06 May, 2014

Side Trip: Carlos Celdran's "Walk This Way" Tour

It was only in December 2013 that I discovered that some of my colleagues share my interest in Philippine History + that extra special fascination with the Spanish Colonial Period in PH. We all believe that learning does not end in school and that as you grow older, learning gets better. I really think it comes with age. Our shared fascination with the way of life and architecture during Colonial Philippines paved way to unexpected friendships and have brought us to Taal last December, Bagac, Bataan's most-visited spot — Las Casas de Acuzar ( I have yet to write about this ) last January, and just last March, we did Carlos Celdran's Walk This Way Tour.

This is NOT your typical tour.
Entertaining. Engaging. Theatrical. Juicy. Nothing is sugar-coated. If you visit www.celdrantours.blogspot.com, you'll find a nice bit of a friendly warning that says, "Content tends to offend people with no sense of humor nor sense of drama." I think that not everyone will agree with Carlos Celdran's religious and political views ... so be prepared to learn things from Celdran that were not taught in school.

Side Story: Here in PH, school programs vary based on the order that runs the educational institution. I discovered this by accident when I was talking to a friend about Machiavellian Principles. My friend just gave me a blank stare and said she's never heard of it. Apparently, the order that runs their university does not permit teaching these kinds of ideas.



Unconventional Classroom Setup at Fort Santiago


My friends and I picked a Sunday morning schedule because we all had Saturday work. There were about 30 or more people in our group, all woke up early on a Sunday morning and all eager to participate and listen to Carlos Celdran's tales about Manila. Our Sunday Walk This Way tour, which started 9-ish at Fort Santiago and ended a little bit past 12-noon at Plaza San Luis, was one of the best tours I've ever had.

Re-learning Manila.
This made getting up at 6:30AM, Sunday, 23-March so worth it. Carlos Celdran's Walk This Way Tour took me to the glory days of Manila. Thankfully, Celdran had old photos to share with the group and sadly, not one of us would see Manila when it was was the most beautiful and most progressive city in Southeast Asia. Interestingly, I learned that Manila Cathedral used to be KM.0. It was only during recent years that it was moved to Luneta, where the monument of Dr. Jose Rizal is. And it stops here :)

I am purposely not telling you guys what else I learned because I want you to experience the tour and hear Celdran's stories first-hand.


Carlos Celdran's portable cassette player.



Our national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal's last steps ( re-traced ) before he was executed in Bagumbayan.


Going around Manila
The PHP1,100 ($25) fee for adults and PHP600 ($14) for students, which you pay when you get to Fort Santiago includes the tour, entrance fees, your Kalesa or Pedicab Ride, and a sweet treat towards the end of the tour.

I was delighted when I learned that we're getting on a kalesa because I've not ridden one. A kalesa, also called a caritela, is a horse-drawn cal├Ęche. I read that it was brought here in the Philippines by our Spanish colonizers some time in the 18th century. If you think you're scared to ride a kalesa, you can take the pedicab or just take your car from Fort Santiago to Plaza San Luis :)



My friends joined me for my first kalesa ride :)
Bring your own hats so you don't pay PHP250 ($6) like we did.



"I can't change the way Manila looks, but I can change the way you look at Manila."
- Carlos Celdran, Manila's most favorite tour guide



+1 to my collection is a postcard of the Manila City Hall Clock Tower, which I purchased from La Monja Loca.


If you have plans to visit the Philippines ( and I hope you do! ), try to come in Manila ... make sure you lemme know. Most importantly, I hope you consider this tour. You'll have a better appreciation of Manila, you get to interact with the country's best tour guide, and really, it's an experience that you shouldn't miss. News reports say that the current city government has huge plans to revitalize the city. This alone has made everyone very optimistic and with the actualization these plans, I'm positive that Manila will be back in its game.   ☮..Peace + _Love + Good Vibes. RUSS.


★ ★ ★ ★ ★


✎  CARLOS CELDRAN TOURS
  +63.920.9092021 » Text Glenda
  Fort Santiago ( meeting place ) is located at Santa Clara Street, Intramuros, Manila

50 comments:

Amanda T said...

You always seem to do the most interesting things! I am one of those people that needs to be dragged to do stuff, and I always complain that there's nothing to do, when in actuality, there probably is, lol.

Rochkirstin Santos said...

Haha you're different from most bloggers I know since you don't tell the lessons and instead inspire us to come and experience it ourselves.

Liz Martin said...

i enjoy learning history too and i tried Carlos Celdran's Walk This Way Tours - both the Intramuros and Imelda. love how he tells the story. he makes learning history so much more fun!

Haydn Symons said...

A great blog post Russ, and I adore that portable cassette player, loving the retro look!

Your postcard of Manila City Hall Clock Tower is really interesting, lovely illustration! Can I ask who the designer/illustrator is?

Thanks Russ!

Kung Phoo said...

That is a great way to learn history. Wen you go on those tours you are embedded into the fabric..

bxcrochet said...

That looks like such a great tour. I have been wanting to do a walking tour.

Michelle F.

Lisa said...

Looks Like A Great Tour Would Love To Take The Family Thank You!

Michele D said...

That's amazing!
Awesome history and even better way to learn by a walking tour.
Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca Swenor said...

I agree 100% about the learning as you get older. I would love to do something like this one day. I love history. Thanks for sharing. :)

Angel E. said...

i would love to experience this sis! so sad we're filipinos yet we become foreigners in our own country. that first pic reminded me of piolo pascual in starting over again. di history teacher sya? hehehe! and si manong with boombox, cool!

Chasity said...

This is amazing. I have a friend whose mom is from the Philippines. I would be so interested in learning more about her culture.

056d187a-d3dd-11e3-8696-000bcdcb2996 said...

I love the weird boom box that looks like a box fan! haha. Looks like a fun tour- I hope I can do it some day!

admin said...

Nice one Russ. If I have the resources, I would want to experience that.

Leira Pagaspas said...

I haven't attended any of his tours but I want to..

Stuck on a Cloud said...

It's so hard to get out and do things like this with three boys. but I always want to get out and go.

Mama to 5 said...

This sounds like fun, very unique! Very educational too!

Payal Bansal said...

I loved the quote , "I can't change the way Manila looks, but I can change the way you look at Manila"

Becka M said...

It looks very interesting and like a great tour. loved the pictures!

lloydy fernandez said...

I think learning will always be in our lives. Until we grow old

Kath Rivera said...

My favorite subject is history and I think I need to join this tour to refresh some information. The controversial Carlos Cedran, must meet him soon!

Aisha Kristine Chong said...

It's always nice to have fun like this especially on a tour - you really learn new things and enjoy it in the process, too!

Joanna Sormunen said...

Sounds like a really interesting tour! I would definitely love to take this if I ever get to visit Philippines!

Lexie Lane said...

I haven't been to the Philippines in years but that sounds great!

HANA at www.DollHana.com said...

I also had the chance to go on one of his barter tours and immensely enjoyed the tour. Great for everyone who want to dabble in Philippine history in a different way ;)

Prasad Np said...

Always good to learn about new places, I have some blogger friends who are from Philippines.

And that portable music system is so cool, reminds me of the 90s :)

Hannah Green said...

Such a good insight in to local history, these are my favourite kinds of posts! Ps. love the boom box haha. It is definitely somewhere we would like to visit on our travels at the end of the year xx

Sarah said...

Admittingly, I really don't like Manila (don't hate me folks). But I think this has changed my view about Manila. Perhaps, I will be considering this tour if I have the chance to visit Manila again. :)

Maureen Hitipeuw said...

Oh I love this! Sounds like an amazing way to look at your city from a different perspective :D

papaleng said...

Nice read on a cold afternoon. Learned much about this Carlos Celdran Walk a Way tour. Seems interesting. Wish I can too experience such tour. That Cassette recorder is so cute.

Raymond Vasquez said...

The faces in the pictures paints a lot of fun in your tour. I guess I missed this when I was in Manila. Considering doing this when I visit Manila once again. Great to hear you've enjoyed Manila though. :-)

Jason P. said...

Such an amazing concept from an amazing guy! If only all tourists could have him as a guide! :D

Tiffany Yong W.T. said...

relearning manila... Hmmm... this reminds me of how often we do not understand our country as much as the tourist does at times because we tend to overlook and neglect the precious history and culture.

Thanks for reminding me the importance of relearning our country's history and culture!

Franc said...

I love going to Intramuros because of its rich heritage and its famous walls. It's nice you got to appreciate history with the tour.

Sunshine Kelly said...

I have visited Philippines a few times for work but do not have the time to go for a tour in Manila. Perhaps I should try it. Thanks for sharing.

Katrina Centeno said...

I have long wanted to join his tour. Plus, I have wanted to tour Intramuros which I tried once but never really completed it because I was with aunt but she got tired with all the walking.

Manu Kalia said...

Carlos Celdran is so familiar. I think I've seen him somewhere? This is a place worth to visit.

Ron Leyba said...

Carlos Celdran really knows his stuff. He surely told you something you haven't heard or read before :).

eLaNaKcL said...

It's never too old to learn. Everyday is a learning opportunities.

Louise Banta said...

Wow! Carlos Celdran! I've always wanted to try his tours because he seems to be a very opinionated and cool guy. I will contact the number provided at the bottom to ask how to schedule :) I'm super excited!!!

I've seen some photos of Manila before through a friend (professor) who is teaching Philippine history and wow! How I wish we could bring that kind of Manila noh? Clean and very classic.

Eliz Frank said...

What a great tour and an insider look at the history and beauty of this nation. I'd love to visit Manila some day and will keep this tour in mind.

John Benliro said...

I felt I was going back to the past. This guy sure knows a lot of history. I enjoyed the tour!

Masshole Mommy said...

I go on walking tours whenever I can. I love the chance to get out and explore and learn a thing or two!

Amanda Simkin said...

Wow, what an interesting post. I love the fact that your country decided to commemorate your national hero's last footsteps. It is so important to teach and relive important moments in history to remember the past and prepare for the future.

Amanda
www.queenofthelandoftwigsnberries.com

MikiHope said...

I have never been to the Philippines but am sure it is steeped in history. If I ever get there I will be sure to take this tour!

Crystal Green said...

This looks like a fun vacation destination. I love going on horse drawn carriage rides.

mail4rosey said...

Smart tip to bring your own hat. I think this sounds fun, I'm glad it was worth getting up early to see. :)

April Decheine said...

I would love to visit the Philippines, I have heard so many wonderful things about it! I would love to experience a tour.

Cindy Gordon said...

Wow, this looks like a really fun tour. I must say that I love that boom box! Brings me back!

Elizabeth O. said...

This is such a cool way to learn about history. I'd love to visit it some day.

Ourfamilyworld said...

This looks like a fun tour. I would love to do it one day with the family. The carriage looks amazing