Saturday, March 7, 2020

Revisiting Fort Santiago : A Night Tour Review

Despite working in Manila for more than a decade, I've never seen all of its historical sites. I've never seen some galleries of the National Museum Complex, the renovated Planetarium, San Agustin Museum, Paco Park and Fort Santiago. I've been meaning to visit Fort Santiago. Never mind if previous reviews emphasize it's still the same place. But recently, promotional activities from the National and Local Government were evident. I've been encountering a number of articles showcasing For Santiago and encouraging everyone to visit. 

We went to Fort Santiago after work. We arrived when it was already total darkness. While the night DIY tour was great, part of me still wishes to see the place during daytime. Here are photos during our short yet meaningful visit. I will not anymore provide details. All activities and amenities in Fort Santiago are better explained and summarized through their website here

Still, a sight to behold during night time

This section operates until 4:45 pm only. We failed to see a gallery devoted to showcase the life of Jose Rizal. We were left with this popular structure. 

The newest attraction is the dungeon. This was originally devoted to store military equipment (ammunition) during the Spanish colonization. It later become a prison cell and the rest was discussed in the information provided above. 

My favorite area is where guests can enjoy an overlooking view of the western side of Manila. 

The view is really great, except that the Pasig River, provides a not-so-good smell

Another addition is a gallery showcasing the heroes of the WWII. Photographs were mostly compilations from The National Archives. I will not provide spoilers, but I can say that the restoration efforts of each photograph was impressive. 

View from gallery - Probably my first time to see a historical gallery showcased in an actual WWII ruins 

Trees installed with Capiz lights are everywhere and I appreciate the Gen Z kiddies all over the place 

Too bad, the shop already closed

Tesoros has their own shop. They have good selections of quality Filipino owned and produced merchandise. 

The site also offers a great view of the Manila Cathedral and other historical structures in Intramuros 

It was a short yet enjoying experience. 

Here's a shot of the Manila Cathedral, another place to visit in Intramuros. Hopefully, everyone is safe and are already resting after a week long work.

I highly encourage everyone to take time to revisit Fort Santiago. There were still areas we failed to explore. One is the iMake History Fortress, which houses replicas of historical sites built in collaboration with  the popular Danish toy, LEGO. Each piece was produced by students from local colleges and univerities ans was entered to a competition. On my next visit, I'll make sure to see this.

Skip one weekend trip to the mall, visit Fort Santiago and the surrounding areas of Intramuros. The historical site has so much to offer.

P.S. We paid Php 75 for the ticket entrance. You can also purchase online via Fort Santiago's website. But upon checking the payment channel, I thought it will be more convenient to pay onsite. Online payments are only possible via Landbank's Bancnet facilities (as of March 6, 2020). It was eventually a good decision because the staff manning the payment for entrance tickets were fast and efficient. :) 


  1. These photos show great beauty and I enjoyed this tour on your blog.

  2. I was also able to visit the Fort Santiago and other Intramuros sites during the night when we joined a night walking tour. I was so surprised by the long queue to get inside Fort Santiago! When we went there a few years ago during the daytime there were only a handful of people. Maybe it was because of the renovations and blogs/vlogs about the 'dungeon' that made it popular even among the younger generation. While I was somewhat disappointed that we were not able to go through the dungeon because of the very long waiting time, I just wish that visiting these sites will enable Filipinos to relearn a lot about our history :)

    1. Yes, I agree. Better way to learn history. Yun lang, with the current situation, I don't think it would reopen soon. :(


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