- The special thing about visiting Manila is that you will see a place in which old meets new. A splash of Spanish and American touch of the buildings and structures plus the various churches that symbolizes the Christian faith of the Filipinos can be seen. Also, you will able to see that even though earthquakes, fires, typhoons and even World War II destroyed the beauty of Manila, it would always rise again to inspire and to give hope. So come on and let us visit Manila.
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San Sebastian Church
We will start our trip in the all-steel church in the Philippines and in Asia. It is the Basilica Minore de San Sebastian. Completed in 1891, San Sebastian Church is noted for its architectural features. an example of the revival of Gothic architecture in the Philippines, it is the only all-steel church or basilica in asia, and as the only prefabricated steel church in the world. It is located at Plaza del Carmen, at the eastern end of Claro M. Recto Street, in Quiapo, Manila.
I would tell a story about the church and allow you to venture in the basilica, explaining each of the section of the church to you.
We will start the next trip in the oldest district on Manila, Intramuros. It is the historic core of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Also called the Walled City, it was the original city of Manila and was the seat of government when the Philippines was a component realm of the Spanish Empire. Districts beyond the walls were referred as the extramuros of Manila, meaning "outside the walls".
Construction of the defensive walls was started by Spanish colonial government in the late 16th century to protect the city from foreign invasions. The 0.67-square-kilometre (0.26 sq mi) walled city was originally located along the shores of the Manila Bay, south of the entrance to Pasig River. Guarding the old city is Fort Santiago, its citadel located at the mouth of the river. Land reclamations during the early 20th-century subsequently obscured the walls and fort from the bay.
Intramuros was heavily damaged during the battle to recapture the city from the Japanese Imperial Army during the Second World War. Reconstruction of the walls was started in 1951 when Intramuros was declared a National Historical Monument, which is continued to this day by the Intramuros Administration (IA).
The Global Heritage Fund identified Intramuros as one of the 12 worldwide sites "on the verge" of irreparable loss and destruction on its 2010 report titled Saving Our Vanishing Heritage, citing its insufficient management and development pressures.
We would visit the two churches inside Intramuros: Manila Cathedral first and San Agustin Church next. In Manila Cathedral, we could first go at Plaza de Roma in front of the cathedral. Near the plaza in the Palacio del Gobernador to the right and the Bureau of Treasury in the left. After that we would go on foot to San Agustin Church, the oldest church in the country. After visiting San Agustin we would go to the museum attached to the church. After that we would go to Fort Santiago, the defense fortress of the walled city of Manila. We would circle the place, go to the museum inside the fort, visit the place where national hero of the Philippines was imprisoned by the Spaniards, visit Baluarte de San Diego, Casa Manila and see the beauty of the walled city.
In this I would also explain why only 2 churches is to be seen in the present day Intramuros.
We would also pass by Letran and other structures and statues that have survived throughout the years.
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