Manila Walking Tour
I’ve lived in Manila while I was in college. There’s nothing more cultural and hypnotic and tempting as living in Manila. Writers have lived here and wrote about its vulgarity, its beauty (both hidden and explicit) and most importantly, its food.
So, I dragged my sleep deprived self to go on this Old Manila Walking Tour with my family. I was initially skeptical, having lived in Manila previously; I thought there would be nothing new to see. It was my city and I had this belief that I knew her well. She had nothing to hide from me and that I knew her folds and crevices.
I think I have never been so glad to have been so wrong. Apparently, my Manila still had secrets she kept from me.
The tour starts at the Binondo church, now more popularly known as the San Lorenzo Ruiz church – named after the very first Filipino Catholic Saint. You can go ahead and Google the church but nothing out of the ordinary can be seen. Then again, that’s just my own religious view. Purists may have their own opinion.
So far I was unimpressed. There was nothing about the church and the place that I didn’t already know from my own research and from old school field trips (yes, we do field trips to different churches. It is a predominantly Catholic country after all). Of course, I was being grumpy as the toll of being sleep deprived was starting to bubble its way through my skin. After a talk about history and trivia about the church, we officially started the tour.
1) Don’t eat anything before you start the tour
I assure you, it will be the biggest regret you will ever have.
2) Wear comfortable clothes and shoes
It’s a walking tour, doink. Don’t forget a hat, just in case it gets hot. I wouldn’t recommend an umbrella as the streets are quite tight and there are a lot of people. It would restrict your movement. Just slather the sun block and wear a hat.
Just enough for you to be able to buy some food or trinkets you’d like to take home with you. You have already paid for the tour and there would be no need to go on a shopping splurge.
4) Be open to new things
Nobody likes a killjoy. Enjoy the tour and keep your opinions to yourself – unless they were happy and good opinions.
5) Have fun
It’s an adventure, for heaven’s sake.
Okay, on to our regularly scheduled program….
There are a lot of reasons why people go on this kind of a tour. For foreign tourists (we had Robert the Brazilian on this one) it’s an opportunity to understand a different culture. For locals, it’s to see a different perspective of our own culture; younger ones discovering things about themselves and their ancestry, older ones reaffirming their cultural beliefs and traditions – it was a meeting of generations and all agreeing on one thing: the love for food. Nobody can say no to food.
There were multiple “food stops” for the trip, all with varying degrees of consumption – light meals, snacks, heavy snacks and dessert! All yummy!! The best part is it’s pretty much an “eat all you can” tour. I think it’s perfect how you can stuff yourself to the brim and then walk it off just to build your appetite for the next food stop.
He would always find a way to relate any historic event with food or the consumption of food. Most of the tour guides I’ve met were vapid robotic creatures. Ivan, was thankfully not one of them.
I don’t want to spoil the tour for you by going on and on about every little detail. You have to go through the experience yourself. Trust me, it’s well worth the sleep deprivation and the cost.
The following video shows Ivan, the tour guide giving an introduction to the Manila Walking Tour.
To know more about Old Manila Walking Tours, you can visit their website by visiting their website at www.oldmanilawalks.com or you can call (632) 7113823 / (63-917-329-1622) and look for Ivan or Cherry. The tours run on weekends and starts at 9AM