I had so many plans for the morning, but couldn’t do any because of my jetlag. Mark and I were meeting my parents for brunch at 12:00 at my dad’s favourite Chinese restaurant in Manila. David’s Tea House at Greenbelt 1 was just across the street from our hotel and serves very nice dim sum. I haven’t had any Filipino cuisine yet, but I think it’s a good thing to take advantage of the great international restaurants in Manila before heading to the provinces where they might only serve Filipino cuisine.
My cousins picked us up after brunch and took us to Intramuros for a tour on Filipino history by Carlos Celdran. We made a quick stop at Rizal Park (or Lunetta Park) to take a look at the statue of national hero José Rizal.
Intramuros is known as the walled city (intra = between, muros = walls) in Manila. After conquering the Muslim rulers of Maynilad, Spaniard Miguel López de Legazpi built the fort in 1571. We took the ‘Walk This Way’-tour with Carlos Celdran who humorously explains how Manila came to be as it is now. I especially loved the black humor and explosive outbreaks. I don’t want to give anything away about the tour itself, but I do want to say that I really enjoyed ‘the show’ and found the information very educational. Manila is so often not understood by tourists and I can’t blame them, but this tour will help realise why Manila is not the pretty and beautiful city it used to be. Sites we visited during the tour were Fort Santiago and San Augustin Church. The tour included a ride on a peddalbike or kalesa (horse-drawn carriage), but as our driver said: ‘don’t forget the driver please, po’ (which is a nice way to ask for some tip).
This tour is highly recommended if you ever visit Manila durig your travels.
Tomorrow we make a daytrip to Tagaytay to hike Taal Volcano and then we’ll have dinner with my family 🙂 Can’t wait!