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Posted by on Jun 27, 2013 in Travel | 6 comments

The Low-Down on the Old Spanish Quarter

The Low-Down on the Old Spanish Quarter

The other day we went to to Intramuros, or the old walled city, where the hub of the old Spanish rule was when they ruled the Philippines.  We met up with Dustin Ancheta who provided us a wonderful tour of Casa Manila, lunch at a nun-run restaurant Della Mitre, a visit to a wonderful store called the Manila Collectible Company that houses pre-Spanish artifacts, and a behind-the-scenes-look at the San Agustin Church — the first stone church built in the country.

The Philippine history is sometimes characterized as “400 years of Roman Catholicism and 50 years of Hollywood,” describing the former colonizers Spain and the United States.  I don’t really like that description because  it oversimplifies the Philippine history and does not acknowledge the fact that there was some type of civilization that existed here before the Spanish came.  However, that is a whole another discussion.

Here are some of the wonderful souvenirs of the day.  Casa Manila is a good example of how wealthy Filipinos of mixed heritage (Filipino-Spanish or Filipino-Chinese) lived under Spanish rule.  Though the outside is quite beautiful, it does not do justice to the details of the interior.  It was unfortunate we could not take photos inside.

Casa Manila

Casa Manila

Ristorante Della Mitre is right across from Casa Manila.  It is amazing that nuns run this place and often do the cooking.  The flavors of the food are so authentic and remind me so much of how my grandmother used to cook.

Leche Flan

Leche Flan

Turon, plantains wrapped in phyllo dough

Turon, plantains wrapped in phyllo dough

The following are images from the Manila Collectible Company Store, which is about a block and a half away from Casa Manila.  In an  effort to help sustain indigenous Filipino groups with specialized skills, the store works with local artisans to produce some of the wonderful crafts they sell.

Art Section

Art Section

A very ornate sungka or mancala in the foreground

A very ornate sungka or mancala in the foreground

Replica of urns certain tribes used to bury the dead

Replica of urns certain tribes used to bury the dead

DSC_5061_2

DSC_5063_2

Lastly, pictures of our visit to the San Agustin Church.

DSC_5073.1

A rather macabre depiction of St. Rita at the church

A rather macabre depiction of St. Rita at the church

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6 Comments

  1. I can’t believe you are in the Phillipines. It must be such a nice experience to share your childhood home and memories with the girls. The pictures are beautiful and the food looks so yummy.

    • The whole trip is a little surreal. Just today, I visited my grade school and could not believe that I now have my children and husband with me to visit the school. As I saw one of the girls wearing my old uniform, I could not help but think of the child I was many, many years ago.

  2. Merci de nous faire partager votre bonheur de voyager aux Philippines ! Et de faire découvrir tes racines Myla à ta famille avec de si belles photos que tu nous transmets….
    Bon voyage à vous,
    Et à bientôt en France ,
    G et R

    • Merci, Guy et Raymonde! Les temps passent vite. On amuse tres bien et je suis contente que les filles ont de l’opportunite de decouvrir le monde de mon enfance.

    • I am so glad that Marie told us about your tour. We truly enjoyed it and felt enriched by it! Thanks for visiting my blog!

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