After having a not-so-logical conversation with a groupmate last night, I decided to go on a walking trip in Manila. I was so bent on going to Manila although I still had no idea what to do there and where to go. Technically speaking, it was unplanned. I just made a list of the places I wanted to go to, and used a map to figure out how to get there.

So I took the LRT-2, stopping by V. Mapa station to run some errands at SM, then took the train to Recto. I passed through the bridgeway to LRT-1 Doroteo Jose station, then rode the train to Central Terminal. When I got off the station, I headed towards the Metropolitan Theater and took a few photos. There were buses blocking my view of the theater, so I had to make do with taking photos from a not-so-nice angle.

Then I moved to photograph the Post Office Building, just along Pasig River. I actually had to stop someplace to open up my map and figure out how to get to Intramuros from there. Seeing a bridge nearby, I crossed the bridge and arrived at Binondo. I was quite tired so I decided to take a break at a convenience store (Mini-stop, actually). It was then that I realized I made a mistake. I wasn’t supposed to cross the bridge at all! But at least the convenience store wasn’t that far from the bridge, just a block away. So I had to cross the bridge again, encountering the vile smell of the Pasig River once more. haha.

Then I walked along a virtually deserted yet wide street to reach Intramuros. I would’ve gotten lost again, if I didn’t recognize the belfry of Manila Cathedral, my next destination. Took several photos of it and the Palacio del Gobernador (which actually wasn’t part of my list), and went exploring. I just thought of going around the walled city aimlessly, wanting to discover what it was like there. Then I came across a bahay na bato, well, I’d say it was more like the back of the house. I photographed it too, to use as reference.

And I continued exploring the city until I saw a familiar-looking church. I didn’t recognize the church until I found out that the structure across the street was Casa Manila. I took a video footage this time, since Real street was too European-looking that it’s sooooo pretty. lolz. Then I realized that the church was actually San Agustin Church, which I’ve seen in photos. Photos were taken here and there, then I continued on my way on exploring. I was nearly leaving Intramuros when I took another break at another convenience store (Mini-stop again)  to refer to my map again for directions.

And Manila Hotel was my next destination. The building looks very neat and classy because of the exterior paint, but the interiors look very nice as well. I’ve been there just a few months ago, when I attended my dad’s alumni homecoming. Anyway… after that I went to Rizal Park to photograph the monument. Of all the times I’ve visited the shrine on my own, I’ve never seen so many people there as I did earlier today. I walked through the park and saw even more people. Some had laid out mats, kids were playing, couples were talking…the typical park scene. I took a video footage of that, too… but I made sure the Rizal monument could be seen in the background.

I stopped by a waiting shed to look at my map for the nth time, since I didn’t memorize the streets I passed by. My next and last destination for the day was the Paco Park, just near the LRT-1 UN Ave station. But then my polo got a little too damp for comfort that I went into Jollibee and ordered an early dinner. After eating, I changed my clothes and headed for Paco Park. It had started to get dark, but I managed to get a few decent photos of the entrance and the church inside the park.

It was actually a fun experience, walking around the city despite the exhaustion. As I was on this unplanned excursion, I kept thinking that a person can’t truly know a city without experiencing the city. The trip lasted about four hours, but I was able to appreciate what Manila has right now.

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