“Food’s here!” I yell, skipping across the carpeted floors of Linden Suites in barefoot. I don’t normally walk around without slippers, but with the thick carpet that layers the floor, it was a liberating feel for my usually-covered-with-thick-shoes feet. I dropped the food on the table, setting aside the adobo I had eaten earlier and the pandesal we had to quench my overwhelming hunger due to stress. It was early and there was only a few of us in the room. But it was okay. Within a few hours, our pajama party would officially start.
For anyone who lives in the Luzon areas and would like to get your set of stamps on your Rizal passport, the easiest way to do it is to go through the NCR route where you can get almost half of the stamps in just one day. Most of the sites with 150th Lakbay Rizal stamps are in Intramuros so all you’d need is a walk way around and you have completed the stamps. You can also make a side trip to Paco Park so all your NCR sites will be finished. In just one day, you can already have 12 stamps. Here’s our itinerary: Site of University of Sto. Tomas Fort Santiago – Rizal Shrine and Prison Cell Rizal Chapel Cell Ateneo Municipal de Manila Site of Rizal’s Trial Rizal Park Rizal Monument Site of the Execution of Rizal Rizal Fountain Paco Park Antipolo Church – if there’s still time This itinerary (without hours as it will vary on your pace and time started) can also begin with Antipolo Church (for those who live in Rizal) and then go onto the Site of University of Sto. Tomas or alternatively, go through the whole itinerary the opposite way. Either way, this is the easiest route to take as each site is closest to the next. How to Start
For a whole day itinerary, anyone can do the 150th Lakbay Rizal sites in Manila and Antipolo. That’s a total of 11 stamps all in one day! Here’s how: Site of University of Sto. Tomas From Jolibee Aduana, the Site of UST, located at Aduana cor. Solano Sts, Intramuros, Manila, where Miguel Benevidez stands is the nearest. According to the Tourism website, the stamp can be claimed at the Guard Outpost, Banco Filipino building, just near the area. However, when I came for my stamp, the site stamp was located at the Visitor’s Center in Fort Santiago. This is a Rizal site because Jose Rizal had been a student at UST from 1877 to 1882. Fort Santiago – Rizal Shrine & Prison Cell From the Site of the University of Sto. Tomas, the next site to visit is Fort Santiago, which is also a short walk away from the first site. Entrance to Fort Santiago is P75 for adults and P50 for students. The stamp can be found at the Visitor’s Center near the entrance. Fort Santiago is where Jose Rizal had been kept from November 3 to December 29, 1896 Mondays – 1:00 pm to 5:00 PM Tuesdays-Sundays – 8:00 am to 12:00 noon/1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Rizal Chapel Cell The Chapel Cell, now
Despite having once been a Manila girl, this year is the first time I’ve gotten a closer look at Manila’s oldest district – Intramuros. It may not have been the first time I stepped foot on it, but it is definitely the first time that I actually felt connected, felt interested and was enchanted by Manila’s history and how Intramuros came to be what it is today. I always thought touring Intramuros would be boring and tiring but while taking the time to go around Intramuros with the Bagets and again for my Rizal Passport – I realized Intramuros had more to offer. History is boring. I never liked AP classes or Philippine Constitution and I’d get so bored just studying it. However, when you’re in there – in that specific place where history happened, it’s a different story. It doesn’t seem at all boring. The “Walled City” has much more to offer than just the old walls, the tiled floors and the old structures – in fact, it’s such a charming place that if you’re into photography walks and history, Intramuros is the place to be. Once huge, the Intramuros of today only consists of part of its total area. The monuments, walls, museums, gates, churches and ruins that remain include: The University of Santo Tomas – or at
Stomach churning and wishing you could get something to eat? How about lots to eat? Binondo may be a chaotic part of Manila, however, it is also the home to various food stalls and restaurants that may or may not have a Chinese influence. This is also where you can find the famous little Chinatown of the Philippines. So, how do you get to Binondo? Good thing about learning how to go to Binondo is that it is easier than you think and even if you live far like me, it won’t be as hassling anymore – thanks to LRT 1 and LRT 2. On commute: If you’re coming from Rizal areas such as Cainta, Antipolo, Binangonan, Tanay, you can ride a jeep to Cubao (jeep must go through Sta.Lucia and not through Ever Gotesco) and get down at Santolan, LRT 2 station just before SM Marikina. From there, buy a ticket to Recto Station and take the train. Ticket will cost P15. Get down at the last station and exit to LRT 1 on the other side. From LRT 1 Doroteo Jose, you can take a train going to Carriedo Station. This will cost P12. From Carriedo Station, just walk a little along the narrow streets to your left until you find the Carriedo Fountain and the Sta. Cruz
So, I’m kind of into the whole eating thing – even if I’m really tiny. I’ve heard of the Binondo Food Walk before but I’ve never had the time to join nor the courage to do it alone (okay, fine, I didn’t know how to get to Binondo!). When the Bagets planned to do the Binondo Food Walk then and it was still summer, I agreed to go. The Bagets and I agreed to meet at the Carriedo Fountain at 9am. Ivan of Batang Lakwatsero and I met at Jollibee and then Robbie of the Creative Dork found us taking pictures at the fountain. Using Ivan Man Dy’s map of the Binondo Food Walk and Robbie’s extensive knowledge of the place, we began our tour from the Ongpin’s Goodwill Arch. For P500 and less than 8 hours, what can you get in Binondo? Shanghai Fried Siopao Fresh, hot and delicious, the Shanghai Fried Siopao was our first stop, located at the corner of Ongpin Street and Bahama Street. For only P16 you get what looks like an ordinary siopao, however, once you take a bite out of the siopao, it is even better than just the ordinary asado or bola-bola siopao. I even went back to Binondo just to bring some siopao home for my family. Wai Ying