The next day we made sure to wake up early because there was a lot of things we wanted to do. We walked to Rizal Park from our hotel which was about 10 minutes. It was so nice to see this beauty considering what we saw last night. Rizal Park is one of the largest urban parks in Asia.
The park was named after Jose Rizal, a Filipino hero, who was executed by the Spanish colonial authorities and actually has his remains inside. While the Philippines was under Spanish rule, Rizal started a civic movement which advocated social reforms. He was already an enemy of the Spaniards because of a book he wrote. He was imprisoned in Fort Santiago which we also visited. Rizal was a doctor, poet, script writer and author. Most people know that the Philippines used to be a Spanish colony, which is why Filipinos have Spanish names and their language has Spanish influence.
In Rizal Park there are a lot of attractions; they have a Japanese garden, Chinese garden, golf course, children's playground, etc. We immediately saw the Chinese garden and wanted to go in. There was a very small fee, 10 Pesos ($0.27).
I thought this garden was really nice. I love seeing so much green in big cities.
This structure is called the "The Wisdom Walk" because when you walk inside there are different words of wisdom on plaques that are supposed to enlighten your life. Neat idea!
The Chinese garden was really nice and it looked like it was being maintained fairly well. But the water in the pond looked rather dirty. It's definitely worth the visit. Next we were on our way to Intramuros. It was extremely hot but we decided to walk to see more of the city. Hey look its a Jeepney! I wanted to go in one so bad, but we decided we would take one later to get the full Filipino experience.
Before we got to Intramuros we came across this place, we had no idea what it was so we decided to check it out. It's so beautiful! This place is actually called Puerta Real Gardens, it is made up of small gardens and is the remnants of a moat that used to surround Intramuros.
Ughh this place is just so beautiful! I love gardens! This is a nice photo area as well.
We climbed up the walls that looked over the golf course and took a group photo because we haven't have that many Yes, I was the only girl! At work I am the only girl, but there is other female teachers they are just for elementary kids and none of them could come on the trip.
After we just starred in awe for a bit we went back to the balcony. It overlooks a courtyard with these beautiful purple flowers and these fancy white columns.
When I looked out into the court the flowers made it look so beautiful, so of course picture time!
This is actually the entrance to the gardens. It's really cool. Here you can kind of tell it was a moat, but it was probably a lot larger than this lol. It felt really medieval, it was really cool to visit. You can't miss this if you go to Manila.
After the gardens we continued on our way to Intramuros. Intramuros was the original city of Manila in the Spanish rule. Intramuros literally means "a walled city ". These walls were a defence mechanism for the Spanish again foreign invaders. It was heavily damaged in WWII, then reconstructed in 1951 and declared a national monument.
I have a thing for colourful buildings! So pretty!
One of the most famous sights in Intramuros is San Augustin, a Cathedral. They were having mass at the time so we weren't allowed to go in and take pictures. So here are some from outside the church.
The Spanish style buildings, the horse carriage rides, how could you not think this place is amazing.
I was kind of bummed out we couldn't visit San Augustin because I saw pictures and it was definitely the most beautiful church I had ever seen. But we saw another church so we decided to go there instead. It was called Manila Cathedral (aka Basilica Immaculate Conception Cathedral).
This church is beautiful on the outside as well as the inside. But what I didn't like were the people outside trying to sell you hats and bracelets and were very persistent. They approach you when you get to the church and bombard you when you leave even though you've already said no.
Inside the church!
The picture to the left is the front doors. You're actually not allowed to use them, there is a gate preventing you to do so. On the right is a beautiful stained glass window from one of the prayer rooms.
There is a little park right in front of the church. With the trees blocking parts of the church it looked really beautiful.
The weather was about 34 Celsius, with humidity about 40. We were all drenched in sweat and starving. We had free breakfast at our hotel so we wanted to look for something to eat. We came across this Filipino restaurant, unfortunately I can't remember the name, all I know is that it was on the main street horizontal of the church past KFC. The food was soooo cheap. I ordered the Chicken Sisig, which was about 200 Pesos ($5). It was really filling and delicious.
After we were done eating, we went on to check out Fort Santiago which I will talk about in my next post.
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