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Gene Michael M. Atanacio (Co-Author), 4T1- Roxanne Faye Lapuz, Rose-Anne Lopez, Alyssa Gail Manuncia, Beatrice Marie Mercado, Norely Umali
Intramuros was the center of political, military and religious power of the Spaniards during the 16th century. During the 2nd World War, it was heavily damaged and was used as prison and barracks. Today, Intramuros gains attention because of its renovated infrastructures and sceneries while the historical essence of the old buildings with Spanish influences is maintained. As future tourism practitioners, it came to our attention that Intramuros can be a potential site in promoting Philippine culture and heritage. With our eager desire to help, we wish to identify and focus on the influences regarding the current progress with the increasing number of tourists within the location. Through conducting quantitative and qualitative methods of research we will have a lucid view of how tourism growth is affected by the newest trends in the tourism industry.
INTRAMUROS - CENTER OF CULTURE AND HISTORY
Ciudad Murada holds the key to the door of our rich history. Because of our eagerness to rediscover the city of our ancestors’ dreams, we have followed the footsteps of our heroes and went to visit our past.
When someone says, ‘Manila Cultural and Heritage Tour’ one might think of Ciudad Murada in an instant. In this walled city, people would usual go to Fort Santiago, to Manila Cathedral or to the San Agustin Church. These places are the most preserved and developed places in Ciudad Murada, but there is more in this place than those ‘usual’ locations.
In Sri Lanka, pollution is one of their major problems in the preservation of the place. To address this problem, they established a hotel that is under strict municipal guidelines. Sigria and Intramuros have this problem in common. Because just like in any other site, may it be ecological or cultural, limitations have to be set and implemented in order to preserve it. (http://environmentlanka.com/blog/2008/pollution-control-and-wastemanagement-in-sri-lanka/) When our group went to Intramuros, in San Agustin Church to
be specific, we had a hard time crossing to the other side of the street because of the seemingly unending cars and of the narrow road. There are also vacant lots that are still kept unused and undeveloped which could affect the impression of the tourist.
A Cultural and heritage site shares a great role in the formation of a country’s culture and history. It is expected that the Filipinos would uphold the institution that history brought us. There has been a cultural property that includes the safe guarding it from an intentional and on purpose destruction. “It has been suggested that greed and violence are the greatest threats in cultural properties.” (Baxter, in Williams 1978; vii)
The physical care must also been preserved as a composition of the cultural property. It has been significantly important to the community, however, to be effectively protected it must deal with specific vulnerability.
Cultural heritage preservation started because of the desire of preserving cultural relics in Europe to the enlightenment which led to the appreciation of the material culture. It was mentioned that the Non-Western culture tends to value the spiritual view more than the material view of the past. For effective heritage tourism, it must emphasize the flexibility and adaptability with the site, enables to meet consumers' needs and integrated with other systems. It must be from the society that wants to conserve a specific place.
It is pointed out that it needs to consider what is necessary and what is not. The places that are seen to be important should be identified so that proper conservation methods would be applied to the specific place. These said plans are meant to be realistically appropriate to the cultural and social conditions of the society and of the environment to uphold crisis conditions that may affect the place. (Sullivan 1998) Thus, possibilities can be applied to Intramuros. For example, the Maestranza Wall that was damaged during the war, (1941) is currently under restoration with the help of the Japanese government. Also, according to Former Toursim Secretary Ace Durano, by the first quarter of 2011 the walls will be connected and the public will be able to enjoy it. (Joven 2010)
What should be preserved?
"Preservationists are not against growth and development. Rather they see growth as built on the past." (Tyler, Norman; historic reservation: an intro to its history, principles and practice; 2009) In Intramuros, development is vital to preserve the place, in a sense that the development should be in line with its historical aspect focusing on its past rather than the modern development. History talks about tradition. "Tradition is a matter of much wider significance." To see oneself only in one's own time period and as a product of that time period is to deny the richness of history and the meaning of that history to one's own time. (historic preservation: An introduction to its history, principles and practice; Tyler, Norman)
The historical place of Intramuros has been facing a dilemma of deciding what and how to protect the area. Standards, needs, and interest change overtime and tend to reflect the current, the political, social and economic climate (Daifuku 1968 Kristiansen 1989, Lipe 1984) In general terms, the people who sustained its great culture may also change in time as the people who consume its production may have diversity in taste as researchers having new focus on under-appreciated places. There are various threats that may affect its cultural heritage such as religious changes, research technology and preservation of various types of values ( Costin, 1991). The cultural heritage act preserves Intramuros and provides for the maintenance and affective acquisitions of officials to the area. Its function to balance its cultural heritage must be observed and recognized.
That is why our aim for this study is to inform the citizens of the recent developments in Ciudad Murada for the past few years and to remind them of its importance and value as a historical site.
This paper also intends to explore the downsides and benefits of the place to clearly show and critically analyze the development that has been formed with the people’s effort in developing the walled city.
“The lack of a unified policy also means that recording will be based on a local subjective decision about what is 'deemed' important.” (Costin, 1991) People who desired for the place to be more enriched and beautified were composed of the 53% from the target population. For the place to have more growth, specifications for the improvement are enlisted by the tourists in Intramuros. The 15% of tourists think that the place doesn’t need improvement and is enough for everyone. Meanwhile, 30% of them think that, Intramuros could be more developed.
Glance at the Past
Based on the book ‘Ciudad Murada’ written by Jose Victor Z. Torres, this city, which is popularly known as Intramuros, had been the center of commerce because of its strategic location beside the Pasig River and the Manila bay. The first inhabitants were the Tagalogs which became traders. With Miguel Lopez de Legaspi’s rule, on the 24th of June 1571, Manila was founded and shortly came Intramuros. In 1589, Governor-General Gomez Perez Dasmariñas went to the Philippines with King Philip’s order to enclose the city with stones and a suitable fort should be erected at the junction of the sea and the river. The City then became the capital of Manila, Philippines.
It became the home for peninsurales and insulares. The name ‘Intramuros’ that was given to the city is originally a Latin word that literally means, ‘the walled city’. By the 18th century, the city was thoroughly enclosed but some additional renovations were done after some years. And, seeing that the city is located by the Pasig River,
Portuguese and Sulu pirates tried to take control of the city but the high walls, which are 6 meters high and 3 kilometers long, served as a defense for any kind of invasion from anyone. By the end of this century, the Spaniards started to excavate the city and by the start of the 19th century, the Filipinos gradually began to reside inside the city. And since the major universities are situated here, most of them rent-out accesorias or dormitories. However, on 1863 a great earthquake obliterated the whole Manila. This calamity has highly affected Intramuros and reconstructions took sometime to finish.
In fact, when Jose Rizal went to Manila for the first time in 1868, he thought of it as a chaotic city. The city has settled down until the time when Katipuneros infiltrated the Maestranza arsenal in Intramuros to take weapons. The war lasted for six hours with intense injuries on both sides. Foreigners and the officials, including the GovernorGeneral, prepared to leave the city in case of a rebel attack again.
The Pact of Biak na Bato in 1897, was the signal of turning over of the Philippines to the Americans. But this doesn’t mean that the Spaniards already fully surrendered. Then Spanish-American war erupted. During this time, the Spaniards chose to surrender and sign an agreement. The ceremony was held at the Ayuntamiento with the generals of Spain and America. During American occupation, Intramuros was revolutionized; they stayed at Fort Santiago, churches and convents, they filled the moat and turned it into a Golf course, causing the occasional floods in the city. They applied major alteration to the city so that they even destroyed a part of the wall. If it wasn’t for the citizens, they would have destroyed it all.
In 1904, American architect Daniel H. Burnham proposed the preservation of the walls and of the old Spanish structures because according to him, “they possessed singular, historical and archaeological interest, while their imposing appearance gives them great monumental value.” In 1932, there was an incident wherein buildings like
Ateneo, Augustinian Provincial House, and parts of Sta. Isabel College were burned down. This explains the open spaces in the city today. All these were relocated to other parts of Manila.
Few years later, the Japanese arrived in the Philippines. They wanted the Westerners to leave, since they believed that “Asia is for Asians only”. This triggered the occurrence of World War II. Since then, the Japanese caused more destruction in Intramuros. There were aerial bombings that damaged the fortification of the city, but in other accounts, it was said that the end of Intramuros was caused by the artillery cannons that were aimed inside the district and the walls.
Major events took place in Intramuros and this gives it a place in the historical core of the country. This includes events in World War II, when it served as a Japanese barracks, leaving a disastrous image of the place. Calamities and human-made disasters made it a tough city all throughout the foreign invasions and occupancy until we soon redeemed our freedom. The aftermath of these destructions could be seen among the sites that are now being visited in the place.
During the post-war years, Intramuros was embraced to the modern environment and adapted the economical sustainability of the country. It had become the hub of informal settlers and parking for cargo trucks, and the deterioration continues.
Several bills and executive orders have been passed for the improvement of the places in Intramuros and these enhance the site as truly a historical and cultural environment. It underwent a dramatic change through the years with the cooperation of the people and maintaining the tourist influx. (http://www.philippines-travelguide.com/intramuros.html)
RESTORING THE GLORY
We went to the Intramuros Administration and inquired about the tourist arrivals. The trend shows that in 2003, visitors increased. We note, however, that in 2009, there was a decrease in the tourist arrivals. This is significant because we expect the trend to continue to improve as shown in the past figures. Our group saw this as an opportunity to study this issue to use our findings to remind citizens and stakeholders about the need to improve the current state of Ciudad Murada.
Figure 1. Number of Tourist Arrivals in Intramuros from 2000-2009
According to the “Cultural Heritage Act”, there should be no changes made in a cultural heritage site once it was declared as a National Heritage. An example of which is the University of Santo Tomas, wherein the institution cannot add more edifice within its area. Before any renovations that must be done, the institution needs to ask permission from the NCCA (National Commission for Culture and the Arts) first.
Based on our experiences as tourists in Intramuros, we easily saw the problems that made Intramuros unpleasant and unsafe. The quality of the air was bad and quite suffocating. Illegal settlers made some areas very unsightly. Unmaintained vacant lots due to relocation of previous tenants gave some areas a deserted look. A new building replacing an original structure stood out like a sore thumb among the dated architecture. There were some ruins that were still unattended, perhaps, awaiting development plans from the administration. These only made us understand and aware of the critical situation where Intramuros really needs the government’s full attention.
During the survey that we conducted, foreign and local respondents gave their insightful comments about Intramuros. Among the suggestions for improvements are: to add public maps, banning of tricycles from the streets and relocation of the illegal settlers to maintain orderliness and cleanliness. There is a need to also have more approachable guardia civil and security personnel. It was also pointed out that the administration should not over-develop the existing structures. We also saw remains of a modern building in the area, near the Clamshell, that was full of graffiti.
Intramuros Administration is only operational four days a week. This must be reconsidered because tourists come throughout the seven days of the week. In the Administration Office was a museum but the absence of visitors made us believe that public is not aware of its existence. We also visited their library and we got additional information about the Intramuros Administration.
On April 10, 1979, Presidential Decree 1616 was released. This Decree states that; The Intramuros Administration will be responsible for the orderly restoration and development of Intramuros as a monument to the Hispanic period in Philippine History and to promote the Walled City as a prime tourist attraction. This was amended by the Presidential Decree 1748 on December 10, 1980. The P.D. 1748 includes the Intramuros Master Plan.
With this immense responsibility that has been bestowed upon them, the Intramuros Administration wasted no time and came up with their own Vision Mission in the development and preservation of the said historical place. Their Vision is to: • • • • Re-awaken sense of oneness and pride among Filipinos. Preserve Intramuros as Cultural oasis and model heritage site. Ensure partnership with Intramuros community for Mutual Upliftment. Maintain professionalism and dedication as public servants.
And their Mission is to: • Ensure planned development management and promotion of
Intramuros as National Heritage Site. • Contribute to Cultural/Spiritual enrichment of Filipinos and socio-
economic progress of Intramuros community. • Integrate historic preservation with urban renewal and cultural
In the year 1990, the Intramuros Administration has come up with a plan to beautify Intramuros, and they called this plan the, ‘Urban Development Plan 1990’. According to them, their three ultimate goals are for Land use, Urban Design and Circulation Proposals. Countless information about the said city can be found in this plan, including the population of the residence, the office workers, and the students and of the squatters in the area. They have also declared the tourist influx of the different tourist destinations inside the Walled City. In addition, they have quite a lot of designs drawn in some specific pages that illustrates their plans in revamping the Walled City. Their plans are mostly focused on the infrastructures and road development.
They have also stated some plans concerning the residence and squatters inside the city, like for example, it is stated there that, by educating the said people about the historical importance of the place would help in promoting and preserving the Walled City. They even made organizations for the marginalized people in the area and one of which is the ‘Samahang Maralita ng Intramuros’. Intramuros Administration also gained help from several people and institutions like, The Global Heritage Fund Mission, a nonprofit conservation group that gives their aid to particular countries in preserving their cultural and heritages sites; and from Mayor Alfredo Lim, whom, during his 2007 governance in Manila, persuaded people to go to Intramuros instead of going somewhere else. And with the Presidential Decree no. 1763, the Philippine Tourism Association is now responsible for the administration of the golf course inside the city. Former DOT Secretary Richard “Dick” Gordon suggested that a walking tour is best for highlighting the cultural attraction with the purpose of enjoyment and education.
They also have Gaceta de Intramuros, which is the official newsletter which they publish every three months. This newsletter contains various articles about their latest projects and even their personal stories about Intramuros. Unfortunately, lack of promotion makes us unaware of these kinds of events.
Aside from the proposed projects coming from the urban development plan, they should have a centralized administration for tour guides who can build trust in the clients, both foreign and local. We have experienced an incident wherein foreigners refused to answer our survey, or even talk to us, just because they thought we were pestering them and that we were one of those so-called ‘fake tour guides’. This plan for tour guides may help in improving the situation of Intramuros since they will be the people who will give information, and in a way, promote the city.
With this, a more developed and ecological Intramuros will soon attract the tourist and encourage the local to patronize the place. Because of the increase in the tourist influx, commodification is being established in the city. Despite of this fact, their income may have come from this and thus, they can fund their projects in regards to the development and preservation of Intramuros. For example, there are a lot of commercial establishments found in Intramuros, namely: Jollibee, Max’s, Starbucks, and the like. On the contrary, it can also cause a negative effect since it may contribute in spoiling the authenticity of the city.
In addition with that, clash of technologies may occur. One example is the utilization of electricity. Another is the possibility of exploitation of the walls by drilling holes in it. These may contribute to the destruction of the city’s genuineness.
Plans for Intramuros:
Escuela Taller Intramuros is a project of the Philippine and Spanish governments through the Agencia Española de Cooperaciòn Internacional para el Desarollo (AECID), the National Commission for culture and the Arts (NCCA), the Technical Education and Skills Development Agency (TESDA), the Intramuros Administration (IA), the
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the City Government of Manila represented by the Manila Department of Social Welfare (MDSW). It was created in order to train the future artists, artisans and craftsmen and women who will work on the conservation and restoration of historic buildings in Intramuros and the rest of the Philippines. It has 73 scholars from the BASECO compound and its core academic subjects include English, Spanish, Mathematics and Values Education, while its specialized workshops (“talleres”) are centered on woodworks, plumbing, masonry, electrical installations, and painting. Retrieved from http://etintramuros.wordpress.com/
According to Mr. Zerrudo (head of, the Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (CCCPET) and Escuela Taller), they are still making use of the traditional techniques to preserve the dignity and authenticity of the Cultural Heritage site. They are only a supporting buddy that aids Intramuros Administration in preserving Intramuros.
We have also inquired in Intramuros Administration regarding their future plans and projects that can also attract more tourists. Engr. Jai Altillero said that they have been planning to restore the Old Intramuros. Though the purpose of the buildings or structures may not be the same at least they will try to bring back its image based on the archives that can be found on their library. If there are not available images that were left, then they will make use of those proposed design made by their own architects and make use of it.
Ayuntamiento and Maestranza are the examples of the buildings that the government were started renovating. They already came up with the plan and started
since 2009 and this will help in building new direction for our country’s sake. And these will encourage more tourists to visit the place. They also held events monthly like the “Pasyal Aral” which can be associated to fieldtrip. The students coming from the public schools participates in this event and it is held every third week of September. This kind of project can help on promoting the place at the same time, can give information. The budget allotted for these events usually comes from the local government itself.
Intramuros as a Tourist Destination
The recent improvements that have been made through the years invoke certain changes in the place, from its infrastructure to the marketing strategy. Selling Intramuros’ appeal to the masses may generally obtain tranquility as its ex-modern intuition is set to the consciousness of the society. Contemporary places have been the place for the present generation. The factors have been dominantly caused a great part for the tourists to be unaware of the recent developments; giving 70% of the tourists who answered the survey did not know that there is such a progress.
After an order for developments of the previous secretaries of tourism, the place that is incumbent with top number of tourists is the Fort Santiago which took part of the 53.38% of the survey respondents. 21.8% goes for its nearby destination landmark which is the Manila Cathedral, and third place for another historical church, the San Agustin Church and San Agustin Museum which accumulated 12.0%, followed by the places that is given slight importance like the lights and sound museum, Bahay ng Tsinoy, Baluarte, and other places. Two (2) people did not answer the particular question.
Frequent travelers, locals and foreigners alike, have been in Intramuros for quite some time and they have been revisiting the place always which is as of the 9% of the people. 11% of them were often there, 42% visits seldom while the 38% of the respondent’s population is their first time.
When asked if they plan to go back again soon to Intramuros, 85% of the tourists answered yes. Respondents were foreigners and locals.
Those who wanted more improvements in the place composed 53% of the target population. 15% were satisfied with the present condition of Intramuros while 30% think that Intramuros could be more developed.
After our survey, we saw that there was a huge number of whoopees (wealthy, healthy, older people). They have more leisure time at their disposal and more money, which they like to spend on holidays. Their visit to Intramuros underscores the statement by Munsters and De Klumbis in 'Culture as a component of the hospitality product. “With respect to demographic factors, the strong increase in numbers of senior citizens in the Western World has significantly extended the market for historic hotels, since the interest for history and culture grows with age.”
Fabric pertains to the buildings and walls of Intramuros. Due to its historical significance, there shall be a use value wherein tourist who shall visit the place will feel a nostalgic satisfaction in experiencing the heritage and there would be an use value in which a monetary value is given in exchange for that satisfaction. Use value is a concept in economics which states that the value of a good or service is related only to its manner of use, or to an equivalent value in cash, and not to any intrinsic value. (http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/use-value.html 2010).
We can take Fort Santiago as an example. We can take Fort Santiago as an example. Tourists pay a cartain fee to visit the place to see the old landmarks to obtain that historical feel of the place. And because Fort Santiago served as a prison during the pre-colonial era, that one of the country's national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, was even imprisoned here, gives the place a more nostalgic feature in its cultural and historical aspect.
REBUILDING THE WALLS OF HISTORY
We cite the situation of Angkor Wat in Cambodia. It was restored using cement not knowing that Angkor Wat was a structure made from stones hence, sensitive to chemicals. When cement is soaked in water it becomes acidic and causes the deterioration of the stones. Based on this situation, it is encouraged to use the ancient techniques on how the structure was formed. Specifically for Intramuros, we propose that the ancient techniques that the Spaniards used, which is mixture of egg white and cement, plus adobe stones, in establishing the structures should be applied in restoring the city.
In relation with the centralized administration for tour guides, we are concerned about the proliferation of ‘fake tour guides’. During peak seasons when there is a lack of trained tour guides, we can ask them to help in touring the visitors. They should, however, undergo training in guiding and handling the tourists in an appropriate way.
In Washington D.C., a rule was set that there should be no building higher than that of the dome. This is to avoid overlapping of the main attraction. In line with this, we also realized that the government can set strict and reasonable rules in Intramuros, and make sure that the visitors, residents, and administration would follow these.
From our experience in Intramuros, we make mention that on many occasions, we found ourselves walking on the streets because the sidewalk was quite narrow. Perhaps, motor vehicles must be regulated and allowed only in specific lanes so that pedestrians would be safe to walk around. Air pollution would be lessened and the roads that were meant for horse carriages during the Spanish era would not be damaged by the heavy cars. As an alternative for that, we thought of using the calesa
as a means of transportation. With this kind of amenity, it may also attract more tourists and it may also add activities in the city. It is also better. There should be uniformity and limited number of the calesa to manage congestion. Horse stations should also be provided where horses can be cared for and the carts are maintained.
We also experienced an incident in the Intramuros Visitor’s Center located inside the Fort Santiago, wherein we felt unwelcomed and somehow uncomfortable on how they treated us. There are many restrictions given to us, and there came to a point that they threatened to ban us if we do not comply with the proper courtesy. We felt that they wanted us to leave immediately and they did not handle us with hospitality.
The store employee was sleeping and she is careless with what she is selling since there may be a possibility that someone may shoplift. We thought that, since it is the only food store in Fort Santiago, it should be managed well and upgraded, in a sense that it would be pleasing for the tourists to rest there after a long walk. It would also be better if the food sold there are delicacies and not just junk food and sodas.
"Tradition is a matter of much wider significance." To see oneself only in one's own time period and as a product of that time period is to deny the richness of history and the meaning of that history to one's own time. (Historic preservation: An introduction to its history, principles and practice; Tyler, Norman)
INTRAMUROS – LEGACY TO THE FUTURE GENERATIONS
We, the researchers, address the following for the restoration, improvement, and preservation of Intramuros. Our group suggests that, in order for Intramuros to fully become a heritage site, they should oblige with Housing and Urban Development and that the government should be hands-on in helping the Intramuros Administration in implementing such plans and rules. For the government, we would suggest that they should focus on the undeveloped areas in Intramuros particularly the residential area. They are a part of this heritage site; therefore, they should give importance to the said vicinity to be able to aesthetically develop Intramuros as a whole. For the Intramuros Administration, they should give importance to the slowly deteriorating heritage site. Coming up with developments in Intramuros such as providing security, eliminating squatters, decreasing pollution, improving the streets, etc., would be of great help to restore what Intramuros has to offer. We also suggest that they should promote more to be exposed to the public, especially those relics in their office and the different establishments within the area. For the locals, they should be well-informed about their responsibility as residents of the area since they are one of the aspects who shall maintain the place. For future researchers, we would like them to continue on suggesting probable answers to the problems concerning Intramuros and to help in the development of the site through their suggestions. For students, especially those in line with the travel and tourism industry, they should also be familiar with the historical significance of Intramuros and that they should help promote and/or preserve this site.
REFERENCE: Ciudad Murada, Torres 2005 Conservation Policy Delivery by Sharon Sullivan Intramuros and Beyond, Joaquin 1998
Reconnecting the walls of Intramuros by Vernadette Joven (philstar.com) Updated June 17, 2010 12:54 AM
Intramuros Administration, Palacio del Gobernador, Intramuros, Manila Department of Tourism archives Foreign and Local Tourists
email@example.com http://www.philippines-travel-guide.com/intramuros.html http://www.intramurosadministration.com http://getty.edu/conservation/publications/pdf_publications/cultural_heritage_asi a.pdf http://environmentlanka.com/blog/2008/pollution-control-and-waste-managementin-sri-lanka/
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