My boyfriend and I do most of our traveling by foot. It is my belief that one can only get to “feel” the pulse of the place when one interacts with the locals, peer at empty alleys, and get lost among strange streets. Wherever we go, I always have the desire to walk, and walk, and walk. There are many things you’ll miss when riding a vehicle, so I’d prefer to walk.
When we went to Manila on the summer of 2012 to attend one of my bofriend’s friend’s wedding, we checked ourselves at White Knight Hotel inside the Intramuros. I have many regrets with that trip — mostly because I had limited baggage space and I opted to bring my handy Vivitar IC-100 camera and left behind my DSLR. While the Vivitar is good (as shown in these pictures), I felt that I could have taken a lot more interesting pictures with the DSLR.
The first day in Intramuros, my boyfriend and I immediately walked from our hotel, to Hidalgo Street (to check out the camera shops), passing through Jones Bridge and stopping by Sta. Cruz church, and walking back again to the hotel through MacArthur Bridge, pausing to view the grand Manila Post Office, entered the walls of Intramuros, passing by the Lyceum of the Philippines and, finally, back to our hotel. We spent about 3 hours on our feet. I wanted to join Carlos Celdran’s Intramuros tours but there was no tour scheduled the time we were there. So, we did a tour of our own.
Dan Brown said Manila is the “gates of hell.” I don’t know. I have always thought Manila, especially old Manila, was dangerous but, while doing our walking tour, I was just fascinated with everything I saw. Streets that I read in my history books, buildings I only saw in movies. I thought Manila is a city of its own. I found it charming, actually. And I only met friendly people, who helped us with directions. I could not take away the physical stench though. The city has to step up its cleaning campaign. It just reeks of urine every where.
I hope you enjoyed a short tour of Manila through my film photographs. FYI — these photos were shot using a Vivitar IC-100 camera, Kodak Pro films, and processed at Konica.