Travel Post: A Trip to Old Manila

For my last weekend in the Philippines, my lab decided to organize a trip to Manila to show me some historical sites. It was so nice of them to order a van and plan a day for me because transportation can be hectic here and Manila is, well, overwhelming. In the morning, we toured around the oldest part of the city and in the evening, we ate dinner and shopped at Bonafacio Global City or BGC, a more modern area. It was such a fun day! Here are some pictures and tidbits of information:IMG_5230.JPG

We started by walking around Fort Santiago, a citadel first built by a Spanish conquistador for the new established city of Manila. The defense fortress is part of the structures of the walled city of Manila referred to as Intramuros. Although updated for today, the fort is one of the most important historical sites in Manila. Several lives were lost in its prisons during the Spanish Colonial War and World War II. It is also the site where José Rizal, one of the Philippine national heroes, was imprisoned before his execution in 1896. A statue of Dr. Rizal sits in the center of the area:IMG_5244.jpg

José Rizal was a Filipino nationalist during the tail end of the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines. An ophthamalogist by profession, Rizal became a writer and a key member of the Filipino Propaganda Movement which advocated political reforms for the colony under Spain. Dr. Rizal was executed by the Spanish colonial government for the crime of rebellion after the Philippine Revolution, inspired in part by his writings, broke out. Though he was not actively involved in its planning or conduct, he ultimately approved of its goals which eventually led to Philippine independence. Later in the day, we visited Rizal Park, also known as Luneta, where a monument honoring him depicts his execution:

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During the morning, we also visited San Agustin Church, the oldest cathedral in the Philippines. It was a Sunday morning, so we actually had the chance to observe mass:

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On the walk back to our van, we stumbled upon another monument depicted all of the past Presidents of the Philippines:

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In the evening, we ate at a Thai restaurant and went to one of my favorite clothing stores: Uniqlo! It is a Japan-based company that also has locations in Chicago and New York. It was such a fun day thanks to my wonderful lab mates! I feel like I learned so much about the history of this country in just one day.

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In this picture, Ate Ana is not snapping. She is making a heart with her two fingers:20476107_1618106818201671_6589802003040617366_n.jpg

Right now, I am working on my presentation detailing all that I learned during my internship and will present that on Thursday. Many interns are also leaving this week so I have scheduled out dinners with them to say goodbye as well. On Friday, I will pack up my things, turn in my exit clearance paperwork, and begin the long trek home! I fly to Taiwan, have a 5 hour layover, and then take a 15 hour flight to O’Hare. This summer has gone by so fast, and I have enjoyed every moment of it! Next blog post will be my last post and will be a final reflection about my overall experience and about my favorite things. Paalam Pilipinas!

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