Foot Trip, Food Trip: The Fort and Mall Round | Sunday Club Best

What else could you do on a Sunday?

Follow the Pied Piper of Manila

It was Kelvin’s idea to book slots for a walking tour by Carlos Celdran. And he didn’t have to sell the idea to us. We were already sold to it even before he brought it up with us.

The Pied Piper of Manila, Carlos Celdran
The Pied Piper of Manila, Carlos Celdran

Mr. Celdran was nothing less than entertaining, with his pockets full of flowers and his change of hats. Kelvin, our group historian, took away interesting perspectives from the two hours we spent with our Chocnut-loving guide. What did we learn from that afternoon at Fort Santiago?

  1. Fort Santiago is actually smaller than you think. It begins where you see the crest of the king and ends at the bamboo growth, which is just a few meters away.
  2. The fort is small because of the size of the population then.
  3. Manila and by extension the rest of the Philippines was more for the Pope than it was for the King of Spain; this was displayed through size: Fort Santiago is only two stories high while Manila Cathedral is eight.
  4. Strategically, the Spaniards placed the Chinese just across the Pasig River for this reason: if ever they did anything disagreeable, they could be easily quelled with the canons. The Chinese could reply in kind because they had gunpowder. And it happened many times.
  5. Intramuros is the heart of Manila. During the Spanish regime, it was kilometer zero. It was only changed when the Americans took over, proclaimed Rizal as our National Hero, and had a monument made.
  6. Japanese massacred about 70 million Filipinos in Manila during WWII.
  7. Manila was bombed because of Gen. Douglas McArthur’s poor choice of tactic. The bomb destroyed Intramuros, the heart of Manila. Without the heart, the body suffered.
  8. The Americans – through their congress – had secular places rebuilt. But not the churches.
  9. It was the Americans who gave us the idea of a national anything, including the hero. We would’ve picked Bonifacio or Aguinaldo. They wanted Rizal. Their reasons. Not ours.
  10. The Manila Cathedral has been built 7 times. What we have now is the eighth renovation. This makes the San Agustin church the oldest church in the country.

Because Carlos Celdran wanted to help local small businesses, part of the tour fee – which is Php 1,000.00 – is a kalesa or padyak ride (your choice) from Fort Santiago to San Agustin church. It was our first time to ever ride a horse-drawn carriage. It was high, breezy, and exciting!

It was also because of him that I finally learned the story behind Felix Resurrecion Hildalgo’s “El Asesinato del Gobernador Bustamante”. Fernando Manuel de Bustillo Bustamante y Rueda was one of the governor-generals of the Philippines during Spanish regime. According to Celdran, Bustamante was about to redistribute the land but the local priests did not want that happening so they attacked him.

El Asesinato del Gobernador Bustamante (The Assassination of Governor Bustamante) by Félix Resurrección Hidalgo (1904)
El Asesinato del Gobernador Bustamante (The Assassination of Governor Bustamante) by Félix Resurrección Hidalgo (1904)

When that was over, we headed for our last stop for the day.

Search for Books, Discover New Spots, and Talk Politics Over Dinner

We went to National Bookstore at Robinson’s Place Ermita. Now that it has located from its original spot, it’s smaller. Somehow, it doesn’t look as friendly as it was before. Maybe because of the way the store is shaped. Or the lighting? I don’t know.

Next to the bookstore was a new restaurant, Mr. Pizza. It looks like it’s run by Koreans. And it has a live viewing of how the pizza dough is made.

Kelvin liked the idea of pasta for dinner so we ate at The Old Spaghetti House. He had the Bolognese Spaghetti, Cat ordered the Pesto with Grilled Chicken, and I Christian’s Spaghetti with Spinach and Cheese Tofu Balls in Creamy Tomato Sauce. I went crazy with the grated cheese so it was way too cheesy. I struggled with the last three forkfuls. Thank goodness I was able to finish it.

But what stretched the dinner conversation was a number of what-if questions. What if McArthur never bombed Manila, how would the Japanese be defeated? What if the American-Filipino force did not chicken out on a particular battle and went through it, despite being risky? What if the Japanese won the WWII? What if the Americans were vigilant after the bombing of Pearl Harbor? Could the Philippines have sufficient forces against the kamikaze fighters?

We had questions. We had answers. We had an imagination that would’ve lasted all night long. But we had to go home.

Just before we separated, we spotted a Lawson branch! Cat and I decided to enter. Kelvin waited outside. There were hardly any particular Japanese products there. But there was an unlimited Bamboo Charcoal Ice Cream. And Camote as well!

This is Part Two of a Two-Part Post.

The Old Spaghetti House: 3/F Robinsons Place Manila, Midtown Wing, Adriatico St., Ermita, Manila

Mr. Pizza: G/F Robinsons Place Manila, Adriatico St., Ermita, Manila

Lawson Convenience Store: Pedro Gil St., Ermita, Manila

Advertisements

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Micah says:

    wow, the ice cream is infinitely interesting!

    Like

    1. Mati Serrano says:

      Yes, it is!
      At least for the looks.
      I cannot vouch for the taste though.

      Like

      1. Micah says:

        is that right? i guess i am luckier then. i found gabi (purple yam) ice cream and it is the best!

        Like

        1. Mati Serrano says:

          EH?!
          Where’d you get it?

          Like

            1. Mati Serrano says:

              I’ll do my best to remember that if ever I go there.
              I’d love to see the place in person!

              Reminds of trying out the sili ice cream in Bikol. Not that I haven’t sili ice cream–just not from there.

              Like

              1. Micah says:

                it is an incredible province, very underrated but it has a little bit of everything. best time to go is summer. don’t miss it! oh sili ice cream! i have had the pleasure of eating it in bicol, along with another one made from toasted rice. i forgot the name but it is another winner.

                Like

                1. Mati Serrano says:

                  I’d love to be there and experience northern wind in my hair. Man, that would be great!

                  While I’m a Bikolano, there are still Bikolano food that I have yet to eat. How I envy you! And the ice cream cravings are about to kick in soon. Oh goodness.

                  Like

                  1. Micah says:

                    it is not that far. central luzon. bikolano food is just great. lucky locals. i agree on the ice cream cravings. i had it bad yesterday!

                    Like

                    1. Mati Serrano says:

                      YES to the food.
                      officemates love it when I bring some of my father’s laing, santol, and bopis. Always sure winners!
                      How bad was bad? Finished a whole pint by yourself?

                      Like

                    2. Micah says:

                      not a whole pint, but it was late and i am in my hotel room in pajamas. but still went out for ice cream.

                      Like

                    3. Mati Serrano says:

                      I can imagine.
                      What flavor did you get?
                      Were I in your place, I think I would go for Double Dutch or something like it.

                      Like

  2. The Monching says:

    Where is that Lawson branch located? 😀 Nice to know that another Japanese convenience store has landed here in our shores, after Family Mart!

    Like

    1. Mati Serrano says:

      It’s just between the Pedro Gil LRT Station and Robinson’s Place Ermita.
      Ground floor of a condo. Or at least I think it’s a condo.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Monching says:

        Alright, thanks for the tip 😉

        Like

        1. Mati Serrano says:

          You are welcome, Monch!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Miss Chesca says:

    Hi Mati! I just want to let you know that I mentioned your post on my blog (www.cheskinita.com) because it is somewhat related to what I’m writing about. 🙂 I hope you are having a great day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mati Serrano says:

      Thank you for informing and mentioning me.
      Was it about the Sebastian’s post? XD
      I checked your blog. White and nice!

      Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s