our friend, bryan ocampo, is part of the mabuhay guides, a group of pinoys who have been trained intensively in the art of tour guiding in the philippines. he offered to take us on a free tour of intramuros last saturday, and what ensued was a fun and interesting morning filled with rizal trivia and other philippine historical info.
our first stop for the day was fort santiago, and while i've been there a number of times, that day was my first time to enter the rizal shrine. it's a museum that houses plenty of rizal artifacts, including photographs, paintings of rizal, and even rizal's vertebra (strange, right?). my favorite area was the staircase, which doubled as a gallery of paintings of rizal as portrayed by different artists.
san agustin church was closed for lunch, so bry took us on a tour of casa manila first. no photography allowed, and i wouldn't have been able to take anyway, because bry was sharing plenty of interesting details, including the placement of the rooms, the little details in each room, how the room you're entertained in by the head of the house signifies his relationship with you. having a guide with you really changes the entire experience. the displays take on a lot more meaning.
after casa manila, we had lunch at barbara's, and went back to san agustin. we entered the church, and learned about the architecture. bry then took us to the different exhibitions in the museum, pausing to expound on an artifact or two. it's funny, i've been to the san agustin crypt a number of times, but if bry (and susie) hadn't pointed it out to me, i would never have known that THE juan luna's remains are in that crypt.
now, i didn't tell you what i learned exactly, because that would be giving it away. :) if you want to learn what i learned, the best way to do so is to go on a tour yourself. so why not contact bryan ocampo to find out more about our history?
see more photos of our intramuros tour.