I’m glad to say that I’ve finally opened my Old Manila tours to the public!
Get a copy of MapaLakad: A Guide to Old Manila and a walking tour of your preferred day from 2 to 6 pm for the following rates:
- P80 for high school and university students
- P100 for young professionals
That being said, some queries have been reiterating from those who are interested in joining. I will try to list what I remember and answer these frequently-asked questions to the best of my abilities:
If you’re coming from Katipunan, I usually meet the participants at McDo around 1 pm. However, some people have opted to go straight to Recto since they are much closer to that spot. If you’re a group and you opt to meet me someplace else, then we can do so at the nearest train station.
Whichever is fine, as long as you notify me a day before the tour.
- Can we reschedule if something comes up on the day itself?
As much as I prefer people not to cancel or back out (for everyone’s convenience), I will accommodate reschedules as long as the next date is final. Again, just let me know at least a day before the tour so I can make the necessary arrangements.
- Will there be other people joining us?
If you’re less than 5 who joined for a particular day, chances are I will be grouping you together with other people. The maximum number of participants per tour is 7. This is also a great way to meet people from different backgrounds!
- Is there an orientation or briefing before the tour?
Yes! I will make an FB group chat to orient you on what to prepare for our trip. I will also leave my mobile number in case any of you have a question to ask. On the day itself, I will be briefing you on how my project came to be and what the goals of MapaLakad are.
- What will we see or do during the tour?
I usually change the route depending on the weather; however, the itinerary remains the same. We will tour Quiapo, Escolta, and Binondo on foot with a quick 30-45 minute snack somewhere in Binondo around 4:30 pm. Using the MapaLakad, I will direct you to the different buildings that were famous during their times as well as share with you what I know about their history.
- How much pocket money do we need to bring?
Aside from the tour fee of P80 or P100, please bring enough money for a train ride arriving at and departing from Recto as well as P100-P150 for food. A single pass to Recto will not go above P22. The servings are quite large in Binondo so the participants usually share their meals with each other. If you’re also up to buy a souvenir or two at the First United Building (they’ve got shirts, stickers, postcards, and other cool stuff about Old Manila), then prepare to bring a bit more cash with you, perhaps an extra P200 or so.
- Is it safe to bring our valuables with us?
I cannot guarantee the absence of pickpockets when we are walking around the place, but our group has never experienced any loss of valuables during the tour. One participant even had his DSLR camera hanging around his neck the entire time and thankfully, nothing bad happened to us.
What I can advise to minimize losses is this: always attend to your valuables, pack lightly with a sturdy bag, and keep close to the group at all times.
- Can we bring other people along with us?
They are more than welcome to join us! Just remind them that they will also have to pay the fee of P80/P100.
I am also open to taking photos of you and your friends in the spots you like! This is one of the goals of the project: to raise awareness of the decline of Old Manila and to ask help from people in promoting its maintenance and restoration. The more people go, the better!
- Is the tour in English or Filipino?
I wrote MapaLakad in Filipino because I initially thought of it as a literary project in Filipino. However, there have been tourists from other countries who have joined me in walking around Old Manila.
Meaning to say, I can easily switch the tour’s language from Filipino to English, and vice versa.
- Up until when will the tours be?
The tours are open until the second week of August! I usually hold them during Saturdays and Sundays–in fact there are slots open for the 1st and the 8th of July! If you plan to go on a weekday, let me know and I can check for my availability on that day.
Them taking photos; me explaining the story of the building through the blurb
If you have more questions, feel free to comment them here or message me on Facebook. Let’s experience Old Manila together!