Disclaimer: I justed named the tour after my dear friend, Juned, because he gallantly volunteered to be the tour guide for us and not because it is an "official" tour.
My friends from Davao flew in last week for the iBlog4 Summit and mentioned that they wanted to tour Manila. Being a Manilenya I just took it for granted that all the "Old Manila" places are just around. At one point in my career I was there almost everyday, so I really didn't notice much what was in Binondo and Intramuros.
So last Sunday off I went with my friends to Binondo where we walked from Savory through Quintin Paredes where the Binondo Church is located. After taking photos of the famous church we traversed Ongpin to the Estero where we had a sumptuous lunch of Chinese food. A quick walk around Binondo proved that there weren't any "Quickly" stalls in the area so we turned back towards Quintin Paredes when we reached Reina Regente.
We then proceeded to Intramuros for a quick look of the place and settled at the San Agustin Church where we witnessed 3 weddings in less than 3 hours. I must admit there were a lot of makatindig-balahibo places at the museum and a photo just mysteriously showed up in my camera when I was downloading photos (creeepyyy!!!). There were a lot of beautiful relics though made of ivory and gold. I cannot imagine how the olden priests wore those gold-laden robes, mabigat na, mainit pa! Security was quite strict about photography in those places.
After Intramuros we rushed to the Mall of Asia to catch the 5:00 p.m. Manila Bay Cruise. Yes! Seriously! A cruise on Manila Bay. The Metrostar Ferry claim that the cruise is, "Scenic. Romantic. Relaxing." After the long day walking around Binondo and Intramuros I must say that the three adjectives describe the cruise appropriately. Too bad though, there was only a semi-sunset. Boohoo.
Here's my vlog about the J.S. Manila Tour -
Some tips if you want to do the tour:
Binondo: Go on a Sunday, most establishments would be closed, but it's easy to park. Park at Savory and just take a walk down Quintin Paredes and then turn right at Ongpin (by the Binondo Church). You can also buy gold jewelry at the many shops in the area. We spent around PhP200 each for food.
Intramuros: We parked beside Casa Manila and just crossed the street to the San Agustin Church and Museum. The museum fee is PhP100, students get a discount.
Manila Bay Cruise: The Metrostar Ferry terminal is located behind the SMX at the Mall of Asia (beside the church). The Manila Bay Cruise cost only PhP120. Schedules: 11:15 a.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. If you go on the 5:00 p.m. trip on a Friday or Saturday the ship docks near the fireworks barge. Tel. No. 632-4078826/26 or 0928-6774221.