by far, the coolest feature of gabii sa kabilin was the kalesa ride that came with the 150-peso ticket. that was my most anticipated moment, simply because it completed the whole experience somehow. you know, like if you have to put it in a mathematical equation it would go something like this:
a night of history lessons + kalesa ride = x.
the x there actually stands for something. something i can’t quite explain. something i’m this close to figuring out.
the kalesa ride from plaza independencia to sto. niño and back was a rather pleasant one when i stopped being mildly nervous about the possibility of the horse suddenly going wild, not to mention the close encounters with the taxi drivers from hell who were sharing the road with us.
it’s a thin-looking horse, i know. that’s my problem with kalesa rides. i sympathize too much with the horses and my heart breaks every time the whip touches their backs. however, while my heart does go out to them, i wouldn’t go so far as to trade places with them so that’s probably where i draw the line for my sympathy. but i trust that manong takes very good care of the horse like he said he does. he depends on it as a source of income, after all.
which is why i also think it was a good move for the organizers to hire kalesas on this night. beyond the cultural experience, it provided additional financial income to kalesa drivers who don’t get that many passengers on any given day.
i don’t have a lot of photos from that visit to fort san pedro. i guess when you’ve been to a place several times already, you sort of take it for granted to a point where it doesn’t really interest you anymore.
but for the sake of reacquainting myself with this historical place, allow me to post several photos of it taken during my niece’s 2nd birthday celebration last 2010. for those who haven’t been there, fort san pedro has a nice garden inside. they allow booking of various events, such as birthdays or weddings. it’s a nice place to hold special events, i’ll give it that.
fuerza de san pedro, according to this website, is the smallest and oldest tri-bastion fort in the country which served as the nucleus of the first spanish settlement here in the philippines. its construction started on may 8, 1565 with no less than miguel lopez de legaspi himself breaking the ground.
of course, that was in 1565. since then, it underwent many physical changes, not to mention the changes in management and purpose of the structure throughout the years — a barracks during the american regime later converted into classrooms for formal education; a fortification for japanese soldiers; an army camp during the fight for indpendence; a zoo; and now, a national museum which features the san diego shipwreck.
447 years. it’s been through so much but it’s still standing proud and tall. that’s probably the reason why i am attracted to old stone walls. because they possess a certain kind of silent strength capable of lasting forever and ever.
must be those egg whites.