I always go to the usual spots during my previous visits to Intramuros. The spots that I never fail to visit are the Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, the canons on the walls and Fort Santiago. Most tourists go to these spots because it is the ones listed on the itineraries of tour guides and even of pedicab drivers, who double as unofficial tour guides.
I visited Intramuros again last year to run an errand for a friend. Instead of taking the usual route, I decided to enter Intramuros through the path least taken by tourists. I entered Intramuros through Magallanes Drive. This road is directly connected to Jones Bridge and stretched along the National Press Club office. Since I am walking in front of the National Press Club office, I was not surprised to see a statue of Graciano Lopez Jaena.
Graciano Lopez Jaena founded La Solidaridad, which is the newspaper used by propagandists pushing for reforms in the Philippine colonial government under Spanish rule. Being one of the propagandists and a journalist earned him the right to have a statue in front of the National Press Club office.
There is another statue on the other side of the street, just across the National Press Club office. It is the monument of Queen Isabel II, which marks Puerta Isabel II.
|Statue of Queen Isabel II|
Puerta Isabel II, which was opened on 1861, is the last gate to be built in Intramuros. The gate was part of the route of tranvia (streetcar) in the 19th Century. The statue of Queen Isabel II was originally unveiled at Plaza Arroceros. The statue was removed, stored and then placed in front of Malate Church. It was finally placed in front of Puerta Isabel II in 1975.
A short walk from Puerta Isabel II is a dilapidated building that is located near the Bureau of Immigration building. The building is called as Aduana, which acted as the Customs House during the Spanish Era. It also housed the Intendencia General de Hacienda (Central Administration), the Treasury and Casa de Moneda (Mint).
|The ruined side of Aduana.|
The building experienced numerous destruction and restoration. The last catastrophe was in 1979 when it was destroyed by fire. It was partially restored by the National Archives in 1998.
|Restored side of Aduana.|
Just near the Aduana is an interesting monument that is composed of a concrete pole that has a cross with nailed body of Christ at the top. That monument is called as the Cruceiro and is popular in Spain.
Cruceiro or wayside stone cross are monuments established Catholics in Autonomous Region of Galicia in Northwestern Spain. The Cruceiro serves as a marker for pilgrims going to Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of Saint James the Apostle are located. The wayside cross also serves as a reminder of Divine Protection and place of prayer for Catholics. The Cruceiro inside Intramuros was donated to the City of Manila in 2002.
Before I went out of Intramuros, I managed to get a snapshot of San Agustin Church.
|San Agustin Church during the evening.|
I believe that there are more things to discover inside Intramuros. All I have to do is to go to the areas that are beyond the usual routes of tourists. The Puerta Isabel II, the Cruceiro and Aduana are just few of the many things that are in store for travelers who are willing to unearth the rich history of Intramuros.
If you are a tourist and tired of the usual Intramuros spots like Fort Santiago, then I suggest that you walking to other nooks of the walled city.
Want to read more posts about Intramuros? Read my visit to San Agustin Museum. You can also read on my visit to the usual spots in Intramuros like Fort Santiago and Manila Cathedral.