Sunday, November 21, 2010

MANILA: 06 – The Ermita Walkathon

It was raining when I got out of Intramuros and my legs were already telling me to go home and be on bed rest for the next few days. The joys of leg torture! My mind was against the idea. It was only 1 PM and the Planetarium on the other side of the street looked really interesting. So I rested under a tree until the heavy rain turned into a light shower and then I crossed Padre Burgos Street.

There was no entrance to the Planetarium on that side so I scrapped the idea of visiting it altogether and just took a photo of the facade. Heading north seemed to be a good idea because there were a couple of landmarks scattered there like the Manila City Hall, the National Museum, the Post Office, and the Metropolitan Theater. The next hour was a battle to stay standing as my calves and legs connived and almost gave up on me.

First stop was the National Museum and there seemed to be two of them: one old and the other new. History is always fun and nowadays easily accessible in the Internet. I have been to the National Museum before. I remember the ruins of San Diego, which I thought was the same San Diego featured in Rizal’s novel until my Filipino teacher giggled like a girl (which was inappropriate because she was already 60+ by then) and informed me that I was mistaken. The museum across the street was more aesthetically pleasing to look at. I walked some more. Farther. And then I reached the city hall.

I tossed my umbrella on a sidewalk en route to the city hall. Oh no, I littered! Good thing Mayor Lim did not see me. The city hall looked dull since it was a weekend, not a lot of activity going on in there. One arresting feature of the said building is the clock tower, although I never got to check if the clock actually worked. What I saw on the other side of the street brought tears to my eyes. SM! REST! FOOD! It was a glorious moment. As with other SM branches, this one was crowded but who cares! I ate like I never had a meal in ten days and bought two bottles of mineral water to go. 30 minutes on the hard and cold fast food bench was heaven and after that I was ready to go.

There is a wall nearby featuring Andres Bonifacio in his signature Don’t be takot! Let’s make baka! pose. I think that is what they call Bonifacio’s Wall, or perhaps I am mistaken once again due to lack of research. Behind that is a park, which was full of mini plastic seats that day because of some event. Somewhere lost in the crowd was a little monument of Emilio Jacinto, or maybe that was Aguinaldo. Damn you, memory gap! It is not that difficult to get lost in terms of name recall because there are a lot of similar monuments scattered out there all the way to the Metropolitan Theater. There was even one for some Russian poet and some historical figures I did not even knew existed.

The Metropolitan Theater was underwhelming because I was on the wrong side. I asked the cigarette vendor where it was and he gave me that Doh, you high? look. Apparently I was standing in front of the said building. You have to go to the other side if you want to see its once magnificent facade. On the other side of the street is the Post Office. Be careful when crossing the street. There always seems to be heavy traffic coming from the direction of the bridge.

MANILA: 06 - The Ermita Walkathon

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