Monday, April 18, 2011

RECONQUERING MANILA | Series 8 | Intramuros - The Palacio del Governador-My First Stay in Manila in 1992

Palacio del Gobernador

Brief history :

Residence and office of the Governor General or Palacio Real is located near the Fort Santiago's main entry road.  Its location is just about 100 meters across the main entry road going to "The Fort Santiago".

The site was formerly occupied by the stately residence of Captain Manuel Estacio Venegas, Secretary of the Governor General Diego Fajardo. Venegas died in March 07, 1660, a prisoner at Fort Santiago. His residence was confiscated and became the Palace of the Governors of the Philippine Islands until its destruction by the Earthquake of June 03, 1863.

These foundations, intended for the new Gubernatorial Palace, were abandoned when it was decided to make Malacañan the permanent residence of the Governors General. (inscribed in the stone plate mounted on the wall of the building).

 The other side of the History :
After it was destroyed by the Earthquake in 1863, the ruins was made into a plaza and bomb shelter during the American occupation.

After the Battle of Manila in 1945, American soldiers found several dead bodies in the bomb shelters. According to a story that goes like this, that during the last days of the war, Japanese soldiers herded 140 men including some priests from San Agustin Church to the ruins of the Palacio. They were crowded in the bomb shelters. Grenades were lobbied into the chambers. Only eight men survived to recount the holocaust.
The "KALESA"- A horse driven vehicle - a tourists vehicle
Today, this historical site is now the preferred tourists spot in Intramuros, Manila where you can hire a horse-driven vehicle or the "Kalesa" in Español at P250 to P500 per round to the whole site and will end up to the entrance gate near the Pamantasan ng Maynila and the Luneta Park. About the fare price, you can still haggle with the Kalesa Driver, but for me, I preferred to walk to save my coinage.

I saw a lot of foreigners also roaming around this site-Koreans, Chinese, Europeans,  Americans and Japanese Tourists were there also to see the historical site. The Japanese People are very much welcome here in the Philippines.
In 1991-1992, I was one of the team members in constructing all the Land Bank branches here in Manila and the Quezon City projects, under the supervision of Engr. ERIC LIBRANDA of Lucena City. The Intramuros Branch site of the Land Bank of the Philippines was handled by my colleague, Engr. Boy Cosio with the assistance of the Taft Avenue Branch Team, our team. Being part of the team, I am glad that the branch site was still there, after almost 20 years now. This is the living witness of my stay in this historical site, the Palacio Del Governador.
Land Bank Branch in Intramuros - part of the team when we renovated it in 1991-1992
When I saw this horse driven vehicle ("Kalesa"), I then recounted on, as to when was the last time I took a ride on this one, maybe in 1980, when I was in Grade 6? So, As a local tourist, I cant help myself to ask a favor for a picture from the Kalesa driver for a souvenir. The family name of the kalesa driver is Mendoza, still sounds a Spanish name, a remnants during the Spanish occupation/colonization.

ask another one for the Beatero St.

The View of the Palacio along Beatero Street

4 Con Tour Passers by:

  1. a nice homecoming to your previous work place that surely bring back lots of memories...

  2. reminiscing the past earl.:-).

  3. Cool! I felt like I was walking around the town myself. I also just realized that I have not ridden a kalesa. I'm doing that when I go back.

  4. hi grace. thank you for dropping by. I just want to try riding a kalesa but I only asked the Kutsero to take some picture while pretending that I am driving. Though they are tamed animals, I dont wanna try coz Im a bit scared since I still have traumatized with the accident happend to me with a horse here in our place. tsktsk.:-).


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