Sunday, June 5, 2016

Fort Santiago - In The Footsteps Of José Rizal...



Exploring Intramuros brought me to Fort Santiago, the citadel first built by the Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi in the 1570s to guard the new established city of Manila.



Passing by the Manila Cathedral again...


We pass by a horse drawn carriage decked up for a wedding on our way to Fort Santiago...


The fort was named after Saint James the Great (who was known as Santiago in Spanish). James was the patron saint of Spain...


A bridge across the moat leads us in...



A view of downtown Manila...



A relief of Saint James the Great on the facade of the gate. He is especially famous for ridding the Iberian peninsula of Islamic invaders from North Africa...


A plaque commemorating the restoration of the gate...


The first fort built in in 1571 was a structure of palm logs and earth. However most of it was destroyed when the city was invaded by Chinese pirates led by Limahong. The fort was restored in 1714 and that's when the gate with relief of Saint James was constructed...



Heading inside - the fort was the scene of conflict when the British invaded Manila in 1762 and then again during the Second World War when during Japanese, it served as a prison for POWs and also suffered heavy bombardment from the American and Filipino forces...





A cannon from yesteryears...




A procession of priests...


A statue representing the Filipino President Manual Quezon and the United States Army General, Douglas MacArthur...


Posing with the liberators...


The Rizal Shrine within the Fort...



Heading up to the wall by the Pasig River...



Flame trees or gulmohurs, as we call them in India, in full bloom...




This is the courtyard where José Rizal was executed by a firing squad...


José Rizal wan ophthalmologist by profession but he became a writer and a key member of the Filipino Propaganda Movement which advocated political reforms.
He was executed by the Spanish colonial government in 1896 for inciting rebellion after an anti-colonial revolution, inspired in part by his writings, broke out. He was just 35. Today he is regarded as a national hero...



The Pasig,,,


The dungeons here were where American POWs were kept during the Second World War, Living conditions were poor and many of them died...







In memory of the victims...





This was probably an armoury...


A part of the Fort is now a golf course...





Overlooking the Rizal shrine...



Bamboos from Philippines, China and Japan...




There stands Rizal, honoured by Filipino flags fluttering in the freedom of the breeze...




Rizal...






These footsteps trace the path of José Rizal as he was led to his execution, here in Fort Santiago, on December 30, 1896...






Looking back, as I head back...


...I was indeed surprised, pleasantly surprised, that Philippines also did have a rich history, that the country is still proud of, to this day!

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