Friday, July 11, 2008

Philippines: Intramuros and Randomness in Manila (July 5)

On Saturday morning, we parted ways to explore different areas in Manila: The Gastronomer and The Astronomer went to a food market, C2 went to visit the Chinese cemetery and I went to Intramuros. Intramuros is a walled city that was founded in the 16th century. I figured I could see some interesting Spanish influenced architecture. This area actually reminded me of the French Quarters in New Orleans.

Here are some of my favourite pictures.

I usually would never go in a horse drawn carriage but I twisted my ankle on my way down from the hike the previous day so I wanted to take it easy. I swear I'm not one of those people!

San Augustin Church, the oldest church in the Philippines.

Manila Cathedral.

Lions in front of the Cathedral seem to be an Asian influence?

Old buildings are resurfaced to look nice but maintain their original architecture.

Casa Manila.

An old convent.

Supposedly the Japanese held prisoners shackled down here. The prisoners would drown when water from the nearby River Pasig submerged it.

A section of the wall.

There’s even a McDonald’s within the walled city…!

City Hall outside the walls.

Here are more pictures of Manila’s unique types of transportations: the jeepney and tricycle. Not only are these unique, but each is also uniquely decorated to express the owner’s passions or hobbies.

Jeepney (mix between a bus and a jeep) is Philippines' most popular mode of public transportation. Originally, they were made from US military jeeps. When you get on, you just pay the driver if you're next to him; if not, you just give your money to the customer next to you, the money is passed on to the driver and any change is passed back the same way! The red one is my favourite one! Totalled decked out.

View of a jeepney from a jeepney.

Tricycle. People ride in the side car and behind the driver when the car is full. I guess it would be equivalent to Vietnam’s xe om.

Finally, most Philippino's are extremely devoted to Christianity. This could be seen everywhere. Every taxi had a few statues of Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ. There were also Christian idols in the shopping malls. The jeepneys' names usually sounded Christian too, such as Almighty God above!

Enough said.

I got a glimpse of Jesus Christ at the intersection.

Lonely Planet said there were not many vegetarian options in the Philippines, but they do have Great Lenten specials!


Wandering Chopsticks said...

It does remind me of Nawlins! :) Well, there was Spanish influence there too, just people think of the French more.

Miss.Adventure said...

I loved New Orleans! I would guess that you've been to Cafe du Monde? Did you notice everyone working there was Vietnamese? What's the scoop on that?

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I have no idea. Last time I was there about five years ago, I saw a few VNese but not a whole lot.

So when are you leaving VN now? Going straight back to Canada?