Puerta de Isabela

Queen Isabela II gate and monument ( Puerta de Isabela )

The last gate to be built in Intramuros was opened in 1861 as a solution to the heavy pedestrian traffic outside Parian Gate to the Puente de Espana (Bridge of Spain) and Binondo. Located in front of it is the Queen Isabel II statue honoring the then reigning Spanish monarch. The gate became part of the route of the tranvía (streetcar) that started in 19th century Manila. It was damaged during the Battle of Manila in 1945 and restored in 1966.

Political upheavals in Spain led to the downfall of the Queen Isabel II and the rise of the liberal government in 1868. One of its officials, Carlos María de la Torre, was appointed governor-general of the Philippines. It was not long before he set on removing the remnants of the old regime in Manila. The task of destroying the monument was given to Bartolome Barretto, a government official. A sympathizer of the Spanish crown, he refused to carry out the task. Chinese workers were hired to remove the statue and Barretto hid it in his house before the Ayuntamiento reclaimed it. The Sociedad Económica de los Amigos del País (Economic Association of Friends of the Country) requested that the statue be made part of their museum collection but de la Torre consigned it to a storeroom in the Casas Consistoriales.

The statue was brought out and erected in front of the Malate Church in 1896. It remained there for over half a century until in 1970 when it was blown down by Typhoon Yoling. The monument was transferred to its present site during the visit of Prince Carlos of Spain in 1975.

Plaza Mexico and Plaza de Espana

Plaza de Mexico, also known simply as Plaza Mexico, is a historic riverside square in Manila, Philippines, located at the west end of Magallanes Drive and Riverside Drive in Intramuros bordering the Pasig River in the north. It is surrounded by the Aduana Building on the south, the Bureau of Immigration Building on the east and the ruins of the Bastión de Maestranza and Puerta de Almacenes on the west. The Pasig River Ferry has a station also named Plaza Mexico located northeast of the square behind the Immigration building. The square was named Plaza de Mexico in 1964 to commemorate the 4th centenary of the expedition of Miguel López de Legazpi and Andres de Urdaneta from New Spain (Mexico) and the historic Manila-Acapulco galleon trade relations between the two nations that lasted 250 years.

Plaza de España, also known simply as Plaza España, is a diminutive open space in Intramuros, Manila, Philippines formed by the intersection of Andres Soriano Avenue, Solana Street and Muralla Street. It is a triangular "square" which features a monument to King Philip II of Spain after whom the Philippines was named. The square is one of 47 parks and plazas in the City of Manila maintained by the city's Park Development Office in partnership with the Intramuros Administration. It is surrounded by the Aduana Building, the BPI Intramuros building which replaced the old Santo Domingo Church destroyed during World War II, and the Banco Filipino condominium building built on a portion of the old Ayuntamiento de Manila.

In the early Spanish colonial period, the square was known simply as Plaza Aduana. It was renamed to Plaza de los Martires de la Integridad de la Patria or simply Plaza de Martires in 1897 after the Spanish soldiers who died during the Philippine Revolution. It was in 1902 during the American colonial period when the plaza came to be known by its present name.

The Intramuros Administration began restoring the plaza in 1982. In 1998, the monument to King Philip II was erected in the center of the plaza. It was inaugurated in 2000 during the state visit of Queen Sofía as part of the celebration of the Philippine Centennial.

Maestranza wall and Fortification

Intramuros is also called the Walled City, and at the time of the Spanish Colonial Period was synonymous to the City of Manila. Other towns and arrables (suburbs) located beyond the walls are referred to as "extramuros", the Spanish for "outside the walls". It was the seat of government and political power when the Philippines was a component realm of the Spanish Empire. It was also the center of religion, education and economy. The standard way of life in Intramuros became the standard way of life throughout the Philippines

The city was in constant danger of natural and man-made disasters and worse, attacks from foreign invaders. In 1574, a fleet of Chinese pirates led by Limahong attacked the city and destroyed it before the Spaniards drove them away. The colony had to be rebuilt again by the survivors. These attacks prompted the construction of the wall. The city of stone began during the rule of Governor-General Santiago de Vera. The city was planned and executed by Jesuit Priest, Antonio Sedeno and was approved by King Philip II's Royal Ordinance that was issued in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain. The succeeding governor-general, Gómez Pérez Dasmariñas brought with him from Spain the royal instructions to carry into effect the said decree stating that "to enclose the city with stone and erect a suitable fort at the junction of the sea and river". Leonardo Iturriano, a Spanish military engineer specializing in fortifications, headed the project. Chinese and Filipino workers built the walls. Fort Santiago was rebuilt and a circular fort, known as Nuestra Senora de Guia, was erected to defend the land and sea on the southwestern side of the city. Funds came from a monopoly on playing cards and fines imposed on its excessive play. Chinese goods were taxed for two years. Construction of the walls began on 1590 and continued under many governor-generals until 1872. By the middle of 1592, Dasmarinas wrote the King about the satisfactory development of the new walls and fortification. Since the construction was carried on during different periods and often far apart, the walls were not built according to any uniform plan.

Improvements continued during the terms of the succeeding Governor-Generals. Governor-General Juan de Silva executed certain work on the fortifications in 1609 which was improved by Juan Niño de Tabora in 1626, and by Diego Fajardo Chacón in 1644. The erection of the Baluarte de San Diego was also completed that year. This bastion, shaped like an "ace of spades" is the southernmost point of the wall and the first of the large bastions added to the encircling walls, then of no great height nor of finished construction. It was the former site of Nuestra Señora de Guia, the very first stone fort of Manila. Ravelins and reductos were added to strengthen weak areas and serve as outer defenses. A moat was built around the city with the Pasig River serving as a natural barrier on one side. By the 18th century, the city was totally enclosed. The last construction works were completed by the start of the 19th century.

Fort Santiago

On the eve of his execution, Jose Rizal wrote his family: “I would like to see each one of you before dying, though it may cause much pain. Come the most valiant. I have some important things to say.” Serenely accepting his tragic fate, he composed his untitled valedictory poem, which ca,e tobe known as “Mi Ultimo Adios.” On 30th of December 1896, Rizal calmly faced the firing squad in Bagumbayan field.

Reconstruction in 1953 after its destruction in World War II, the Rizal Museum in Fort Santiago pays tribute to Jose Rizal through its themed settings and relics reflecting his life, achievements, and last hours before his execution.

At the entrance porch, a timeline features significant events in Rizal’s life, and his last days spent incarcerated at Real Fuerza de Santiago. Rizal’s cell, once a ‘cuarto de repuesto’ or storage room for military equipment, feature’s a life-sized wax effigy of Rizal sculpted by National Artist for Sculpture Guillermo Tolentino.

Viewers become witness to a re-enactment of Rizal’s trial through a dramatic light-and-sound presentation. The Main Gallery features the mural-sized oil painting depicting Rizal’s martyrdom by National Artist Carlos V. Francisco, and an enlarged photograph of his actual execution. Highlighted in the gallery is a piece of Rizal’s vertebra enshrined in a reliquary created by Sculptor Romualdo de Jesus.

The upper rooms comprise a comfortable Audio-Visual Room showing a short video biography of Rizal. An adjoining room features excerpts from Rizal’s writings and personal artifacts such as his clothing and sculptures – emphasizing his principles on the values of education, culture, national identity, social equality, and industriousness. The full text if ‘Mi Ultimo Adios’ is engraved on the sandstone wall.

The Museo bi Rizal, Fort Santiago encapsulates the great spirit of Jose Rizal within its maze of exhibited artifacts and galleries, inviting viewers to reverence and contemplation for Rizal’s acceptance of death with utmost dignity, calm, and nobleness.

Museum Schedule:

Monday 1:00P.M. - 5:00P.M

Tuesday – Sunday 9:00A.M. – 6:00 PM

Email Address: museonirizalfortsantiago@gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MJRFS

Instagram: @MJRFSofficial

First United Building

First United Building -formerly called Perez-Samanillo Building
The First United Building Community Museum is an ongoing project to honor the memory of its well-loved patriarch Sy Lian Teng. It is repository of artefacts, objectsm memories and dreams tp preserve and remember his life. From these narratives, escolta’s revitalization efforts and other significant information are also conveyed.

Permanent Collection

The FUBCM collection is comprised of memorabilia that were owned and used by Sy Lian Teng – Like photos, office equipment, documents and other personal items. It Also showcases Escolta’s environs through archival photos and articles culled from various Periods.

ExChange Space

The ExChange Space is a small nook where talks, discussions, presentations and screenings are held. It is programmed to help enriched the community of pressing issues, concerns and strategies.

A post shared by Cindy S. (@cccindyrella) on


Creativity is part of Escolta. The WALL promotes this through its temporary exhibitions. This helps encourage imagination and resourcefulness amongst creatives who would like to be part of Escolta’s revival efforts.

FUBCM Digital Archive

This is Dedicated to Archiving the artefacts, objects, photos, documents, materials and files in relation to Sy Lian Teng, Escolta Street and other related matters. The accumulated material can be accessed by researchers, history buffs, heritage advocates, interested parties and future generations.

Casa Manila and Barrio San Luis complex

Casa Manila is a museum in Intramuros depicting colonial lifestyle during Spanish colonization of the Philippines. (Only Cellphone Camera is allowed inside and Video is not allowed. There is only specific place to take picture)

 Casa Manila is a copy of an 1850s San Nicolas House that was once located in Calle Jaboneros. The architect of Casa Manila was J. Ramon L. Faustmann. It was constructed by Imelda Marcos during the 1980s and modeled on Spanish colonial architecture.

The museum is the imposing stone-and-wood structure c. 1850, one of the grand houses in Barrio San Luis, the heart of this barrio along Gen. Luna Street and beside the San Agustin monastery are five houses: Casa Manila, Casa Blanca, Casa Urdaneta. Los Hidalgos and El Hogar Filipino. None of these houses trace to the colonial period because they are post-1970s reconstructions of colonial dwellings. When completed the barrio will have a total of nine houses representing different periods of colonial architecture. is located across historic San Agustin church and bounded by Calle Real, General Luna, Cabildo and Urdaneta streets. The other two are the Los Hidalgos, c. 1650 and Cuyugan Mansion, c. 1890.

Calvo Bottle and Memorabilia Museum

The Calvo Building is a historic building along Escolta corner Soda Streets, Binondo, Manila, Philippines. Built in 1938, it is an outstanding example of beaux-arts architecture. It served as the home of the radio station DZBB-AM before moving to its present location in Diliman, Quezon City. It now houses the Escolta Museum which contains memorabilia from the past. The building is designed by Fernando H. Ocampo.

The Calvo is located along the magnificent Escolta, facing her neighbors the Crystal Arcade, Capitol Theater, and the Brias Roxas Building. At a cost of P300,000.00, the construction materials used by the Calvo Building were supplied by well-known establishments such as steel bars supplied by the Republic Steel Corporation, where it was represented in the Philippines by Atlas Trade Development Corporation; cement was supplied by Rizal Cement owned by Madrigal y Cía of the late Senator Vicente Madrigal López, and doors supplied by Gonzalo Puyat & Sons.

How To Fly Like A Pro: Come Visit The Philippine’s 7,107 Islands!

how to fly like a pro

Visiting the Philippine Islands‘s 7,107 islands can be very challenging.

It’s a good thing that the government is installing new airports to otherwise hard to reach destination.

Now that air travel is already more afforadable (thank you CebuPac! – their service is another story) and many Filipinos are more inclined to see our wonderful islands (yay!), let’s tackle some tips on how to be comfortable flying.

How to Fly Like a Pro

  1. Eat Right – Prevent or minimize dizziness by eating carb-rich foods. Opt for warm over cold foods for easy digestion.

carb-rich food

  1. Drink Water – Hydration takes the top priority when air traveling – drink up!

drink water

  1. Say No To – Caffeine and alcohol – both stimulants and dehydrators. Drink decaf green tea instead.

no to alcohol

  1. Go Light – Wear loose clothing and/or layers
  2. Comfort First – Neck pillows for a better sleep. Scarf for warmth and even lumbar support. Eye mask to help with sleep.
  3. Stress Free – Bring headphones/earplugs to cancel the noise. A power pack for more air time!


  1. Insider Tips – Choose window seat for more room and privacy. Sit by the wing – less turbulence.

window seat airplane

  1. Keep Moving – Exercise Tips: lift your feet off ground and rotate feet, keep your heels on the floor and point toes and roll shoulders forward and backward. Do these every hour to keep your body relaxed and in motion!

Wonderful Underwater Gems of Anilao Batangas: Reasons You Want To Dive Now

Anilao Batangas Underwater

Who likes to dive? Raise your hand!

I would love to raise my hand but I don’t even know how to swim. 🙁 Yeah, unlucky me.

Somewhere, someday I will learn how and I will add diving lessons to the mix. With the Philippine Islands being an archipelago, we have no shortage of beaches and swimming lessons is on my bucket list.

Anilao, Batangas Underwater Gems

While I’m still finding my inner mermaid, I have collected 15 wonderful underwater gems of Anilao, Batangas. Yeah, they are the reasons why I would like to learn to dive someday soon.

Meet these underwater creatures that will make you get a diving habit.

Hey nemo! #anilaobatangas #anilao #Batangas #nemofish #anenome #snorkeling

A post shared by Sage (@sagenesss) on


#artunderwater #thornyseahorse #anilaobatangas #secretbay

A post shared by I feel the need for speed! (@stingaard) on


You know what, collecting these images makes me thankful that I’m a Pinay and these treasures are just a bus/jeep/boat (take your pick) away!

The Philippines is wonderful, guys! Let’s enjoy nature and keep them pristine

I hope you enjoyed ‘diving’ with me. Stay tuned for my future posts.

If you would your images to be featured here and our Instagram account, please use the hashtag #philippineislandsig and I’ll curate your photos and post it for the world to see.

Credits to the owners of the pictures! XOXO

Spellbinding Secret Spots in Bauan Batangas You’d Like to Know

Bauan Batangas

Do you want to know a secret?

Bauan, Batangas is not a secret to Batangas locals, but with the internet going gaga over other more known Philippine Islands, some local and foreign tourists actually missed out on the secrets of Bauan.

Just a few hours drive from Manila, Bauan Batangas is actually a next-door beach getaway for tourist who wants spellbinding sights and have a good time.
Spots in Bauan Batangas You’d Like to Know

Water is so just fvcking clear! #beachmode #vacationmode #bauanbatangas

A post shared by John Melaño (@johnmelano) on


#binukbokviewpoint #Sunset #bauanbatangas #ph #itsmorefuninthephilippines #nikonphotography #nikon

A post shared by Maureen Manzano-Garcia (@reeng08) on

Before sunset. |Holyweek 2015

A post shared by TR Chavez (@tonetreb2) on

Keep calm and watch the sunset! #sunsetgasm #bauanbatangas #chillax #sunnysideup #juanday

A post shared by Mhar Christian Daria (@xeijzverdoz) on

Lovely sunset #BatongBuhangin #BauanBatangas #wheninphilippines #wheninbatangas #batangas

A post shared by Jenny Babes (@myjennybabes) on


Take a look at the beautiful Insta posts below and once you see them, you can not unsee. It will make you want to book the next bus ride to Bauan pronto.

Credits to the owners of these beautiful pictures. XOXO