Over 710 islands make up the Philippines, the population of 104 million people live on only on eleven of them. The life expectancy of males is just 65. The sun was shining when I landed at the airport and this was the only I time I saw it for the next couple of days.
Torrential rain does interfere with seeing the sights, there was a raised, covered walkway, that provided shelter from the rain so I was able to explore the area around my hotel. I came across this small park near a shopping mall.
When the rain did stop I ventured further into the city, to the Intramuros district which sits on the banks of the Pasig River. It was once the most exclusive district in Manila, high walls protected upscale homes, government buildings, churches, schools, and plazas. Little is left now due to extensive damage in Second World War.
My guide book describes Fort Santiago as ‘Intramuros’ premier tourist attraction’, I didn’t think much of it really, I photographed what is here. The fort is also the place of the Rizel Shrine Museum, Dr. Jose Rizal, is one of the Philippines most revered people, he was executed by a firing squad, at Fort Santiago, by the Spanish Colonial Government in 1896, for the crime of rebellion, aged just 36.
The Plaza de Mexico is an historic square, where in 1964 a monument was erected, to commemorate the 4th centenary of the expedition of Miguel López de Legazpi and Andres de Urdaneta from New Spain (Mexico) and the historic Manila-Acapulco galleon trade relations between Mexico and the Philippines, which lasted 250 years. The seated statue is of Adolfo López Mateos, the President of Mexico who visited the city in 1962.
An elevated part of the fort provides views of the city.
I went on the city metro to get to Intramuros, and this was an interesting experience. It was really cheap and easy to use, there were armed guards on all the trains and at the stations, and the women only carriages also had armed women guards too. Whilst on the subject of armed humans, the hotel, walkways, and shopping malls all had armed security guards. I didn’t like the vibe in the city at all so I was pleased to be moving on to the island of Boracay.