We first stopped by Bahay Tsinoy in Intramuros to meet up with Ivan’s friend in the heritage conservation circle, Ivan Man Dy. He toured us around the museum for free and gave me a brief lecture on the Chinese’ part in the shaping of the Philippines’ and the Filipinos’ identity, which I’m familiar with anyway ever since I wrote that term paper about the Mano Po “series”.
We then walked off to San Agustin church where both Ivans sat down with the head priest in the head priest’s office and talked about some restoration / renovation / reconstruction of some of the church’s parts. While they talked and debated about how our heritage sites should be properly restored and conserved, I wondered off to take pictures instead.
After that stop at San Agustin church, we wandered off in Intramuros for a bit until the Ivans, in a series of spontaneous decisions, decided for us to go to Binondo and shoot something along the Pasig River with the Post Office building as a backdrop. So we walked out of Intramuros, crossed the Pasig River through Jones Bridge, and then in yet another spur of the moment thinking, decided to hop on a Pasig River ferry.
I’ve never been on a Pasig River ferry. It was quite an experience. I wanted to take lots of pictures of sceneries along the banks of the River. The part of the river near Manila Bay is quite scenic but the ferry personnel and some military men in the boat forbid us from taking pictures until we’ve passed by Gloria Arroyo’s fortress.
The airconditioned ferry ride was quite comfortable and cheap. Apparently, only a few people take the ferry service now, which only goes upstream until Guadalupe, Makati. Once the system is fully operational, it will go up to Montalban in Rizal, if I’m not mistaken.
Anyway, we did not take the ferry all the way to Makati, because that would take almost two hours back and forth. We got off at Sta. Ana station. Since it was half an hour before the next ferry back to Escolta in Binondo, we went to Sta. Ana church and well, looked around. We got back to the ferry station in time, supposedly, for the next ferry. However, as what usually happens, the ferry was almost half an hour late.
We went back to Binondo and had dinner at some Chinese restaurant along Escolta. After dinner, we walked around Binondo and went to this small and unpretentious dumplings shop. The owners were even speaking in Chinese and the small eatery and the Chinese soap opera on television made me feel like I was in some Hong Kong canteen.