Charms of Old Manila
Duration: 4 hours
Tour Code: MLA-003
Explore the history, architecture and culture of the Philippines during this scenic orientation tour of Old Manila.
Depart the pier for the drive to historic Rizal Park. Here, the remains of the country's national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, lie within the cornerstone of Rizal Monument, a few yards from the spot where the Spanish executed him. Your tour will continue on to the old walled city of Intramuros, built during the Spanish Colonial period.
A stop will then be made at Fort Santiago, which served as the headquarters of the Spanish, American and Japanese colonizers until its destruction in 1945. Upon arrival, you will be greeted with a traditional festive welcome celebration, the highlight of this tour. This frenzied folkloric street-level celebration features colorfully costumed revelers with bodies painted black, and faces made up with grotesque images. During this Philippine-style Carnival celebration, you will see them dance, prance, stomp, shriek, and shout wildly to drumbeats.
Next, you will proceed past the San Agustin Church. The country's oldest structure, the church dates back to 1571. You will then visit Casa Manila, a reconstructed 19th-century mansion replete with 16th to 19th-century furniture and furnishings. The return trip will take you under the Quiapo Bridge, where you will find a veritable treasure of authentic local handicraft products.
Following your tour, you will be transferred back to the pier.