Special Chinese New Year Tour 2020 (Part 1)

Royal Postal Heritage Tour in partnership with WalkwithChan, heritage advocate group bloggers and social media influencers conducted a guided tour within the heart of the Chinatown’s Manila district.

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photo collage courtesy of Ms. Lin Deres

Unlike other guided tours, The tour focus on the vast Chinatown district which encompasses part of Santa Cruz, Tondo, San Nicolas and Binondo.

Special Chinese New Year 2020 Tour

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early bird participants

 We met at the Carriedo fountain within Plaza Santa Cruz around past 6:00 am. Ms. Melody Abuan was the early bird and won 2 gift certificate from Yakikai restaurant worth Php 1,000. followed by Mr. Ray Ong, Philip Reyes and Ms. Lin Deres among the early participants who brace the overcast saturday morning. Slowly followed by two  participants who came all the way from San Pedro, Laguna province to join the fan fare.

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Kim Sha Temple

After the short tour of the Santa Cruz church, We went to have a blessing at Kim Sha Temple located at 1021 Ongpin street which is part of Santa Cruz district.

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breakfast buffet selection

buffet dishes consisted of fish with tausi, noodles, fried rice, pechay, hotdog, raddish, scrambled egg, tasty bread, two kinds of soup and bottomless ice tea and brewed coffee.

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group photo

Chinatown LaiLai Hotel Buffet

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group photo

We arrived past 7:00 am at the Chinatown Lailai buffet area, Compared to the previous year, there were fewer dishes offered at the buffet area. While Ms. Rebecca Bucad and her companion followed.

Address: 801 Ongpin Street corner Sabino Padilla Street (aka Gandara), Santa Cruz, Manila

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different kinds of ornamental and flowering plants for sale

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Chinatown Arch

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Manila Chinatown -Welcome Arch

The mood was festive, but fewer crowd on weekend. The threat of the novel corona virus may have affected the crowd participation.

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Chinese New Year revelers in costume

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parade

We spotted group of mendicants asking for cash or donations. Some are dress in ati-atihan costume and darna giving the Chinese New Year celebrations new type of entertainment.

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mendicants giving some envelope

Salazar Bakery

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zesto cola flavored tikoy (nian kao)

The group then decided to visit the famed Salazar bakery and bought some popular pastries like hopia, lao po pia ( sweetheart pastry), mamon and tikoy at the bakery before walking along Ongpin street.

Address: 783 Ongpin St, Binondo, Manila

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children imitating a dragon dance

Santo Cristo de Longos ( Popular Shrine)

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 Santo Cristo de Longos shrine along Nueva Street ( aka Yuchengco Street) corner Ongpin street is the most popular shrine of the holy cross. This shows how Catholicisim, Taosim, Buddhism syncretize and create a unique harmony between these major religion.

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Mr. Ray Ong together with some of the participants

Carvajal Street

We went to Carvajal street also nicknamed the umbrella street alley of Chinatown and bought some hopia and pastries from Holland bakery.

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home cooked meals sold in one of the stall within Carvajal street

Mr. Ray Ong gave a short talk on the interesting fruits, vegetables and food found within the street alley.

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Minor Basilica of San Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila

We spend about 20 minutes inside the minor basilica and pointed out the important religious images and the real Santo Cristo de Longos which was located in the baptistry of the church.

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Lucky Chinatown Mall

Lucky Chinatown Mall is one of the posh mall located within the district. it is site for various event in the Chinatown Manila. It is like a one stop shop for everyone.

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dragon dancers in front of Lucky Chinatown Mall

The group arrived about 10:00 am. There was a lion and dragon dancers outside the mall.

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bright lantern

Chinatown Museum

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Ms. Beverly Ann Tan ( curator)

Chinatown Museum is located 4th level of the mall which showcases 18 galleries.  A visit to the museum is a MUST for those keen to learn history, heritage, heroism and anything about Chinatown’s -Manila.

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well-loved Chinese foods in the Philippines

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The group was greeted by Ms. Beverly Ann Tan (museum administrator) who gave an interesting history behind some of the practices of the Filipino-Chinese community.

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panaderia ( bakery)

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local produce

For those planning to visit the museum, Do not forget to pre-reserve in advance especially in big group.

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candid shot with some of the participants

A minimal entrance fee of Php 150 for the general public, Php 100 students with valid Id’s,Php 80 for senior citizens, people with disabilities.

Address: 4th Floor Lucky Chinatown Building- A, Reina Regente Street, Binondo, Manila

Operations: Everyday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm

Contact: (632)8293-2584/ (0917-1164047)

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Ilang-Ilang Restaurant

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appetizer meal which consists of kikiam ( ngo hiong), sliced century eggs, pork asado, radish cake and pickled raddish.

We ate at the famed Ilang-Ilang restaurant. Some of the famed dishes includes the appetizer meal, pata tim, shanghai fried rice, nido soup, fried buttered chicken, birthday noodles, buchi/ botchi, braise steamed fish, almond fruit cocktail.

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pata tim

Ilang-Ilang Restaurant is one of the oldest restaurant in the district, established in 1910. The restaurant is open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and closes only during Holy Week.

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steamed fish fillet

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buttered fried chicken

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birthday noodles

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For dine-in services, the restaurant can accommodate up to 180 persons on ground floor and 400 persons on 2nd floor function hall.

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group photo

Address: 551 Ilang-Ilang Street, Binondo, Manila

Operations: Everyday

8:00am to 11:00 pm

(02) 241- 9297, 241-9298, 242-3266

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Chinese New Year 2020

The group got a hearty Chinese lauriat style lunch and spend almost two hours at the restaurant.

Modern Tao Ke by Globe Academy at Chinatown Museum

Modern Tao Ke was promoted by Globe Business Academy, Chinatown Museum, Lucky Chinatown Mall, ChinoyTV and with special guests Master Feng Shui Ms. Marites Allen, Chiang Kai Shek College, Philippine Postal Corporation among others.

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Modern Tao Ke

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Ms. Yuriko Tsumura together with participants of the event

Tao Ke means “Boss” was derived from Hokkien language which is one of the major Chinese languages spoken in the country. In fact, more than 80 % of the Filipino-Chinese in the country can trace their origin from Fujian province.

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Most Filipino-Chinese would like to know what type of business would they open this time.

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Globe Business Academy usherettes

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Ms. Marites Allen together with Mr. Alvin Kingston Tan of ChinoyTV

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participants were able to ample meal serve at the Cafe de Chinatown

The pre-event started with the registration of participants who wanted to visit the Chinatown Museum and a FREE afternoon buffet meal at the nearby Cafe de Chinatown in Lucky Chinatown Mall before the guided tour of the museum which was led by Ms. Yuriko Tsumura and Ms. Beverly Ann Tan.

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religious icons and statues venerated within Chinatown, Manila featured in one of the exhibit area.

The group was divided into first group and second group, We toured the 18 galleries and enjoyed every nook and cranny of the museum. This is my second time to visit the museum.

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 horse drawn tranvia

Chinatown museum curator forgot to include that the first postage stamp issued in the country which bore the portrait of Queen Isabel 2 in February 1, 1854. The postage stamp was made by the Company of Plana, Jorba y Cia at Plaza Binondo. ( Source: page 4, The Issued Stamps, Peter w. A. Harradine, Philippine Postage Stamp Handbook 1854-1982)

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stickers and postcards for sale

There were several stickers and postcards for sale at the museum. Each postcards cost between Php 40 and Php 50 each which bundle packs cost between Php 110 to Php 350 per pack.

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trivia questions

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Ms. Earth 2019 Janelle Tee was the emcee. She asked the participants questions about Chinatown, museum and on the spot raffle were conducted before the program started. The author was among the lucky individual who won an exciting pouch bag courtesy of Globe.

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movie premiere tickets

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Globe Business Academy executives, ChinoyTV’s Mr. Alvin Kingston Tan and Miss Marites Allen

Year of the Metal Rat

As rats are known to be mischievous creatures, the Feng Shui master warned all animal signs to be careful with their material things and temperament. The Violence and Robbery Star has flown to the Center sector in 2020.

The negative energy it brings may result to loss of material things and good reputation. There is also a higher chance of possible break-ins, trust betrayal and even lawsuits.The lucky signs for 2020 are Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Ox, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

The overall forecast was good for the year of metal rat but be cautious for some industries.

Aside from the on the spot raffle, the participants also got tikoy ( nian gao from Polland) and lovely bag from Chinatown Museum.

Historical Christmas Celebration Jump Start in Kawit, Cavite

Kawit is a historical town in Cavite province which is very near Metro Manila. Despite the hustle and bustle of the busy and traffic streets and establishments, everyone busy getting their Christmas shopping done.

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Christmas tree lighting ceremonies held at the Aguinaldo Shrine and Freedom Park

There are a few sights and sounds in nearby areas where we can feel the true spirit of a Filipino Christmas, especially with our loved ones.

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The Christmas lighting event was held last December 14, 2019, and a number of distinguished guests and celebrities joined in the celebration of the event.

Historical Christmas Celebration and Culinary Heritage

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Puto Bumbong

Puto Bumbong or a rice cake with shaved coconut and muscovado sugar is a staple food trip stop that shouldn’t be missed when visiting Kawit.

Aling Norma’s Suman – a tour in the town is incomplete without buying the famous suman made from Toclong, Kawit. I have written an article about the delicacies from the town.

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Aguinaldo Shrine

Aguinaldo Shrine is situated wherein the Philippine flag that we know of today was first waved publicly announcing our Independence by none other than the first Filipino President Emilio Aguinaldo. There’s also a lot to learn about our first president and how he has lived his life and times during the revolution era.

Museo ni Baldomero Aguinaldo hailed towards the cousin of Emilio Aguinaldo and grandfather of Cesar Virata who as a prime minister in the 1980s.

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Kawit Church or Saint Magdalene Church was built around 1737 and Emilio Aguinaldo was baptized in this church. His birth certificate is kept on the left side of the altar.

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 Pandayan or the local blacksmithing shops which is an endangered craft that needs to be promoted and preserved. The local Pandayan is still active and you can still buy handcrafted knives and bolos made the same way during the Revolutionary era.

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Kawit celebrates the Christmas season through a spectacular display of lights at the Aguinaldo Shrine and Freedom Park.

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A fireworks display and lighting of the Christmas lights at the Freedom Park was also held. Make sure to v isit Kawit Cavite this Christmas Season and enjoy the season filled with pride in our own heritage and historical sites in Kawit.

The Municipality of Kawit welcomes everyone who wishes to visit Kawit during the Christmas season.

 

Intramuros Open House 2019

It was a hot sunny day when our small blogger group met at Plaza Roma past 7:30 am for the one day Intramuros Open House event.

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Manila Cathedral Basilica

They took a chance to explore and enjoy these museums within the walled city. Some of the bloggers are living in northern part of Metro Manila like Deparo,Novaliches, Fairview, Rodriguez, Montalban and San Mateo, Rizal did not have much time to visit the place during ordinary days.

Intramuros Open House

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Old Manila Eco Market

Mr. Philip Reyes is one of the early bird at the meet-up place which was the Old Manila Eco Market in front of Manila Cathedral Basilica.

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Manila Cathedral Basilica and former Manila Collectibles place

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flowering Dendrobium orchids and ornamental plants for sale

Old Manila Eco Market had stalls selling environment sustainable products, flowering plants, handicrafts and food made by locals or ethnic groups.

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Manila Cathedral interior

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Archbishops of Manila from late 1579 up to the present

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Manila Cathedral Basilica – We have waited a couple of minutes and took some time explaining a brief history of the church to the participants.

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La Pieta

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Fort Santiago entrance

Fort Santiago is our second stop, The well manicured space was a delight to photographers, we saw a lot of intagramers. However it seems hotter compared to what we have accustomed with. It was the paved concrete which gives a heat island effect.

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Plaza de Armas

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historical marker at the Dr. Jose Rizal’s shrine

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Dr. Jose Rizal wax figure

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tribunal

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Dr. Jose Rizal cell

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lego exhibit- Manila Hotel

The Lego exhibit is one of the MUST See attractions inside the Fort Santiago. I have been there several times. Some visitors keep on touching and playing the lego buildings that some of them have missing parts.

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tranvia

The group met a lot of familiar faces and friends during our tour.

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San Agustin church facade

 Except for Philip Reyes and the author. It was the first time for the rest of the group at the museum. The last time i have entered the San Agustin museum was two months ago, when the company that i am working organized a pre-conference tour in intramuros.

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columbary units

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retablo

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At the ground floor of the San Agustin Convent and Museum, There was an ongoing Marian exhibit entitled ” Regina Caeli”  which also attracted record number of people.  We saw Sir Jeff Fernando ( a santo devotee and collector).

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botanical prints and samples

We also saw a couple of stamp collectors and heritage advocate at the museum.

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 immaculate conception carved from elephant ivories – Don Luis Ma. Araneta collection

 The group enjoyed the two hour or so tour inside the San Agustin convent and museum.

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Casa Manila and San Luis Complex

Casa Manila is a three -story rich merchant house in the late 18th and early 19th century. According to travel brochures and some books, This  merchant house was replicated from an actual house in San Nicolas district in Manila. Some materials were from demolished period houses in Manila and nearby provinces.

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second floor

The collection also included furniture f rom estate and family collection acquired by Intramuros administration in the early 1980’s up to the mid-1990’s

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sala

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kitchen area

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toilet

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Casa Manila central courtyard

Casa Manila central courtyard is favorite location set for films, television commercial and wedding reception venue.

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bambike

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Instituto Cervantes – There was an art and bazaar at the second floor of the institute.

The group took a short lunch at the nearby convenient stores, It is much cooler inside compared to the karinderia.

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Bahay Tsinoy – Bahay Tsinoy is a resource center,venue and museum. The place also had an auditorium area and resource library.

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terracota warrior replica from Xian- donated to the museum

We used to include the museum as part of the extended postal heritage tour.

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life size mannequin

The group of Mercedes Maata left after the Bahay Tsinoy museum tour. We were able to get some postcards, books and Tulay newspapers at the lobby.  They use to sell the postcards before.

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Museo Destileria Limtuaco signage

We continued our Intramuros and visited the Museo Destilleria Limtuaco which opened their door in 2018.  It was my 8th time in this museum and first time for the rest of the participants.

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Museo Destileria Limtuaco facade

( photo courtesy of Mr. Philip Reyes)

Museo de Intramuros– We arrived past 1:30pm at the museum and fall in line to revisit the museum. It was the first time for the rest of the participants. Saw Axl Guinto and Dennis Dy Kho fellow bloggers. According to the security guards manning the museum, The museum is still FREE until the end of the year. Do not the miss the chance to visit the place.

Museo Destileria Limtuaco This used to be an ancestral house of the Limpe family acquired in the late 1970’s. Eventually the ancestral house was converted into a museum and memorabilia center.

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bottles

Destileria Limtucao company had tucked into their colorful history 5 generations of master blenders.  It was established by a Chinese immigrant born of a merchant family in Amoy, China, Lim Tua Co.

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visitors

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barrels

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Lights and Sound Museum– The museum opened past 1:00 pm. There were two other schedule held within 1 hour interval.

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life-size mannequin

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Boy Scout monument  ( photo courtesy : Philip Reyes)

Boy Scout Monument  sometimes called Laging Handa Monument beside Colegio de San Juan de Letran. The monument was featured in a local postcard in the late 1960’s. It was printed by Madonna and distributed by Goodwill Bookstore.

The three boy scout featured were the three boy scout from Colegio de San Juan de Letran.

The group also went to the Parian gate area where is an ongoing Likhaan booths. By this time, most of the participants were tired and could not take any photos.

We accompanied Ms. Darylle and her daughter at the foot of Quezon bridge, where they rode an AUV express going to Fairview and the author took an LRT line 1 Central station. Finally bid farewell after almost 8 hours of walking tour within intramuros.

Open House in Intramuros on October 27, 2019

Intramuros Administration in partnership with National Commision for Culture and Arts (NCCA) , Department of Tourism (DOT), Museo ni Jose Rizal ( Fort Santiago), Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Authority (TIEZA) San Agustin Church and Museum, Knights of Columbus Fraternal Association of the Philippines, Inc., Kaisa Heritage Center, Barbara’s, The Manila Cathedral, Destileria Limtuaco Museum , Instituto Cervantes de Manila and Colegio de San Juan de Letran will be having the open house on October 27, 2019 SUNDAY from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

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Celebration of Museums and Galleries Month

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Most of the main streets within Intramuros will be closed and please be advise that parking slots is limited.

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Among the other places to be visited is Old Manila Eco Market  in front of Manila Cathedral , Likhaan Festival and Bambike Tour.

Tranvia Service will also be FREE.

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