A Summer's Day At Intramuros
My friends and I wanted to travel the country together, but maybe one step at a time. The furthest we could go now is mostly a walk in the city among the popular tourist destinations. What kind of travelers are we if we don't even pay visits to our country's own hot spots? So Arrah and I walked inside Intramuros even if it was a hot summer's day.
Something to note: it's a summer's day. Heat is my number 1 enemy. I do not fare well under extreme heat due to my quick sweat response. Eww, TMI, but considering the factors, I'd say that what we did today is considered an achievement of sorts for me! Yay, heat resistance! It also helps that even under this heat, my patience is strong enough to avoid being mean to the pesky offers from questionable tourist guides.
San Agustin Church
Our first stop was the San Agustin Church. The last time I was here, it was for a photography project for a majors class. Now I finally got to visit this place for leisure and to take photos again. This time, I'm using Canon EOS M10 instead of a dSLR. I preferred a compact mirrorless because I'm not a pro photog and I like to keep my bag light. It produces the same quality, and sometimes better, so all the more reason to buy it!
After taking photos, we headed to the museum part of the church. The actual church was closed due to some cleaning, so we weren't able to get a nice shot inside. Other rooms inside the church were also under renovation. I understood why so–most of the show rooms started to have glass doors and air conditioning. It's probably thanks to the wealthy sponsors who had placards placed over each room with something about love. You'd read something like "love for art", "love for science", etc. But I'm thankful there was air conditioning, because at least I don't look like I came out of hell when I'm supposed to visit a church.
Bambikes and the streets of Intra
One thing I'm very proud of my own country is this invention–a bike made out of bamboos. It's even called Bambikes! These seem fun to try but we were pretty hungry so we opted out. You can walk in and book a tour or make some reservations online. The shop it's from also sells bamboo-made merchandise such as sunglasses!
Spotted: a fancy mural in Intramuros. A good background indicates it's my time to shine.
Ristorante delle Mitre
Under the harsh noon sun and the summer climate, we got really hungry. We were willing to eat anywhere at that point, as long as the place wasn't sus or tryna poison us. Eventually we found a restaurant called Ristorante delle Mitre, which was just beside the CBCP headquarters. The exterior of the restaurant is so fancy, as every building in Intramuros ever is! Unfortunately I wasn't able to take a photo of it because of the heat and my hunger.
The menu is your typical Filipino restaurant that serves both local and Western meals. But what makes Ristorante a feat is how they name their dishes. They're near CBCP after all, so they named their dishes after priests and monsignors! That's the first time I've encountered a restaurant naming their dishes after bishops! Go ahead and see the menu for yourself.
Arrah and I both got pasta meals and ordered pizza for the two of us. While waiting, we had faux-toshoots. (Fun fact: I removed some photobombs from my photo, and if you have an eye for Photoshop, you'll know.) We both finished only half of the pizza so Arrah took the rest home since I have some leftover pizza back at home already.
Manila Cathedral & Fort Santiago
After our meal, we decided to head to Fort Santiago for our final stop. Along the way, however, were two things: the tour guides who'd pester–I mean give you offers as you walk, and Manila Cathedral.
I've never been inside Manila Cathedral before so we bore with the crazy heat and walked across the pavement. Lots of tourists were there as well. Turns out there was a wedding going on! Unlike San Agustin, this beautiful church does not have air conditioning so I pity the poor wedding guests. I hope their setting sprays were strong enough to last until the reception!
Once we marveled and took enough photos of the church, we headed to Fort Santiago. Word of advice: it's pretty near but walking under the heat felt like it was that far. As soon as we got there, we played "The Floor is Lava" with places that the sun shone on. Simply put, we looked for the best place that offered a decent shade. One part of the barricade–right across the golf course–had lots of trees. Later, we sat there and watched as a couple of high schoolers were shooting their school project. Ah, the memories.
Once we've cooled down, we headed towards the dining area to get ourselves some water and snacks. I had pinipig ice cream and oh boy did it melt so fast... Luckily I ate most of it so my money wasn't wasted. :) We also explored a cute souvenir shop beside the dining area.
Our tour ended. Arrah had to leave for a work event and I had to do some art material shopping for my Mother's Day gift. This was a fun day to end my last week at work. I was having a difficult time since getting sick and had other bad moments I wanted to forget, but good memories like these made up for it.