It was the summer after my high school graduation in 2014 and my friends and I were determined to find fun things to do that wouldn’t break the bank. We decided to soak up some culture and imagine Manila in yesteryear by riding a kalesa (horse-drawn carriage) around Intramuros. Afterward, we explored Fort Santiago, a citadel in the walled city where our national hero Jose Rosal spent his last days before his execution.
We had a lovely guide named Kuya Obet who shared many tidbits of information with us that we didn’t even learn in our social science classes. Over all it was a really good day. We learned a lot and spent less than we would have in a mall, which was our goal!
A few weeks later, my family and I went on a road trip to Ilocos Sur and took in some more history. We stayed in Vigan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking the cobblestone streets at dusk was insanely beautiful since all the ancestral Spanish houses were painted in muted purple hues as if we were in an old film. While in Ilocos, we also visited the Paoay Church and rode ATVs through majestic sand dunes. Hopefully next time I could visit further north to see the wind mills in Ilocos Norte. 🙂