family collage

Monday, August 17, 2015


As parents, we would always like to give what is best for our children. Unfortunately, some folks think that "best" would always coincide with the word "expensive".  This would usually happen for some families where they spoil their kids with high-priced gadgets or during weekends they would give them a "buy-all-you-can" blow-out in the popular malls. This would be great as a reward or for special occasions, but to do it always? I'm not a fan of it. Personally, I find that there are other more practical options that would still give the most priceless memories and at the same time, learn from it.

One great example of that is the historic site of FORT SANTIAGO.

This popular tourist spot always had a special place in my heart because my parents would regularly take us there on family day Sundays. Even during my school years, I always had the best time when we had our field trips or special projects in FORT SANTIAGO. There's something about surrounding myself with structures that are rich in Philippine history that have been there when our country was so young that gets me all sentimental and dreamy. I never get tired of going there and I'm thankful that the Chinese Adonis feels the same and is enthusiastic about it as well.

So it's no question that during the Independence Day Holiday we included FORT SANTIAGO for our yearly tradition with the little lords. Yes we could always check-in for a hotel staycation or go to the latest kiddie playworld but sometimes the simplest of activities are more meaningful and relevant.

So go the extra mile (literally) and take your kiddies to FORT SANTIAGO on your next weekend. Trust me, not only are you immersing your children to our Philippine history and teaching them about our culture, but you are also showing them the strong values of simplicity and effort.

Now THAT, may be one of your BEST ideas yet!


My BP Group will be joining our FORT SANTIAGO trip in celebration of INDEPENDENCE DAY and the Virreys dropped by early to ride with us.

Of course, when you're in my house, food will ALWAYS be in order and I served them our traditional Filipino breakfast!

Well except the SPAM! He he he he he he!

While driving towards FORT SANTIAGO, we saw again that every popular street named PED XING.

I wonder who or what he did for this country that gave him the right to name many streets after him???? What huh????

Tee hee!

The kiddies all sat in the back and were causing such a ruckus!

So that I won't get crazy with all the naughtiness going on at the back, I took a selfie.

Then got photobombed! He he he he he he!

AND we're here!!

There is a parking area at the side of FORT SANTIAGO so no worries on where you'll put your Jaguar when you go there.

Joining us are the Navarros!

The little lords and kiddies by FORT SANTIAGO!

The Chinese Adonis and Aning buying tickets!


If you're in High School or in College, don't forget to bring your school ID for a discount.

Visiting hours!

I.... actually don't get this.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

I guess we were at FORT SANTIAGO early because there weren't any lines nor crowds at the entrance. 

We did see poor Mareng Gail and Jun who have been waiting for us. She still looks pretty naman under her white big hat. He he he he he!

But no matter how much she fretted over our tardiness, all was gone with the mention of "Picture! Picture!"

Didn't know Master Mati photobombed us. He's so cute here! He he he he he!

The YAPPY BUNCH are ready to invade FORT SANTIAGO!

Do you like our special tops? We're going for the nationalistic look with our Philippine Map and EAT BULAGA t-shirts!!! Tee hee!!

When we were in FORT SANTIAGO, there were many drivers offering us a ride on their horse-drawn carriages (or "Kalesas").

For the whole tour inside and outside FORT SANTIAGO they charge about P250 per adult. They also offered just a ride around the vicinity for only P50,00 per person.

It's actually very tempting but we want the kiddies to experience walking and running around on the beauty of FORT SANTIAGO. We may do the kalesa ride after lunch at another area.

Sorry little Andrei and Jelo!

The long lane going to the FORT SANTIAGO walls are very clean and are made more beautiful with the spruced up trees.  I could imagine this to be a very romantic walk if I do so side by side with Alden Richards.

ESTE... The Chinese Adonis. ANOBEH!!!!



There are clean restrooms located at various areas in FORT SANTIAGO. If I may say so, I find the "old house design" for it very pretty!

And here's where I should be... DAMAS!!!

As I guessed, the little lords and their friends were so pleased with the wide roads they could freely run and play on. I mean malls are cool and very convenient but I am more for playing outside if it's safe for the boys.

We haven't entered FORT SANTIAGO yet and the children were already running, laughing, giggling, and playing to their heart's content!

Near the main gate of FORT SANTIAGO we saw that there is a bamboo garden and a space for picnics. I didn't know that!

There were also several bird houses that the little kiddies got a blast checking out. 

My little lords!!!!

I'm glad that even if the children were playing around they would still agree to posing for pictures. I guess they all know their mommies too well now.

The Hacienderas in Villa Santiago!


Wait. I think the only one doing the pose here is me.

Ha ha ha ha ha!

When we got to the FORT SANTIAGO gate, the children were awestruck with the sight. Even if Mati and Andrei have already been here before, they still can't help but stare at the colonial style beauty of the entrance. 

I know the feeling! Imagine being in the place where wars were fought and our countrymen charged on at the risk of their lives for their country.

You could almost hear the yells and the guns blasting! Woah!



Would you believe that this famous site was completed in the year 1593? That was like eons ago! Ngiii!!! I wonder who I was during that time???

Of course, our trip to FORT SANTIAGO was made more fun with THE BP GROUP....

... and the gentleman waiting at the back. Sorry! We didn't see you waiting. He he he he he! (In fairness he looks cute! Ha ha ha ha!)



Do you know that  walls of FORT SANTIAGO have a height of 22-feet (6.7 m) with a thickness of 8 feet (2.4 m)?

To give you a better picture, put Jelo on top of Andrei's shoulder, then make them lie down. VOILA! That's how thick those walls are!

The FORT SANTIAGO gate may have been constructed centuries ago but I personally think its beauty is timeless.

Photo from WIKIPEDIA
Would you believe that this gate of FORT SANTIAGO was damaged during the World War II? 

It's great that they were able to restore the same artistry of the gate of FORT SANTIAGO to be appreciated by future generations. 

The guards in FORT SANTIAGO are donned in the traditional wear of old Manila times. The effect is good in order to give us the feel of going back in time. 

TRIVIA THREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do you know that our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal was imprisoned in FORT SANTIAGO before his execution? Yup! On the day of his death, he was made to walk all the way towards the site where he was shot via firing squad. 

The reason why his steps are so close is because his feet were gagged so that he couldn't make a run for it.

Want to know where Dr. Rizal was shot in Manila? Click HERE!!!

With our trip to FORT SANTIAGO, the little lords (with cutie pie Jeorgina) were able to have a clearer picture of Dr. Jose Rizal's suffering on that fateful day. It is the sad truth but the children appreciated our National Hero more afterwards. 

The boys brought skateboards and used it to cruise around FORT SANTIAGO. I'm sure the thought entered their cute heads that if only Dr.Rizal had one, he would be able to escape even if his legs were tied. 

In FORT SANTIAGO, you would also find the RIZAL MUSEUM. Entrance is free and this is certainly a must-see when you're there!

While we were there, a FORT SANTIAGO staff member named JEROME RELLENTE asked Mareng Gail if our group would like a free guided tour of the museum. We were so grateful and immediately said yes since we wanted the kiddies to learn something from this trip.

Check out our separate blog on RIZAL MUSEUM!

After the RIZAL MUSEUM we came upon this breath-taking area in FORT SANTIAGO.


Mati and buddy Johans had fun exploring this spacious part in FORT SANTIAGO!

Mati got curious with this dark stairway. "Is it like a rabbit hole?" He wondered.

UH, anything BUT!  According to Jerome, this leads to a dungeon used before during the Spanish times.



Did you know that FORT SANTIAGO had many dungeons and prisons used to kill many prisoners?

YUPPERS!!! One of which is this DEADLY doorway going to the "hole of death".
During the Spanish times, they would pack prisoners here as many as 150 in a very enclosed place filled with rotting water, human waste, rats, and insects. Staying in such horrific conditions are torture enough for these poor individuals that most would likely die overnight.

Prisoners varied from those caught from battles, criminals, innocents blamed as criminals, bystanders, and even women who were not able to attend mass!

If prisoners die in FORT SANTIAGO'S dungeons, at least it would an "easy way out". Because woah, it was so terrifying how they inhumanely tortured and give slow but painful deaths to the not so lucky ones.

Jerome showed us once more another enclosed stairway.

Jerome said that prisoners were tied here and were left to drown come high tide!

Que horror!

It's so hard to believe that the waters that give a view so beautiful caused so much pain (and death) during the olden times!

Going down!

Getting together and having a bit of rest from all that walking.

According to Jerome, this is where some guards would see a white lady walking slowly and entering one of the doorways. That gave us, most especially the kids, the chills. 

We wonder though, from the many prisoners that were tortured and killed, why there is only one lady who is haunting FORT SANTIAGO? What could be so special about her?


At the last part of our tour, Jerome took us to a gated cell where a mannequin of Dr. Jose Rizal stayed. 

According to Jerome, this was the actual place where Dr. Rizal was held before his execution.


Did you know that Dr. Jose Rizal and Josephine Bracken met here for the last time the night before his death? 

Some said they received the rites to marriage at that time, while some claim they had a civil marriage before. 

Whatever it is, I think it's romantic.

Little Andrei and Jelo can't stop staring at the Rizal model. They probably imagined how Dr. Rizal was, knowing he was going to die later on.

And with that, his watch... este... tour is done!

Thank you so much Jerome for making this visit a MORE educational one!

After the tour, the kiddies rested by going to the playground!

Ha ha ha ha! Yup! That's rest for them. 

After all that walking, learning, and playing, THE YAPPY BUNCH were sweaty but very happy!

Could we hitch going to the exit?

Okay fine. We'll just do how the people did it before and walk going out of FORT SANTIAGO!

At the end of our visit in FORT SANTIAGO, we were all happy to spend time together at a place where our Philippine heritage and heroism are timeless! The kiddies may be tired from the heat and running around but they were all breathing sighs of happiness and enthusiasm at the beauty of our history. 

Now I bet no overly commercialized mall or play area could ever give THAT!


NO electric gadget (ipad, psp, tablet) was EVER used (nor asked for) during our trip to FORT SANTIAGO.  

So there. 

Fort Santiago, Manila, 1002 Metro Manila
(02) 481 6637


  1. Isn't PedXing Pedestrian Crossing?

    1. What the...??? Really??? I didn't know!!!!

      Ha ha ha ha! I'm kidding. Yes PED XING is a sign to where Pedestrians will cross. It's just too nice to joke about it every now and then. Laughing at the thought of it being a street never gets old for me. Even if I look eng eng at the same tinme cos of it. Ha ha ha ha ha!

      Thanks for dropping by :)

  2. Hi, where did you get your tour guide? And how much did you pay him (if you did)?

    1. Hi Lou!!! How are you?

      The guy just approached us and asked if we wanted a tour around the museum and in Fort Santiago. As he was just a volunteer to promote tourism in Manila, he said the tour was free. We were so glad that he accompanied us because we all learned a lot from his trivias and interesting stories about Jose Rizal and Fort Santiago. I think it is with his tales that the children enjoyed to going around the place.

      Even if no payment is required, we appreciated his services and we wanted to help him out so we gave him P1,500.00. We were in fact 4 families that he took around. I'm sure if you guys feel like giving something as a token of your appreciation, it could be less.

      Thanks and have a great time going around Intramuros!


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