These photos were taken in February last year.
Intramuros, Manila’s “walled city” was built in the 1500s. It is home to government offices, churches and schools. The San Juan de Letran which Jose Rizal attended is one of them. The Mapua Institute of Technology which stands behind an old fortress wall is working its way towards becoming a university. Last I heard–from alumni–it will be renamed Malayan. Traditionally known for its engineering programs, Mapua has expanded and now offers a variety of courses including Business Administration, Nursing, Hotel and Restaurant Management and Psychology.
Across the street from the Mapua campus is an old fortress wall. Parts of it have been converted to commercial establishments. Behind the green awning in the photo are eateries that cater to students. According to a friend, a Mapua alumnus who was with me when I took these photos, this street is crowded on schooldays. It’s pratically deserted on a Sunday afternoon though.
Above the wall in the previous photo is a large open space which, again according to my friend, is a favorite rendesvouz among young people after the sun goes down. It was early afternoon when I took these photos and there weren’t any young lovers in sight. There was the old canon though. And those stones are more than 500 years old.
The tower clock of the Manila City Hall. Been searching for information on who the designer is, and who the architect of the original building is, but I have been unable to find anything. The National Center for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) website has some interesting trivia though.
Done in the 1930s, the Manila City Hall is a clear landmark of Manila, but what makes the visit to it much more interesting, if one does not know it yet, is that it is home to the murals of Carlos “Botong” Francisco, another National Artist for Visual Arts, in the anteroom of the Mayor’s Office. If Michelangelo had the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling as the largest display space for his genius, Botong has Manila City Hall as his. This mural of many parts is considered by many as his obra maestra. capturing a visual history of the City of Manila and the country, executed in the lyrical and heroic style that was to start a “school” later after his death in 1969. [NCCA website]
One of the many old houses that still stand in Intramuros. Many of them, considered heritage sites in accordance with an international World Heritage program by the General Conference of UNESCO on 16 November 1972, have been converted to restaurants and shops that cater to tourists.