for the record, i love intramuros. i love how it magically transports me back into time once i stop minding the cars and the traffic. i love the stone walls, the lamp posts, the spanish architecture. i love looking at the kalesas and hearing the sound of the horses’ gallops against the concrete pavement. i love the fact that intramuros, which literally means “within the walls,” is a relatively quiet little city within the bigger, noisier city.


intramuros just after high noon

and then there’s san agustin museum, which is, truthfully, a museum just like any other but it’s nice to see all those religious items blinged out with gold, diamonds, semi-precious stones, and what-have-you — nice in a sense that you get to see them up from up close. but then if you stare at them long enough, you can’t help but feel kind of sick at the thought of how insanely rich those spanish priests must have been during their political and religious reign here in our country. at least that’s what i always feel when i see religious stuffs that are oh-so-precious they have to be locked and guarded for safety. material wealth really has a way of messing up religion. or maybe that’s where the greed part comes in. i don’t know. all i know is that should you find yourself lost in intramuros, do visit san agustin museum. it’s right beside the famous san agustin church so it shouldn’t be too hard to miss. it’s gonna be worth it — if you love 18th-century pipe organs to death.


my personal favorite: the escalera principal, which is the main stairway, leading to the second floor of the monastery and choir-loft, and is 38 meters high. its 44 steps are granite blocks, 3 meters long, bought in canton (china) from 1786 to 1789.

or if you just like taking photos of your shadow or your silhouette or whatever, then san agustin museum is for you. the stone walls and the lights coming in from the windows provide the perfect backdrop for those not-so-perfect shots.



all in all, i gotta say that walking around intramuros is like a re-acquaintance with the past. our past. our history. it’s that little nook which serves as a living remembrance of the things that happened between now and then.


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