1. I wouldn’t mind if the government demolishes the current Palacio del Gobernador in favor of a more appropriate edifice. Plans for the post-1863 earthquake Palacio del Gobernador still exists though unbuilt at all.

    With the completion of Ayuntamiento de Manila, this will be the first time since the 1863 earthquake that the three major edifices of Intramuros will be complete. That’s 150 years. Yep, the Ayuntamiento Building is my favorite among all Old Manila buildings.

    I can’t wait to explore the interiors of the said building when it formally opens.

    First Photo Source

  2. Building Blocks

  3. Puerta de Reina Isabel, Intramuros, Manila

    The last gate to be built at Intramuros during the Spanish Era, the gate was built in 1868 as a replacement to the ruined Puerta de Santo Domingo nearby. It was named after Queen Isabel, the only queen of Spain.

    During the American Period the streetcars of Manila entered Intramuros to the Santo Tomas Station through this gate.

    Also within this gate is a bronze statue of Queen Isabel herself, first housed in Plaza Arroceros (Lawton) but transferred to exile in the plaza in front of Malate Church until a typhoon toppled it in the 70’s. Eventually it was finally placed in Intramuros in front of the gate named after her, in time for the visit of his descendant then Prince Juan Carlos of Spain. He is now the King of Spain.

    Vintage Photo Source: Intramuros of Memory by Jaime Laya and Esperanza Gatbonton.

  4. On the side toward Bagumbayan Drive (Bonifacio Drive), is a compass, rope and laurel-wreath, and the words “URDANETA. MDLXVIII”.

    Facing the city (Intramuros) are the arms of Spain with the national motto “Ne Plus Ultra” (L. Further Beyond).

    Facing the wharves (Port) is the word LEGASPI with the date MDLXXII, with a crown and a helmet, with oak and palm leaves.

    Facing the Cavite Boulevard (Roxas Boulevard) with the figure of a woman, laurel-crowned and wearing a medallion with a cross at her breast, pointing upward, and the words XXIV Junio, MDLXXI, the date of the foundation of the Spanish City of Manila.

    The said statue is situated outside Intramuros near the Luneta.

  5. This is how the Old Santo Domingo in Intramuros looked like at the festivities beginning La Naval. at the Left Side is Old Santo Tomas and the Right is Santa Rosa.

  6. Manila Cathedral (shot taken from Postigo del Palacio). I honestly miss the interiors of the Cathedral.

    Intramuros, Manila

  7. The fascinating thing with ruins is that it has a life of its own when it is generally considered to be dead already.

    A ruin could arouse curiosity and a stream of questions is to be expected when someone encounters a ruin. Who built it? Why it was built? What was the purpose of the structure, and what caused the demise of it? A ruin generates many questions in which no one might have the answer. That is the life of the ruin.

    So when does a ruin stop existing as a ruin? True enough that ruins could be rebuilt. If the physical realm of the ruin can be rebuilt, but how about the memories attached? Surely, somebody has to remind someone of the reason why the ruins exist in the first place, it has to remind people.

    Ruins remain as ruins unless people remember, and value that ruin. It is with realizing the value of a ruin, that people breathes a new life into that ruin.

    We live in a ruined city.

    Intendencia Building (Future National Archives Building)

    Intramuros, Manila

  8. The sun did not fail to shine so bright that day.

    Plaza Roma, Intramuros, Manila.

  9. Palacio del Gobernador, Intramuros, Manila

    Once the site of the Royal Residence of the Governor-Generals of the Philippines from 1645 to 1863 when the original building toppled during the 1863 earthquake during the rule of Rafael Echague. The Royal Residence was transferred to Malacanang until the New Palacio in Intramuros was built. This never happened. During the American Period it was a rock garden by the Plaza McKinley (Plaza Roma now).

    Imelda Marcos, as the Governor of Metro Manila and the Minister of Human Settlements proceeded to rebuild the Palace in her own taste and whims (spell Imeldiffic). It was originally conceived as a 12 story building designed by Architect Otilio Arellano. Public disapproval watered it down to 8 floors (but still way beyond the three story limit at Intramuros). Due to the irresponsible and very uninspired state of Intramuros Restoration with the construction of the Palacio, which is a major cultural project of the Marcos Regime back then, President Marcos moved to proclaim PD 1616, which made Intramuros Administration.

    Intramuros Administration now holds office on the very building that caused their existence.


    Santiago, Asteya. The Restoration of Historic Intramuros: A Case Study in Plan Implementation. Quezon City: UP School of Urban and Regional Planning, 2003.

  10. Trying out Raniel Hernandez' diptych manipulation featuring Casa Manila and Barbara's :)

  11. Well, I was reading this library book yesterday at my station while waiting for the JuanderingMNL participants to come. It just hit me that I’m reading this at Old Manila itself… the main setting of some of the stories.

  12. Nearly Finished. Too excited to enter this building when it opens soon!

    Ayuntamiento de Manila

    Intramuros, Manila

  13. In case you missed this poster in Intramuros.

  14. A Permanent Miracle in Stone, so people say about the Sturdy San Agustin Church. It is a part of The Baroque Churches of the Philippines that was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. So far, the Philippines want to update the list of Baroque Churches with additional churches, though architectural historians lament over the label “Baroque”.

  15. The City Hall during the Spanish Times.

    Ayuntamiento de Manila
    Intramuros, Manila