Dear Friends, Family and Loved ones,
Yesterday, Victoria and I headed down to the ancient city center of Manila to the walls or INTRAMUROS.
Most of the Walled City had been totally obliterated between Feb. 3 and March 3, 1945 due to Japanese burning and Allied Bombing of the capital. Intramuros is 450 hectars of the most historical parts of the capital of Manila, founded here by the Spaniards in 1571.
Only the church, St. Augustin survived the fighting in 1945.
Maria Victoria and I took a horsedrawn cart around the entire old town. http://www.wowphilippines.com.ph/explore_phil/place_details.asp?content=famousefor&province=80
Along the way, we were able to recall the great devastation of that city in 1945, i.e. which included mass graves of 100,000 people and soldiers in the end, due to the carnage.
Santiago Fort was also a beautiful and sovering stop.
It is best remembered as the place where the national hero, Jose Rizal was kept in prison before his trumped up courtmartial and execution. Dr. Jose Rizal was sort of a universal man, a la Goethe, who was an artist, medical doctor, poet, naturalist, and dreamer of a new Philippines.
There is not a city in the country which doesn’t bear a street or park to this hero, who died just after his marriage in 1896. (We stayed near Rizal street in El Nido last week while on Palawan.)
Interestingly, Rizal wrote and inspired his national compatriates first through many of his publications in Germany in the 1880s. Rizal had studied in Spain, France, and Heidelberg. Like my wife (Vik), Rizal was fluent in 6 or 7 languages.
He became even more influential as a patriate writer in exile in Berlin, Germany before returning to his homeland in the 1890s.
Alas, I will have to fly back to Europe myself tomorrow. Yes, I will be in Germany–yes, I would like my wife to be able to join me from the Philippines, soon.