His majesty on a high horse had built a fortress made of stones meeting water carpeted with a thousand water lilies and land paved with cobblestones and dust and soot.
So vast a city it was within. Intramuros, it was aptly called -- great and gold and literate and manned by the powers that be, Hispanic and ruling and alien.
The city safeguarded the high society of the altar, of silk, and of the written word.
Universities. Convents. Churches. Government seats.
The citadel was the center of the inseparable state and church, kissing each other while lording over the poor Filipinos -- now Christened brown-skinned people, erstwhile Muslims. Slaves and second-class citizens of Las Islas Filipinas they were reckoned.
War after war, Intramuros had slowly lost its power, its luster became a wistful memory, and was finally reduced to rubble during the costly Battle of Manila.
The colonizers sailed back to their own land.
Their prized possession, the Pearl of the Orient Seas, was back to the hands of a people that had been aspiring for liberty never they had thought of as fruitless.
Freemen, they had become, brave and audacious Filipinos.
Intramuros, Manila, Philippines
Bureau of the Treasury
Fort San Pedro
Gusaling Don Pepe Atienza (PLM Graduate School Building)
Baluarte de San Diego Gardens
Casa Manila Museum