrounded by old brick walls to protect the city during the Spanish colonization. Its main purpose is to provide a defense mechanism during the war against the Japanese during the second world war. After the war, it has been reconstructed in 1951. Outside these walls are called “extramuros”.

As we entered the main gate of Intramuros, you will feel a different ambiance. A feeling like you are time travelling from future to old Hispanic times where you can see old brick walls and roads, horses with carriage, a man wearing this old-fashioned guard costume to guide the tourist.

Fort Santiago is our first destination inside Intramuros. As we stepped out of the cab, the front gate is rich in scenic natural heritage with vendors selling souvenir items that you can bring along inside the park and a tour guide that will offer you to take you around the city using a carriage. After we paid the entrance fee, we decided to take a walk instead of renting a carriage and a tour guide. It is more fun to walk around on your own.



Fort Santiago or Fuerte de Santiago (Spanish) was named after the patron saint of Spain Saint James the Great. Jose Rizal, our national hero, was imprisoned before he is executed in 1896.

We’ve seen different foreign visitors like Koreans have been accompanied by their tour guide explaining the historical background of the place and took pictures behind the ancient walls. The main gate of Fort Santiago is about a kilometer away from the entrance so you will enjoy the beautiful gardens along your way with statues and fountains.

Each landmark has their own description describing the scenes that had happened in the place. We’ve seen how they preserved the place. The main gate of Fort Santiago was reconstructed after World War II and it’s been called a Shrine of Freedom because of the heroism of the Filipinos in the war against Japan.


As we walked inside the Fort, we saw the bronze footsteps of Jose Rizal as the final walk of his life from his cell to Luneta which is the location of the actual execution. Some of the historical landmarks have been used for picnics, theater acts and as a promenade.

Other attractions that have been preserved are the prison dungeons, where Spanish officials have been used for criminals. The Jose Rizal museum where his artifacts have been preserved.


Outside Fort Santiago are souvenir shops where you can buy native collections made from bamboo, abaca and coconut perfectly handmade by the natives.

Churches in Intramuros have a great impact in the history. Manila Cathedral is under reconstruction for 2 years, so they held mass in another historical church San Agustin which has been established 440 years ago. It is 5 minutes away from Manila Cathedral.

A wedding ceremony has been held when we arrived at the church. We also spotted some tourist who wants to see the old museum. The church came to a monastery built in 1586 designed by Juan Marcias. The San Agustin Museum charges 100 pesos for adult and 80 pesos for seniors and 50 pesos for children. You will be fascinated by huge old paintings, stone and wood carvings, old wooden organ and other artifacts. It took us an hour to explore the whole church museum.



It is truly a rewarding experience to explore Intramuros. It is highly recommended for tourists to visit which inexpensive and for field trips it is very educational. We end up eating Filipino dish when we got back to the city. It is indeed a wonderful experience.


First of all, we would like to thank all people who pray for our country, Phillipines. We all know that this is the strongest typhoon ever recorded and one of the deadliest natural calamity in history.


Infrastructures and farmlands have been destroyed. Over 10 million people in 49 provinces have been affected. Some have risked their lives to help one another to get through the storm. They feel that they’re going to die at that moment. Even reporters from different sections and countries have witnessed the calamity to deliver the news all around the world.

Humanitarian partners helped one another to support our government to check the status of the area. United Nations funded $25 million for the relief operations. More stories here.

Other nations pledged aid to support the Philippine government for the relief operations. More reports courtesy of CNN.

Sadly, during the disaster, reading news, blogs and comments from people crushed our hearts because our nation has been insulted by few people.


source: facebook

Blog post by Jim Solouki:

However, I admired those people who’ve been there for us. People from the United Nations, US, Japan, Australia, Canada ,United Kingdom, China, UAE and other European countries for helping our Filipino people to get through this tragedy. You’ve become a blessing to us.

God bless Philippines!

8:45 A.M. Manila Time – Everyone is preparing for another threat. My family lives in Bicol Region and I’m really worried about the incoming danger to my parents.

Recently, parts of the Visayas Region particularly  Cebu, Bohol and Leyte Province have been devastated by an Earthquake magnitude 7.

Super Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ already landed Philippine Area of Responsibility yesterday November 6 at 8pm located East of Surigao Del Sur with maximum winds of 195 Kph and gustiness of 230 kph.

Public storm warning signal no. 1 in some parts of Visayas and Mindanao Region.

According to DOST (Department of Science and Technology), this typhoon can rip the house roof and can uproot trees. It is expected that the super typhoon will completely land in Eastern Samar- Leyte and Bicol Region tonight and the storm signal warnings will rise to number 4. Meaning we will be experiencing very strong winds.

Some areas already conducted forced evacuation especially in the areas near the coastline. They also prepared rescue plans to prepare the impact. They also advised precautionary measures to the local towns. Classes are already suspended. It is better to be prepared.

For private offices like call centers, business as usual. However, they are providing assistance offering shuttle service, free food at their pantry and the quiet lounge are always ready in case they will be prohibited to go out of the vicinity.

We ask for your prayers to overcome this threat. Stay safe!Imageolan