Shortly after touching down on Manila soil, we shipped ourselves off to Makati City to visit Salcedo Market. It was a tiny bazaar of sorts that sold indigenous cuisine ranging from diniguan (pig blood stew) to taho (Filipino silken tofu) and other foods like Japanese pancakes or sushi. Mmmm. And as I type this, there is an earthquake happening right under me! Oh, it’s done.
Anyway, I wish I had better pictures for you, because that market was amazing. People and food were just concentrated in that tiny park. The air was just brimming with molecules that were heavy carrying all that scent. Damn! If only I could bottle it- releasing it in a kitchen would make a terrible cook seem like Emeril.
Following Salcedo and some tasty Japanese pancakes, we headed to Intramuros- the city of the walls. We visited the placed where Jose Rizal was imprisoned before his execution.
In my mind… I was thinking… who is Jose Rizal?
I learnt that on one level- the tiny, incredibly intelligent (and even that’s an understatement- he went to almost six different universities, spoke 22 languages and was an ophthalmologist) who penned “Noli Me Tangere” and “El Filibusterismo”. On a deeper level, he is one the Philippine National Hero, for both of those novels were satirical commentaries on the corruption of the Spanish and Priests of the time of their occupation, and he sparked the revolutions that eventually led to Philippine Independence. He accepted and knew he was not afraid to die for his country. Heavy stuff.
But, truth be told, it was quite a humbling experience. First of all, it rained on us. Secondly, seeing the path that Rizal walked before he was executed was breathtaking- can you imagine if you were in his footsteps?
“The footsteps are so close together because they were probably shackled…” Nikki was right.
It was so entrancing. Intramuros is very haunting. Tracing those steps… rediscovering a big part of me that I’ve always neglected… this vacation is going to be an interesting one.