The Rizals of Intramuros

By December 30, 2014Uncategorized

“Intramuros” was once the seat of Spanish colonial rule in the Pacific Region for more or less 400 years. It was also the religious and cultural center during pre-World War II times. Jose Rizal in fact had referred to the same in both his Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. However, today, the Walled City had lost its glory as the generations passed by and sadly it was reduced by some to a mere “selfie” spot.

I had the opportunity to once again visit Intramuros after 10 years. During my visit, I had come to discover that a culture continues to exist, albeit subtly, within the walls.

The characters I met therein do not solely exist within the walls for economic or commercial endeavors, but rather they stand to preserve the culture and glory of Intramuros. More importantly, they dutifully serve as Ambassadors to the world of the rich heritage we as Filipinos have and should be proud of.

These are my friends from within the walls of Intramuros.


Henry has been a Kutsero for over 8 years, 5 of which was riding around for tourists in Intramuros.


Jerbi has been selling Ice Cream in the Intramuros for quite some time. His wife is also a hat vendor in the Fort Santiago area.


Navarro is a modern day Gwardiya Sibil. Prior to this shot he was preventing some kids from hanging on the edge of the fort walls to take a selfie. After this shot he quickly left to escort two backpacking australian ladies. He said the girls love the uniform.

Baby Boy

Baby Boy hangs out around the Manila Cathedral area. He kiddingly asserts that he is a fashion expert and by buying his hat you instantly become a gentleman.


Jamieson is a Bonsai maker. Here he shows us his favorite among the lot: a Blue Bell Bonsai. At his back is the infamous Torre Lorenzo. He was a Miami Heat fan when the King LBJ was there.


Probably the toughest kustero in the Fort Santiago area. We caught him right after his late morning nap. While sleeping he holds on to a lit cigarette so that when the lit cigarette runs out and the ignited part reaches his hands he knows its time to wake up. He has been riding around the Intramuros area for more or less 7 years.


Arwin is a Tourguide/ Pedicab driver. He feels bad his pedicab was not used as part of the last Amazing Race.

More than a century ago today Rizal died. Now, the Nation he left behind struggles to stay alive.


Author JTA

JTA is a lawyer by profession, a photographer by passion, and a self-proclaimed hero to two boys by virtue of paternal insistence. Through his experience as a lawyer, photographer, and a dad, he claims to have developed a mutant-like ability to make you see the good or favorable side of the “truth” – which he admits is not always a good thing.

More posts by JTA
Loading Facebook Comments ...

Leave a Reply

Berto’s Instagram