Manila, my Manila

The 120-year old all-steel church of San Sebastian is in slowly rusting itself too death. And want to do our bit so this architectural jewel will survive another century! Join as as on this special walk as we explore the history, the architecture and pressing challenges that is eating up (literally!) this engineering marvel. Together with steel conservationist Tina Paterno, we'll climb where no parishioners have climbed before as we explore every nook and cranny of the San Sebastican Basilica!

Rate: P1,000.00/head (inclusive of tour and merienda)

When: Saturday, September 25, 2010 at 2:30 PM

Meet at the San Sebastian Church steps, Bilibid Viejo Street, Quiapo, Manila.

* All the proceeds of this tour will be donated to the San Sebastian restoration program
* As there a load limits with certain parts of the church that we'll be visiting, slots are will be limited. Reservations required.


Thanks to  Singapore-based writer James Ong for making a little growl about our walking tours in the Lion City.


Look us up at HERE.

We tried the newest restaurant in the Intramuros dining scene- Ristorante Il Metre across San Agustin church. Don’t be deceived by its Italian sounding name because its not. Rather its menu is a mix of Filipino, Spanish, American and panciteria food(camaron rebosado anyone?).

Ordered beef salpicao w/mushroom soup, total bill is P200 (+ VAT… pa), wouldn’t say its the cheapest choice in the area. The food was so-so, beef was tender but didnt taste like salpicao (where’s the garlic?). And since it sits in the C.B.C.P. building, the decor is decidedly Catholic.

We’ll show them a little mercy since they have only been open for less than a month and will go try our the other specialties however we suggest they change their name to suit their menu.

We just couldn’t resist having our photo taken with these amusing Toy Story cos-players on top of the Intramuros wall at our Intramuros walk today.

Love the alien with green ears and the one with a crocodile head, ha!

Was really amused to find a Ruffa Guittierez look-alike in our walking tour last week.

I swear this gracious doktora looks like the au naturelle version of Ruffa minus the make-up and her over botoxed(?) face!

Perhaps the doktora could make for a good impersonator of the actress?

A lot of people have said I have a very interesting job and I guess it is when you don’t meet the

Of course in the course of five years, I have had the opportunity meeting personalities – both big and small- who have walked with us or we simply just bumped into along the way. I count amongst them ordinary folks, artists, cooks, tv personalities, pre-school kids (always an adventure!), members of the academe, writers, ambassadors, wives-of- taipans, street kids (same faces), beggars (they’re suki) as well as non-showbiz celebs (always low-key) and the occasional people I love to hate.

Here are some of the more memorable personalities we have walked into lately:

I bumped into Secretary of  Tourism Ace Durano while doing the BIG Binondo Food WOK last year.

Somewhere along the way the good  secretary decided to turn a lumpia wrapper into a roti prata and flipped it in the air.  What the …?!?

That said, he was a nice fellow and we talked a bit.  I think his really keen on doing his job.

thanks to Julie de Leon for the photo!

Next is the the former mayor of ManiLA (as he loves to spell it) who, in the run-up to the local mayoral elections decided to do visit Binondo and make his presence felt in the plaza across the church he restored (coincidentally, where we also start our Chinatown WOK). Gotta hand it to him, restoring the plaza revived the business around area but I still cannot forgive him for the Jai-Alai  building along Taft Avenue in Manila 10 years ago. Oh, and may I add,  changing of  historic street names too.  He listened in the first part of our tour while we were being filmed.

Have mixed feelings about the the guy.

And finally, here’s a memorable chance encounter with her excellency on a recent Power, Palace and a SHOT of Beer tour. While it is not the first time we bumped into her in this particular walk, our first few brushes left no tangible memories as shared through here, here and  here.

Well this group (and they were kabalens too) was extremely lucky because not only did they get to meet h her excellency, but she actually stopped to have her photo taken with us.  Easier said than done with some overzealous presidential security guards swarming around even at the palace grounds .  In any case , I think they the photo-op alone made the day for our guests (not to mention the lovely museum tour and merienda)

I  joined in the photo foray and that’s me just immediately on the top of her head.

I’m so glad she’s short.

So there, a day in the life of a walking tour guide.

Here’s another heritage cause worth supporting.

I’m all out in my support for  using culture and the arts in improving the quality of life of our people

and I think this project is definitely on the right track.

Please show your support by attending.

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