Family Friday: Drums Recital and Tour of Plaza San Luis, Intramuros

Happy 117th Philippine Independence Day to all Filipinos around the world!

Great timing that I'm featuring my boy's recent drums recital held at Casa Blanca in Intramuros, Manila. If you know your Philippine history, Intramuros, known as the walled city, used to be the seat of power during the Spanish colonization. The declaration of our independence from colonial Spain was held in Kawit, Cavite on June 12, 1898.

Early Sunday morning of May 31, we drove to Casa Blanca on Gen. Luna street for Lyric's Summer Recital for all their music students, including my boy who will play solo on drums. As soon as we got down from the car, I started snapping away with my camera and phone. There's just too much beauty in one spot!

It wasn't our first time in Intramuros with the kids since we did Visita Iglesia a couple of times before. We passed through San Agustin Church and Manila Cathedral so the place is familiar, but we didn't go inside any of the museums and plazas nearby.

We parked in front of Casa Manila Museum and entered Plaza San Luis Complex where Casa Blanca is located. The kids were very much in awe of the whole plaza and felt like we were transported back in time daw, coz they kept asking how old is Intramuros and if all the houses, buildings, and even the road and pavement are old. It was also good for the boy to see the walled city again since the Spanish colonization is part of his fifth grade lessons.


Before you scroll down, let me just say - I think I am making a blog record here for uploading 41 pictures in one go! I know I've posted a lot of photos in other features before but I didn't count them. 

I hope you enjoy the images here as much as I had fun capturing them. =)

As we walked our way through the maze-like stone-walled plaza, we were directed to the second floor of Casa Blanca where the recital was held.

This is his first recital after a year of learning how to play the drums. There were so many talented kids that day with a few standouts from the teens, from vocals to guitar, violin and piano. There were 39 students who participated in the culminating event. The boy was 16th on the list.

Surprisingly, he was cool, calm, and collected the whole time he was waiting for his turn. I was actually nervous for him but he was just chill. =)  Even his teacher reassured me and said, "kayang-kaya niya yan, ma'am". Kulang lang sa feelings while he was playing, but he showed confidence and did very well, finishing his piece nicely.

This boy made us really proud with his drums solo rendition of Pink's Just Give Me A Reason. It's taking forever to upload the video on YouTube so I couldn't share it. Instead, please watch this 15-second video clip I was able to post on Instagram: 

While we were waiting for the boy's turn to play, the girl got antsy and wanted to leave the ballroom. I took the chance to stretch my legs and went with girl for a walk. I snapped a few pictures and we went back for to watch the boy perform. The recital ended at noon and we all had a leisurely stroll around the plaza after the luncheon.

Let's take a tour.

This cool verandah is located outside the ballroom, from the side exit on the second floor. 

My view from the verandah on the right side. The lattice work on the window frames and wood carving on the eaves of the roof are just beautiful.

Another perfect view from where the girl stood. I have no idea which church tower is that.

More to explore at the ground floor...

I have never been to Europe, but this felt like a charming nook out of a quaint Spanish café.

"Look, a wishing well!"

Passing through wooden gates and restaurants, like Barbara's...

"Wow, another well! So preeettyyyy!"  I gave her a coin and told her to make a wish, heehee.

"And another well... why so many wells, mommy?

Look up! I missed a flock of birds that flew over the plaza... just caught a few by the tail end.

Pass through arched walk ways and pretty wooden doors...

It was scorching hot! We were already sweaty by this time. The girl was still "treasure hunting for crystals" daw

This way to the main plaza with souvenir shops...

Imagine a fiesta or an event here! Casa Manila is actually a very popular wedding venue.

Ingenius! Bamboo bikes up close. You can rent a Bambike for an ecotour of Intramuros for PhP300 per hour.

Or you can choose to hop on one of these and breeze through the walled city for PhP1,000 per hour. Brooom-brooom!

Too much beauty to take in. If it wasn't so hot that day, we would have stayed a little longer. I was not able to convince them to have a family pic before we left (booo) so I'll end the (photo) tour here. 

Initially, we were not excited when we learned that the music recital will be held in Intramuros. It's too early and quite far kasi.  But in the end, this turned out to be an amazing day for my familiy, filled with proud moments and nostalgia in this little pocket of history in Intramuros.

Our impromptu tour, albeit short, was awe-inspiring and a welcome change to malling on a Sunday. =) I encourage you to visit Intramuros and explore the site with friends and family.

Check out the museum hours and rates above. This plaque is mounted on the wall by the entrance. I also tried very hard to decipher what's carved on this.
This is what I was able to read:
"Plaza San Luis, a museum house and commercial complex consisting of nine Period Houses conceived and built by the Intramuros Administration, Ministry of Human Settlement during the period of 1981-1983.
Four houses were completed (Casa Manila, Casa Los Hidalgos, El Hogar Filipino, and Casa Urdaneta).
The Intramuros Administration was created by P.D. 616 on April 6, 1979. Jaime C. Laya was appointed by Pres. Ferdinand Marcos as it's first action officer. The architect of the complex was Jose Ramon Faustmann and Associates. Construction was done by D.M. Consunji Inc… (plus years and names of other companies and people involved). The complex was opened to the public on September 3, 1983."

For more info, visit the official website: http://intamurosadminmanila.webs.com/ 
Tel.: (632) 527-4084/88

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