A Dare to Everyone: Walk Through the Streets of Intramuros; At leastOnce in Your Lifetime

It all started in the 30th Manila International Book Fair last September 19th held in SMX Mall of Asia in Pasay. I and two other friends having walked for 3 hours non-stop the almost countless book stands of all sorts happen to stop by another booth not known to us before. The name is Instituto Cervantes Manila. Sounds like French to me! Si! I know it is Spanish, it's just that it's something bizarre for me.

This institution offers cursos de espanol! Working in a call center for 4 years now and knowing to speak another worthy language is not an asset for everyone. It’s a treasure. A treasure not just in display but you’re paid. So we submitted our email addresses and since then we’re always included in their mailing lists.

There are film festivals, cultural activities & shows and conferences, symposia and seminars. Do not worry when you watch these films since there is an English subtitle like what I did before. I remember when I watched the 8th Spanish Film Festival in Greenbelt 3 Cinema Makati, I wanted to catch the last full show for that day. A 12 midnight show but I was able to arrive almost less than an hour. To my surprise all the tickets were sold out! I had no choice but to reserve a ticket for the next day. It’s like I am vying for a limited slot from now showing movies of these days. Not bad for just P65 I was able to watch films of high-class and multi-awarded. The usual movie fair is between P140-160, it depends on how ‘bankable’ the place is.

The rest is history… Though at this point I haven’t enrolled to any of their programs because of my murderous work schedule and it’s geographically far from where I am based now, I would definitely join when time permits. Sigh! I wonder when is that! The recent round-table discussion about preservation of our heritage sites I would say pinched my heart. I haven’t been to any symposia about cultural legacy and preservation and in these modern times that everybody is embracing a technology-driven environment but this one really knocked me out. I would and would always get this butt moving for any worthwhile activities that would focus on preserving our highest identities as Filipinos – our historical sites and things of our past.

I dare everyone instead of a usual trip to window-shop, engaging in a flirtatious chat online for hours or just going gaga over the Farmville, Mafia wars and Zynga Poker at Facebook to at least “once” in your lifetime walk-through the streets of Intramuros. Get inside the old houses and museums and take a look at the things of our past. Think of how we ourselves can cultivate and keep running in our blood the sense of ‘Filipinoism’ How the coming generations could still see at their own eyes the legacy of our mighty predecessors. Oh I hear my stomach grumping, might as well grab something to eat…

Pictures shown from top to bottom:

1. Old house in Intramuros
2. Spaniards gentlemen having some chatting with each other in a carpetted garden entrance in Villa Immaculada
reception place in Intramuros. I just loved the long straight thin vines that resemble a long hair.
3. A guardia civil standing through the passage.
4. Another old house in the same place

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