21 February 2012

Walking Short

Long before the infamous Damaso stunt, me and my friends have always wanted to try and experience Carlos Celdran's walking tour of Intramuros. My sisters joined the tour a couple of months back and had good reviews, much like as advertised  on TV or in blogs. I finally got the chance to walk the way of The Pied Piper of Manila last Sunday.

I've been to Fort Santiago a couple of times, latest was just march last year. I was surprised at the number of tourists, foreigners and locals alike, but was surprised most when more or less a hundred of them was also joining the Walk This Way tour. I was really expecting a small group, around 20-30 just like what I saw on TV. It's even more surprising that there are a lot of locals who were willing to shell out a steep Php1,100 for the tour.

The "show" began at the entrance gate of Fort Santiago with the Philippine National Anthem. With a small Philippine flag in the Pied Piper's hand, locals started to sing with their hands on their chest. This, I believe is a really nice touch to the tour.

He started with some historical accounts of Manila, particularly Intramuros, showing pictures to help. Being a performance artist, Carlos really takes storytelling to another level. He is in fact the highlight of the tour. There weren't really much walking involved. At one point you can even hop on a pedicab (or a Kalesa, your choice) to get to the next stop.

On this tour I was looking forward to two things, the San Agustin Church and the Halo-Halo at the end of the tour. I only got one, sort of. We did stop in front of San Agustin Church and he told some fun facts about it but that was it. I thought we'd go inside the church or its museum. "San Agustin Church and Museum" was even included in his poster giveaway. I wonder if the Damaso stunt had anything to do with this.

Though I really enjoyed the performance, the stories, and the Halo-Halo. I was really disappointed and concluded that for Php1,100, the tour was very expensive for an ordinary working Filipino like me. Just as Filipinos are much like Halo-Halo, the Tour was much like a trip-cutting Jeepney. I wanted to hear the stories about the tombs! Students are charged less at around Php600 which I believe should be the price for locals.

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