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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Manila Tour

I just came out of Binondo church after the noon mass when I noted 2 huge yellow jeepneys outside with the Wow Philippines sticker. When I passed near it I noted their website also posted. I walked further going back to the office and I passed by a very fair gentleman in white short sleeve barong and his face was very familiar. I was still trying to figure out who he is when I noted the a number of people coming from Plaza Ruiz with name tags and shell necklace with huge button sticker (Just wasn’t able to read what was on it)… ah they are from the group that rode the tourist jeepneys and it suddenly flashed in my head… Ace Durano, the tourism secretary that was who the man is! They might be having a familiarization tour for a certain tourism project.

I crossed the street going to the plaza and there were still a couple of the people from the tour and I noted another familiar face. I’ve seen him before in front of Binondo church as he was guiding a small bunch of foreign tourists and I was thinking that this time he was guiding a bigger group. Aside from Carlos Celdran, he is one of those people that do a walking tour around Manila and I thought that I’d look him* up on the net when I get back to the office.

It was still a long walk to the office and I was thinking about tourism in Manila. I would love to join one of the walking tours. I’ve been thinking about it but have not really come to joining one (I’m thinking about a lot of things but have not done most also… sigh!!!) Often times also when I’d see foreign tourists inside Binondo church or in front of it with their maps with them I wonder what will be their reaction if I approached them and tell them something about the church or direct them to the place they are trying to figure out in their maps. I would love to talk about Binondo church, I don’t really know its history but I could tell them about the paintings on the church ceiling… that in front, on top of the altar is Saint Michael the archangel, at the 4 corners of the dome are the 4 evangelists with the painting of Jesus during the last supper on the left and on the right is the young Jesus and Joseph as carpenters, then on the middle of the church are the mysteries of the rosary (it only had the 3 mysteries since it was painted before the luminous mysteries were added) and there is also Saint Joseph on the ceiling on choir section which is across the altar.

Then I thought about the maps, I’ve seen a lot of tourists having difficulties when they look over their maps (mostly road maps on booklets) and I kept thinking how nice if they have a colorful (cartoon-like) map that features the tourist destinations around Manila… there’s a lot to see and it will even be neat if the destinations have stickers where the tourist can get and stick on their maps to show that they’ve been there so they could keep it as a souvenir later.

Since the former Mayor Lito Atienza fixed a lot of tourist areas in Manila, for me it has become a very nice city to tour. A jeepney tour would be neat but a walking tour with the guide telling you about history and trivias of the place I think would even be better.

I experienced a guided tour when I went to India and when you hear about the history of the place you visit, it becomes more alive and exciting! You could imagine how it was before with all the people the culture and all its splendor. Manila has a lot of history too and I think a lot will appreciate it when someone guides you through it. Now the guiding is for the experts… and I hope I’d have a chance to join one of them someday… soon!

Ps... i've checked the net for the tourist guide I saw, it believe he was Ivan Man Dy :-)


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