IT WAS a rainy Wednesday morning in Intramuros when media guests and casual tourists alike embarked on a cultural tour days ahead of the Philippines’ 125th Independence Day.
However, the rain didn’t stop people from exploring the Walled City, known as such for its 4.5-kilometer-long fortifications surrounding about 64 hectares.
Aside from being a trade center between Europe and Asia and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church in the country, it was (and still is) home to some government offices and well-known universities.
The city was named “Intramuros” which means “within the walls,” said the tour guides from the Intramuros Administration (IA).
Established in 1979 through Presidential Decree No. 1616, which declared the site a “monument to the Hispanic period of Philippine history,” IA is responsible for Intramuros’ restoration and development.
This is what led IA to partner with travel and leisure booking platform Klook to launch the Klook Intramuros Pass, a tour pass featuring many of the walled city’s iconic attractions, in time for Independence Day.
“Our mission is to protect and conserve the historical and cultural value and significance of Intramuros, as we believe in the importance of being knowledgeable of our nation’s history,” said lawyer Joan Padilla, administrator of Intramuros, at the press launch at Ilustrado Restaurant.
“Partnering with Klook gives not just Filipinos but foreigners access to the rich history of the different historical hotspots Intramuros has to offer,” she added.
The Klook Intramuros Pass lets one choose at least three and at most six of seven attractions in the city to visit. Depending on the package selected, it can cost anywhere from P215 to P1,350.
The options are:
* Fort Santiago
* Casa Manila Museum
* Museo de Intramuros
* Baluarte de San Diego
* Heirloom Filipiniana and Barong Rental; and,
* A premium add-on of either the BamBike Tour or White Knight Electric Chariot Tour.
Armed with umbrellas, the media guests visited the first three spots (which, with the pass, would cost just P215) amid the turbulent weather. Despite that, many other visitors were also still exploring the area to learn about their history, proving the beauty and allure of the sites.
As per the IA’s tour guides, this was standard and unsurprising since Intramuros attracts many people all year round, rain or shine. More than a million visitors explore Manila each year, many of whom go to the walled city, according to the Department of Tourism.
Michelle Ho, general manager of Klook Philippines and Thailand said that beyond leisurely benefits, travel has “the power to connect us to our roots, allowing us to delve deeper into the story of our ancestors, ultimately fostering a sense of national pride.”
“By bringing the Intramuros Pass online via the Klook platform, we aim to make it easier and even more convenient for everyone to explore more of Manila and the rich history behind these iconic walls around Intramuros,” she said.
Klook is offering a Buy 1 Take 1 promo for the first 100 customers availing of the new Klook Intramuros Pass from June 8 to June 18. — Brontë H. Lacsamana