house = museum

Casa Manila Museum
General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila

They call it Casa Manila, which translates “Manila House”. Okay, everybody can figure that out. One might not know yet, however, that this “house” is actually a museum- one that is set-up in a way that the spirit of a colonial aristocratic Manila house would be captured. Complete with guest rooms, a dirty kitchen and a modest courtyard, the museum comes to life with valuable antiques from private collections.

Houses do tell a lot about the people who reside them. This house, albeit artificial, tells us more than individual personalities. Its entrance is essentially a warp zone that transports us to a certain era in a certain city’s history. If the restored walls of Intramuros and its old feel previewed colonial Manila’s facade. Casa Manila will show something more intimate, more personal.

This is the side that faces San Agustin’s patio.  Casa Manila entrance is on another side. I do not remember the fees anymore but it’s pretty cheap for such a showcase. I do not remember student discounts. The last time I’ve been in was around 2005 or 06. Photography is allowed in the courtyard only, where there is an adjacent snack bar of sorts.

a new post in ages

San Agustin Catholic Church
General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila

Around Metro Manila is back. I have been thinking about writing a January 1 post containing nice meeting you all’s, thank you’s and farewells. Keeping a photoblog is not hard. But making sure something interesting enough goes up daily is a pain. And that’s why I have a tremendous respect for CDP bloggers and other non-CDP affiliated bloggers who do similar stuff. I have decided to give it another shot.

I’m coming back to this location, San Agustin Catholic Church, because this is where Around Metro Manila started.


Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Postigo corner General Luna, Intramuros, Manila

December 8 is the feast day of the Immaculate Conception. IC the patroness of the seat of the Archdiocese of Manila, and also of the entire Philippine Archipelago. It’s a big day usually for Catholic schools but I’m not sure if there are entire towns that celebrate this day. Unlike other major Catholic or religious holidays, this celebration isn’t considered a national holiday.

We have very few religious national holidays- Christmas- season starts, as they say, as early as September, decoration starts after halloween, Holy Friday to Easter Sunday- the commemoration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and Eid ul-Fitr, festivity at the end of Ramadan. The Christian holidays have been observed for ages, as the Philippines contains a Christian majority. Eid ul-Fitr is a Muslim holiday. Its celebration had only been enacted into law as a national holiday in 2002, in recognizing the other major religion of the nation which is Islam, and for better understanding among Filipinos.


Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Postigo corner General Luna, Intramuros, Manila

One of the many colorful stained glass art in Manila Cathedral’s windows. They say these are instruments of educating Catholic beliefs and practices to the faithful. If this specific picture is trying to say something, what could that something be? If language and art- texts are truly independent from what they represent, how does this manipulation affect the actual message it is trying to deliver?

holy container

Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Postigo corner General Luna, Intramuros, Manila

This angel carries lots of holy water for the faithful who just love dipping their fingers into enchanted and miraculous things. Aside from it possibly turning into a miniature Ganges River by afternoon, holy water is harmless.

hello hello

palacio grande

a cochero
Anda Street, Intramuros, Manila

It used to be the primary mode of transportation here like everywhere else. Now it’s just a tourist thing. Fare can be expensive but if you want to have a quick look in the old Walled City that is Intramuros and you are without any idea where to start, these carriages or calesas may be a good idea.

At the back of the photo is Palacio Grade.

convent turned museum

San Agustin Museum and Catholic Church
General Luna Street, Intramuros, Manila

It used to be a convent. Now it houses one of the richest museums in the old district of Intramuros. The peach colored church at the left of the photograph is San Agustin Museum, the oldest standing Catholic church in the Philippines, one of the 4 Philippine baroque churches inscribed in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list, and one of the most beautiful churches is Metro Manila. Beauty is relative but this one, especially its interiors is easily within everyone’s top 5 in Metro Manila- making it a top choice for grand weddings.

Intramuros may be a bit touristy but a visit at San Agustin Museum is worth the effort.

latin 101

Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
Postigo corner General Luna, Intramuros, Manila

This is what’s on the primary door of the Catholic cathedral. I had Latin subjects back in high school but I’ve no clue what this means. I see pronoun forms, conjugated decipherable words absorbed by english, ac- I’ve no no idea. Maybe the answer is with Google. But I’m not in the mood for it today.