Fort Santiago in Manila - Philippines
Fort Santiago. A long time ago, in the time when Spaniard conquistadores ruled the Philippines in the 1800s, the name incited great fear among the indios or natives of the Philippine islands. The Walled City of Manila, or Intramuros, was a formidable military fortress that guarded the entrance to the Manila Bay, and being incarcerated there for rebellion or any seditious acts was almost tantamount to death itself. The American and Japanese invaders also ruthlessly used this fortress in their times. That was before World War II.
Today, year 2009. Fort Santiago does not inspire fear anymore among the inhabitants of the islands, even among those in Manila. It is now a favorite tourist destination even among the locals, never mind if they have visited the Walled City of Manila several times before. Fort Santiago in Intramuros is among few spots in the Philippines where Spanish culture and architecture are preserved to keep people reminded of the grandeur of the Spanish era in the country.
Fort Santiago, still the most popular fort in Intramuros, houses several important artifacts and areas which had direct roles in World War I and in the life of Dr, Jose Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines. Intramuros is still popular among folks and tourists as the Walled City of Manila, and together with Fort Santiago is located in the vicinity of the Rizal Park in Ermita. A side road from the Manila Cathedral, a centuries old church set up by Friars in Manila, leads straight to Fort Santiago.
Lots of Pier public jeeps pass by this side road and the Manila Cathedral coming from Taft Avenue, Quiapo Church, Sta. Cruz in Manila, and at Lawton District near the Post Office of the Philippines. Intramuros is also accessible from Quezon City, Pasay, and the outskirt of Manila by simply riding any public jeep marked Pier or South Pier. Dont look for jeep signs that say Walled City of Manila, or Intramuros, or even Fort Santiago.
To thoroughly enjoy a trip to Fort Santiago in Intramuros or the Walled City of Manila, a family needs to have at least P1000, and single persons about P350 each, including fare. Theres a minimal entrance fee each head and Calesa rides with embellished carts and horses reminiscent of the Spanish times in th ePhilippines are available to take visitors to a relaxed and convenient tour around the place.
See a replica of the Rizal Mansion in Calamba, the life story and equipments of Rizal, paintings, books, furnishings, bullet-riddled portions of Intramuros or the Walled City of Manila, dungeons, jails, and a breath-taking view of Pasig River, among other things.