by Carmel Ilustrisimo
Last week, I joined a few friends, old and new, on a walking tour around Old Manila. MapaLakad was created by our tour guide (and my good friend), Reina Adriano, as part of a school project. For P80, you get a free chapbook filled with beautiful prose poetry written by Adriano herself, along with the walking tour. We visited old buildings and sights in Quiapo, Escolta, and Binondo respectively.
Mind you, most of the places we went to were not tourist hotspots. It was what I would call “the authentic Manila experience.” We saw Manila at it its most downtrodden and squalid. We jumped over mud puddles, dodged trash strewn carelessly on the street, pinched our noses at the smoke and canal smells, and heard the loud voices of sellers calling out their wares. We passed by shanties with half-dilapidated houses and saw traces of old Manila…
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