Fort Santiago: Time Travel and Field Trips in Manila’s Top Attractions

“Mamamatay akong di man lang makikita ang maningning na pagbubukang liwayway sa aking Inang Bayan. Kayong mga makakakita, batiin ninyo sya at wag niyo kaming kalimutan.. kaming mga nasadlak sa dilim ng gabi”  

                                                                                                                                                                    Elias from Noli Me Tangere.

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Of all Rizal’s works, these are the lines that will always tug at my heart. It speaks of hardships, of sufferings but it also speaks of burning hope. Hope and an unwavering belief that a bright morning will dawn on our native land. 1896 Dr. Jose Rizal was executed in Bagumbayan. 2 years after in 1898 the Filipinos declared their independence from Spain.

 This is our chronicle of our Fort Santiago Field Trip in Manila.

Hehehhe hanep sa segue

This is the second part of our Field Trip Itinerary to Manila =) You can read about the first part at this link – Intramuros. ^_^

A visit to Intramuros is not complete without visiting one of its prime attractions Fort Santiago. From the Manila Cathedral, the entrance to the fort is just a few meters away. Entrance fee is P75 for adult visitors while it is P30 for kids. You can find kalesas waiting for tourists at the gate of Fort Santiago. You can rent one for an hour for only P300. Yep I hear you, that’s why we skipped it, we were after all on the trail of making our Manila Day Trip as cheaply as possible. We were tightwads! Errr.. actually we had no choice as we were traveling on a shoe-string budget and our funds were earmarked for the countless bazaars all over Metro Manila last December  wehehehe

By the way, Fort Santiago opens at 8am and closes at 6 pm everyday including holidays.

Kalesa waits for your in Fort Santiago entrance

Pay for your Fort passes at the gate then you’d be welcome into the fortress of Santiago inside Intramuros. The fort guards the walled city from along the west side of Pasig River and along Manila Bay (Roxas Boulevard). Today you’d be welcome by a center garden with fountains and benches.

Further yonder you can see a flag pole and behind that you will see the iconic façade of the wall of Fort Santiago. We had a lot of failed jump shots in the garden, yep if I am a sucker for pics, but my sister is worst. Good thing my boyfriend Titus aka Field Trip Boy was very patience with us (actually he is used to it hehehhe). Anyway, won’t be sharing the pics as they are unflattering lol.

You can see war remnants all over the place from the building ruins, to the canons, to the dungeons and pits, the history markers and more. There is also this tram na hindi nakalagpas sa ‘pictorial’ 🙂

Fieldtrippers and Tram shots


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Kalesa and Tram


Canons, Remnants of War (forgive the planking dude hehe)


Failed! 🙂


Date sa Kalachuchi-han


Time Travel


Katipunero, puede!


Kenneth at the Grills


Why you should visit Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila?


The answer is real simple. It’s very significant in our history not only because it is one of the primary defenses of the walled city but because it is where the Philippine’s national hero spent his last days and where he wrote his last work – Mi Ultimo Adios or My Last Farewell. If you are a student, hope you have already watched Rizal that stars Cesar Montano (plugging hehheh). By the way, at UP High we were made to memorized the whole poem. Tsk, I can only recall the first three words.. not good… ”Adios, Patria Adorada..”

By the way Rizal is not my favorite hero, I have discussed about this on my separate post – Dr Jose Rizal Heroes and Freedom.  But no one I guess can discount what this great thinker,  writer and nationalist have done for the country. Rizal was one of spark that ignited the Philippine Revolution against Spain. Even the “Ama ng Katipunan” Andres Bonifacio was inspired by the novels of Dr. Rizal, the Noli Me Tangere and its sequel El Filibusterismo.

Anyhow, would you like to see Pepe’s place in Calamba? You can check for the Rizal Shrine here in my post Calamba, The Hero’s Town. Or you can just proceed in reading, sorry I ramble most of the time.


Flagpole at Fort Santiago


Fort Santiago Inner Wall Facade and Entrance


Close Look at the Wall Engravings in Fort Santiago


Me at the Fort Santiago Historical Marker


Flowers Blooming on the moat inside Fort Santiago


Fort Santiago Main Entrance


At the Statue of Dr. Jose Rizal, Fort Santiago


One of the many dungeons and pits for prisoners inside Fort Santiago


Memorials to all those who died in the war – Filipinos, Americans, Japanese


Fort Santiago has a free film showing about the historical and cultural significance of this fort and the walled city of Intramuros in our country’s history at 1:30pm. I think they also have a 10:30am schedule but I am not sure of this. We did not wait for the mini theater to open because we have to get back on the road as we had Rizal Park or Luneta on our itinerary that day.  Yep we were on a Manila field trip expedition =)


What to look for in Fort Santiago?

  1. The statue of our National Hero, Dr Jose Rizal.
  2. The Rizal Shrine and Museum inside the Fort.
  3. The ruins inside including the dungeons and pits.
  4. The Intramuros tram (well, because you can use this as props for your pictures hehe).
  5. The beautiful gardens that welcomes you when you get inside the fort.
  6. The moat (pond?) and the famous wall façade itself as you enter the inner sections of the fort.
  7. The short film showing about the walled city and the fort.
Dr Rizal’s last ‘home’ was his prison cell in Fort Santiago. On that fateful day in December 30, 1896, he walked the last few steps of his life towards Luneta Park where he was executed by a firing squad. Today the main Rizal Shrine and Statue proudly stands in Luneta, a reminder to every Filipino that amongst us lived truly great men.
Tracing Dr. Jose Rizal’s Footsteps to His Execution


We were at Fort Santiago and Intramuros close to an hour I think, that’s because we took an awful lot of pictures. Then we walked back to San Agustin (the church was close when we dropped by earlier that day), and again walked all the way to Luneta. Yes, we walked. I was trying not to complain of the hike. Heheheh.

Manila walking tour can sometimes be good since you will notice things on your surrounding like these statues of President Cory Aquino, Senator Ninoy Aquino, and company. Sorry we did not walk closer to the statues since it was threatening to drizzle. :/

Statues on the way to Luneta Park


Please click here to continue reading about our walking tour: Part 3 Manila Field Trip Luneta, Lapu-Lapu and the Philippine Relief Map.

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About Cille Anne

This blog is maintained, written and edited by she - who likes to travel a lot, more like wishes to travel a lot, doesn't want to miss a photo-op, loves the rain, certified chocoholic, coffee keeps her sane - it runs through her veins, she doesn't know how to swim, but wants to dive in Tubbataha all the same haha

~Come share with me, my travels, my stories, my life.

My name is Cille. AND THIS IS PENFIRES. :)


  1. I was here when I was still in elementary. Hehe. I wonder what it looks like now. Hehe!


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