By Zsarlene B. Chua
Sept. 23 and 24
For two days this weekend, several destinations inside Manila’s Walled City will be free for those who want to get a feel of the country’s colonial past or those who just want to chill inside the historical Intramuros as they kick-off Tourism Week with a two-day Open House from Sept. 23 and 24.
“This is part of our efforts to revitalize the heritage district based on the instructions of [Tourism] secretary [Wanda Tulfo-Teo],” said Guiller B. Asido, administrator of the Intramuros Administration during a press conference at the Department of Tourism (DoT) offices on Sept. 19.
Normally ticketed areas such as Fort Santiago, Baluarte de San Diego, and Casa Manila will be free and open to the public on those two days.
According to the event’s official Facebook page, several secret dungeons and chambers at these sites will also be open “so that all of you can check out all the good stuff Old Manila has to offer.”
“There will also be multiple exhibits and art fairs in the whole of Intramuros [in the duration],” he added.
Baluarte de San Diego will also host a garden party, serve as a picnic ground, and have a food and artisans bazaar. There will also be a photo/art walk at 9 a.m., while Plaza Roma and Manila Cathedral will host a bike tour at 3:30 p.m. among other activities on those two days.
The open house will be repeated on Oct. 14-15.
“This is all part of the efforts leading up to the regional fairs that the secretary has instructed us to do to revive — again — the whole of Intramuros,” Mr. Asido said. He added that regional fairs are scheduled to be conducted starting March 2018.
“This will not be your traditional showcase of events and activities. What we wanted was to highlight the journey of the Filipinos through history, culture, and the arts. So for the whole month we will highlight a particular region or province and they will tell the story from the pre-Hispanic period until the modern times through different mediums: history, language, and performance arts,” Mr. Asido said of the regional fairs scheduled for next year.
“We’re doing this to revive Intramuros much like what was done during the time of now Sen. Richard Gordon when Intramuros was beautiful,” said Ms. Tulfo-Teo in the same briefing.