Sixteenth-century Manila could have evolved from a vision of a homesick traveler. On June 24, 1572, the conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legaspi declared Manila the capital of the Philippines. Thereafter he quickly laid down a blueprint for the development of the noble and ever loyal city.
What rose from the on the southern banks of the Pasig River, where the Rajah Soliman’s Kingdom of Maynila stood, was not a stately dome but a re-creation of a Spanish town. While Legaspi chose to retain the city’s original name, Maynila, King Philip of Spain called it Insigne y Siempre Leal Ciudad (Noble and Ever Loyal City).
In 1590, sixteen years after the Chinese corsair Limahong, attacked and burned the city of Manila, Governor Luis Perez Dasmariñas put in hand the construction of the walls and fortification of what was later to become known as Intramuros.
Using adobe stone and brick, Intramuros was built with blood, sweat and toil of Filipinos. It is a monument that has the same historical and cultural value as the pyramids to Egypt, the Great Wall to China and Angkor Wat to Cambodia.
For the Filipinos of this generation, it is a significant link with our historic past.
Click here for a virtual tour of Intramuros