Intramuros, the oldest district in Manila, is my favorite place in all of the city. It served as the seat of government during the Spanish era and served to protect Manila during wars with construction approved by King Phillip II. Currently, Intramuros still maintains its cobblestone streets with its bahay-na-bato (adobe houses) withstanding centuries.
Starting late this afternoon, the narrow, colonial streets will be teeming (if not packed!) with a sea of people hopping from one church to another. The place has a special place in my heart as I’ve been going regularly to the district ever since I was a little girl. My great-grandparents are buried in the ancient crypts of San Agustin Church.
On regular days, however, churches all aglow in full lights and statues will be on complete display. Typically, churches are a bit empty unless there are weddings going on. But today, as with many places around the country, churches will look like this picture above.
Going to Intramuros is like stepping back in time. Today, Holy Thursday, serves as a very busy day for the “Walled City”, where two of the largest cathedrals of Manila are located. Inasmuch as Holy Thursday is a solemn occasion, people go out as large groups of friends or families while doing prayers — and it shall feel a bit like a fiesta by nightfall.