2nd day of RECONQUERING MANILA | Con Tour at the Fort Santiago.
Fort - built to secure a secluded place from possible intrusion.
Fortress - a structure constructed along the periphery of a fort used as defense line from the enemy.
Santiago - a boy's name is pronounced sahn-tee-AH-go. It is of Spanish origin, and the meaning of Santiago is "Saint James". A blended form of Saint Diego; Diego is a Spanish form of James. James the Greater (of the two apostles by that name) is the patron saint of Spain. Or in short, Fort Santiago in english form is a GREAT FORT.
I must admit that before, I do not really appreciate visiting cultural heritage sites since these are so quaint, boring and faint. But when I realized that there is more than just visiting the site, that you would discover aside from being a Filipino, but our connection in the past on what we are now, a free man, how our ancestors fought to attain the true freedom, and the very meaning of patriotism against the Spanish suppressive and discriminative treatment and their lives during the Japanese occupation.
Before I will proceed with my thoughts, let me first give some notions as to what are the interest of the Spanish during their occupations. According to the history books, their purpose on why they colonized the Philippines was because of 3G. Its not the modern 3G phone. Three (3) G stands for Gold, God and Glory. They only wanted our Gold, Treasures and Resources, such as the spices. Some of the interests are to keep their position of authority and privilege.
Spanish rule had two lasting effect on Philippine society; the near universal conversion of the population to Roman Catholicism and the creation of a landed elite. Although under the direct order of Philip II that the conversion of the Philippines to Christianity was not to be accomplished by force, the monastic orders of the Augustinians, Dominicans, Franciscans, Recollects and Jesuits set to their missionary duties with purpose. Unable to extirpate the indigenous pagan beliefs by coercion and fear, Philippine Catholicism incorporates a deep substrate of native customs and ritual.
The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 cut travel time to Spain. This prompted the rise of the "illustrados", an enlightened Filipino upper class, since many young Filipinos were able to study in Europe. The revolution was began and lead by Dr. Jose Rizal in 1896 and on that same year, he was executed in Bagumbayan which is now known as the Luneta Park.
This post is dedicated to the 150 years celebration of Jose Rizal's birthday on June 19, 1861. And it coincides with the Birthdate of my grandfather who also fought as guerilla in World War II during the Japanese invasion. See, as what I've mentioned above, we really have a connection in the past, and that is called affinity.
|The Remnants of World War II - A canon and the balls|
You would not only enjoy this historical site, but somehow you would not help to reflect that we belong to the past and you can feel the pain on how was being a patriot by re-reading the works of Dr. Jose Rizal, the "Noli Me Tangere" and the "El Felibusterismo".
|How Am I related to DANILO PANGANIBAN?|
|European couple caught by my camera about to leave "The FORT SANTIAGO"|
|The Mighty Wall|
|Statue of Dr. Jose P. Rizal inside Fort Santiago|
|Baluarte de Santa Barbara|
|The MURAL of execution|
|Overview of the Fort Santiago or the Great Fort- Parks, Promenades and Picnic Areas|
|The RUINS of the Rizal's Shrine|
|Mr. and Mrs. Seddon - pronounced as She-dden, I thought at first, "siya din"|
I've met this lovely couple when I about to leave the place. As they musing the place, the American guy told me that how ridiculous, outrageous and brutally treated the American and Filipino prisoners in the dungeon. They were never rescued when flood infiltrated them. They all died with that flood. He even almost cried. Then at that moment, I've told him that, I really salute you and all the Americans in rescuing the Philippines during the World War II. I also said, we all owed it from General McArthur.
March 10, 2011, Japan was badly hit by a Tsunami resulted from an earthquake 500 miles away from the country. Two days after that incident, I was very much lucky because aside from being safe from Japan's tsunami, I've personally met the Tsunami of the Fort Santiago, last March 12, 2011.
|The horse in this "Kalesa", the dwarf horse named Tsunami|
Lastly, from the definition of the Santiago,a boy's name is pronounced sahn-tee-AH-go. It is of Spanish origin, and the meaning of Santiago is "Saint James". A blended form of Saint Diego; Diego is a Spanish form of James. James the Greater (of the two apostles by that name) is the patron saint of Spain. Or in short, Fort Santiago in english form is a GREAT FORT.
That is why I felt so much connected in this place, its because, my son's name is James Dei and Saint James is on July 25 where I reckoned his name. I just add it with DEI, that means GOD.
This is not purely a coincidence. This is really what we called our affinity in the past or our connection in the past.
So as conclusion, once you go to Manila, include this place in you itinerary. Its just near from the SM Mall of Asia and it is the heart of Metro Manila. I would love to visit this place again soon.
For Inquiries :
Intramuros Visitors Center, Fort Santiago, Tel. 5272961
Fort Santiago Office, Fort Santiago, Tel 5271572
Plaza San Luis Complex, Cor. Real & Gen. Luna Sts., Intramuros, MM,
Tel. No. 5274084 / 5274088
Intramuros Administration, 5/F Palacio del Governador, Intramuros, MM.
Tel. 5273138/ 5273155/ Fax No. 5273084.