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The time was about 3 AM when my flight touched the Filipino sand. It was not a peak time and therefore it took me only around an hour to get through baggage claim, immigration, currency exchange and all sort of stuff. It was still way too early to head outside. I had to wait for another hour as the MRT and LRT trains start their way off at 5 in the morning. In this time, I roamed across the Manila airport, eating bunch of stuff and getting myself to look fresher after two hours of sleepless flight followed with another two dizzy hours at the airport.
Finally the clock hit 5 and I was all ready to leave the airport to experience a brand new country waiting for me. I had already planned about the places I am gonna be on my very first day in Philippines (Thanks to my Filipino mates and of course, the internet). My first stop was going to be Intramuros, one of the most famous places in Manila from a historical as well as touristic point of view. For someone going to Intramuros for the first time, the easiest and cheapest option would be to board the LRT going to the Central terminal. I boarded the LRT from EDSA station and the fare to central terminal was 20 PHP. After getting there, tricycles (one of the most famous mode of local transportation, the other being jeepney) are right at the exit of station to take you to Intramuros. But I instead chose to walk my way because that is more fun. Since I had already downloaded the offline version of HERE Maps for Philippines, I felt absolutely no problem in walking around and to finally reach Intramuros.
Intramuros stands for “Inside the walls” so one can expect walls and something inside them. One can imagine it to be a big rectangle though there are a lot of streets inside this rectangle. As I got inside the entrance, there was a way to get on the top of the walls to my left. For quite a long time, I walked along these walls. These walls are really thick and old. One can even see canons and some old rooms which would have been there in the old times.
My Filipino friends have noted some places down for me inside Intramuros. They were Manila Cathedral, St. Augustin Church, The Governor Palace. I tried to made sure that once I am inside these walls, I do not miss streets which have these places. Since I was quite early in the morning so I did not expect much from these places and to be honest, I did not had a lot of enthusiasm to check these places in detail. But as I reached there, it turned out to be more beautiful than I thought. And I just wanted to sit there for a while, to gaze at them and appreciate their uniqueness.
I spent around 2 hours inside the walls, in the Intramuros. Being early in the morning, one can avoid sun and even spend more time to be inside the places I had been to and to explore even more. By the time I was leaving, I could see a lot of students going to their classes and then I realized again that I have just started my vacations and I have to get the most out of it. Philippines welcomed me with its beautiful historical introduction, churches for what it is well knows as and much more things to be happened in the coming days.