One Sunday afternoon, I was given the chance to roam around the famous Walled City of Intramuros. Entrance fee is 75pesos for adults and 50pesos for children and students. A mother was in line and telling the man in the ticket booth that it was only 10pesos when she was still younger.
I was not really excited to go inside Intramuros because I left my camera. I only had my phone. But when I saw a group with Carlos Celdran talking at the middle, I got excited. I joined the group without any clue if the tour was exclusive or not for those people who were busy giggling and laughing over his lunchbox of chuckles and humour.
He was talking about the identity of Filipinos – that it is like a melting pot of various cultures, a bit of Spanish, American, Chinese, Japanese, Arab and all those that you could identify. Then, everybody participated in naming everyday items like Colgate for toothpaste, Kodak for cameras, Coke for softdrinks, among others. This was the catch – during the Spanish times, the Philippines – that is, all the streets – emanated from the Manila Cathedral. He went on to say that the Filipinos figuratively revolved around the crucifix aka the Church aka religion.
That was changed when the Americans invaded the land. The centre of the Philippines became Luneta, the Rizal Park. Kilometer-Zero was shifted to where Jose Rizal was buried (they say). Why here and not in other place? Because Rizal was made the national hero by the Philippines, along with the maya as the national bird, mango as the national fruit, nipa hut as the national house, carabao as the national animal, and others. The national symbols were made by the Americans. And by the way, Spain sold the country for $20 million to the USA, with Puerto Rico, Guam, Hawai’i and other island nations and states. According to Carlos, it was a “Buy 1, Take 5” promo from the Spanish.
It was getting dark, so I decided to call on my bestfriend slash driver (LOL) and go home. And yes, I did not forget to have a picture with Carlos (err! I requested a fellow “tourist” to take a picture through my phone, and yes, demit! He dropped my phone and Carlos said, “Ouch!”).
|The seal of San Miguel Beer is similar with that of the Republic of the Philippines. Nice trivia. That beer will never be the same again.|
|My apologies, Carlos. I have to put Kelly Misa in the picture. Too bad that I could not remember her name during the tour. Beautiful!|
|Carlos pointing to the seal on the arch of the Fort Santiago, err, St James the Killer of whatever (was it Four Moros?)|
|The students of Carlos.|
|Ang pasaway na istudyante.|