Losing a Friend Just for 2,120 Pesos

It is sad to know that one of my friends decided to break our bond just at the amount of 2,120 pesos.

Last month, a friend of mine texted me if I could lend her some cash so as to complete her money to buy a laptop. She asked for 2,000 pesos and promised to return it after three weeks. I sent her the money thru LBC and told her that she have to shoulder the 120 pesos fee. She agreed.

However, three weeks came and went but she’s still not paid with her debt. I texted her and e-mailed her in Facebook. Her cellphone number suddenly became unavailable and she is ignoring me in Facebook, even though she updates her account every single day. It is plain that she is avoiding me.

I texted her that I will move her payment if she still doesn’t have the money and I also told her that I do not want to lose my trust on her for a mere 2,120 pesos. My last communication to her fell on deaf ears.

What is 2,120 pesos for a good friendship? I am willing to write off her debt if she just say so, but this wall of silence that she placed between us gives me a signal that we are not friends anymore.

God's Reminder

I had this terrifying vision nights ago, before I fell to sleep. I had seen God, in His glory on His throne, judging the living and the dead at the end of days. The unworthy was picked out from the faithful children of God and was cast away to hell.

The following vision is that I am one of the damned. I feel so hot. I begged for just a drop of water from those people from above but they can’t give me any. (This is very much like Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus wherein the rich man was damned to hell and Lazarus went to heaven. Lazarus can’t give the rich man a drop of water, even if he want to, because there is a great barrier between heaven and hell).

I began to shiver after realizing that it was just a dream. The vision, or rather God, let me feel the terror of being sent to eternal damnation. No one should go there. I do not want to go there.

Now I am thinking that it is wrong for anyone to wish that a person should go to hell, no matter how bad they are.

Now I appreciate more the merciful act of Jesus Christ on the Calvary. He died for us so that we will not be damned to that terrible place. He loves us so much and H really cares for us so much that He offered Himself as the payment to all our sins.

I am thinking that the Lord is reminding me to turn away from my sinful ways and follow His commandments. I also care for all of you, that is why I am sharing this to all of you.

I am about to launch a new blog named Ahab Reviews and Tips where I will dispense reviews and tips based on the experiences and information I gathered in my daily life.

The Walled City of Intramuros

At last I got the chance to visit the most historical site in Metro Manila. That site, of course, is Intramuros. It is located at the heart of Manila and stores the large part of Philippine history.

Intramuros is the center of the Spanish colonial government during the time when the Philippines is under the rule of the Spanish Empire. Intramuros is both a city and a fort and is protected by thick walls made of adobe and cannons that were used to repel foreign invaders and Filipino revolutionaries. Now, Intramuros serves as the country’s largest open-air museum showcasing different relics of the past.

I visited Intramuros during my birthday, accompanied by a friend. I thought that I will tour the whole Intramuros by foot. Thankfully, a pedicab driver / tour guide offered us a ride.
View of Manila City Hall on the walls of Intramuros

Touring Inside Intramuros

A visitor of Intramuros can visit the many points of interest by walking. However, this is not recommended for those who have a limited time to tour the place. Intramuros is a big place and walking will tire you out before you enjoy the sites and the relics within the whole city.

What I recommend is that you hire a pedicab driver (note: pedicab is a bicycle with a sidecar covered from sunlight and rain) to take you to the many places in Intramuros. The pedicab driver/tour guide knows the ins and outs of Intramuros. The one we hired, for instance, is armed with a pamphlet showing the historical places within the walled city. Thus, you could rely to the pedicab driver to tour you around the place if you are not sure where to go. The pedicab driver charges 100 pesos per hour. In the end of the tour I paid him 200 pesos for the two hours of service plus a tip of 50 pesos.

Aside for the pedicab, you could also hire a “kalesa” (a horse drawn carriage) to tour you around the city, but it is more expensive than hiring a pedicab. You may also opt for a formal tour offered by established tour companies and associations in Intramuros. The formal tour offers a ride on nice kalesa (probably a model of kalesa used by the affluent during the Spanish period) and a certified tour guide. However, it is the most expensive of all the touring options in Intramuros.

Kalesa in Intramuros
A foreigner enjoying her tour on a “kalesa”

Baluarte de San Andres

Our first stop is Baluarte de San Andres. It was built in 1903 to protect the Old Real Gate (the gate facing the Manila City Hall) and reinforce the Southeastern part of Intramuros. The Baluarte suffered two major destructions; the first is during the British siege of Manila (1762) and the Battle of Manila (1945). What I like most in this site is the set of cannons that were preserved since Spanish times. I couldn’t help but imagine a scene where our Katipuneros were being bombarded by these deadly cannons.

Here are some of my pictures of the cannons in this baluarte:

On the Walls of Intramuros
Cannons of Intramuros

Puerta Real and Revellin de Real

These two places serve as a mini-museum of Intramuros. Puerta Real and Revellin de Real contain old bells, samurais and kabutos (armor of a Japanese warrior), ancient guns, small cannons and cannon balls. These ancient relics were unearthed within Intramuros. However, you could only look through the window to see these relics since entering the room holding these things is prohibited.

Old weapons in Intramuros
A room filled with cannons, guns, and helmets. The ball on the table on the lower left corner is a cannonball.
Spanish era bell in Intramuros
This is the largest of all the bells present in the room.
Samurai swords in Intramuros
Here’s the few of the samurais unearthed within Intramuros.

San Agustin Church

The San Agustin Church is one of the churches that were built inside the walled city. Unfortunately, I did not get the chance to see the altar and the other things inside the church because it was locked. Because of this, I just contented myself at looking at the beautifully engraved doors of the church.

San Agustin Church in Intramuros
The locked doors of San Agustin Church.
Chinese lions in Intramuros
Attempts to enter the church were thwarted by the threat of being eaten by the Church’s guards.

(Note: After 4 years since uploading this post, I got the chance to enter this church during our wedding preparations. Read my post about San Agustin Church. Also read about my visit to San Agustin Museum)

Manila Cathedral

The Manila Cathedral was the place where the late President Cory Aquino was interned before she was sent to her final resting place. The cathedral serves as the office of the Archbishop of Manila. Located at the heart of Intramuros, the cathedral symbolizes the importance of the Church in the Philippine society.

Manila Cathedral
The entrance to the Manila Cathedral.
Inside Manila Cathedral
Inside Manila Cathedral. The altar is too far be seen.
Door of Manila Cathedral
This is the best church door that I had ever seen.
Engravings on the doors of Manila Cathedral
Arca Salviis on Manila Cathedral door
The Church, the ship of salvation.

(Note: In other posts, I talked about the giant bells of Manila Cathedral and also its pipe organ)

Fort Santiago

Our last stop is none other than Fort Santiago. The fort is the oldest fortification in Manila and dates back to the time of Rajah Soliman. Various places could be found inside Fort Santiago like Jose Rizal’s prison cell before he was sent to his execution in Bagumbayan (now known as Rizal Park), Rizal’s last footsteps, and the Dungeons. There is also a well-maintained park with food and souvenir shops. There is an entrance fee of seventy-five (75) Philippine pesos to enter the fort.

Statue in Fort Santiago, Intramuros
If you see this iron sculpture, then you know that you are in For Santiago.
Entrance to Fort Santiago, Intramuros
This is the real entrance to Fort Santiago.
Rizal's footsteps in Intramuros
Rizal’s “footsteps”
Jose Rizal in Intramuros
I didn’t know that I am much much taller than Jose Rizal.

Other Interesting Places in Intramuros

We also saw other places inside Intramuros. Here are some of them:

Gallery of Philippine presidents in Intramuros
Gallery of Philippine Presidents.
General Douglas McArthur in Intramuros
Replica of General MacArthur and President Quezon.
Street of Intramuros
Streets of Intramuros
Big cannon in Intramuros
Guns and cannons of Intramuros
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila in Intramuros
Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, which is under renovation.