Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Well, I'll be durned. Times they are a changing over at the Intramuros Administration. After sitting at the top of the heap since Erap times, the controversial Dominador Ferrer has finally stepped aside and lo and behold, let's all give a warm welcome to Ms. Ana Maria "Bambi" Harper. Former director of the Heritage Conservation Society and a long time critic of the departing IA director, Ms. Harper definitely has her work cut out for her. Plagued by low tourism investments, a high nocturnal crime rate, squatters, drug dealing, and neglect, Intramuros is in desperate need of a clearcut vision that will turn it into as culturally vibrant as Vigan and as tourism friendly as Boracay. And after chatting with her yesterday at the courtyard of Casa Manila, I am quite secure for now that IA is in good hands. Among the things we talked about were: cleaning up Intramuros (crime-wise; litter-wise; and drug-wise), the repair of some areas in Casa Manila, the creation of a gift shop, and the relocation of squatters).

And in light of all this, I promised Bambi that I would go on my blog and ask folks out there for ideas and opinions about Intramuros just to see if we can find any good ideas out there.

So folks, tell me: What does Intramuros need for it to elevate itself into a world class tourist destination and heritage site? Give me a your suggestions or opinions. Whatever it is, fill the comments box with your thoughts because I'm going send it to her office once it's full.

Oh, And I've gone kinda showbiz. Watch me today on the morning show, Boy and Kris (ABS CBN). I take Boy and Matt and Mikey from BB Teen Edition around Casa Manila. Tune in if only to watch me mangle the Filipino language.


sam said...

Hi Carlos. What if Intramuros brought in more residential buildings ala Syquia, bringing in new blood at a residential level? Right now, there seems to be so much disconnect between the tourists that come in during the day and the residents that dwell there. Intramuros might come more alive if it felt like an evolving community, with quaint condos that had coutyards opening up to the street, new galleries, neighborhood butchers, bakeries, etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carlos!

How about having street performers in the streets of Intramuros. Much like the ones in Las Ramblas, Barcelona.

Anonymous said...

I've been fortunate enough to grow up amongst the Smithsonian museums and the national monuments here in WDC, and the 1st thing that I noticed when I visited Intramuros was how jam-packed and dingy (dirty) everything was compared to WDC. That's saying a lot, too, considering how the Potomac River is like our version of the Ilog Pasig.
Is there any way to dredge the Pasig, plant some flowering trees amongst its banks, maybe pay the squatters to collect garbage by converting it to ethanol and then using the clean fuel to run the public transportation around Intramuros? I'm allowed to dream, right ;-)?

Urbano dela Cruz said...

I'm with Sam. We have to stop treating Intramuros as a fancy bauble and start reconnecting it into the life of the city. More housing, for one. Incentives for businesses to relocate. -Upgrading existing housing for the poor -and de-concentrating the poverty by bringing market rate housing.

More connectivity with the rest of the city.

All of these are, of course, longer term.

Tell Bambi Harper to start with a conference on Urban Planning and Historic cities -and bring in the experts on revitalizing historic cities and revitalizing cities in general. (Make sure they don't just have historic preservationists).

Some names (i won't bother to link them, readers can google them if they want to)

1) Jan Gehl
2) Charles Landry
3) Ismail Serageldin
4) Witold Rybczynski
5) Enrique Penalosa

You can start with those.

Anonymous said...

Make all the roads pedestrian.

It's a shame that cars squeeze into the narrow cobblestone roads. They ruin the ambience. And there is no space for them. No cars. They're out of place.

A car-less Intramuros will encourage walking tours like yours.

I just visited Peru and the Centro de Lima, which is Intramuros times twenty, has lots of areas that are off limits to cars. Tourists have every reason to soak it in and stay longer.


Katrina Mae said...

I saw you on tv Carlos!! :) i should have contacted you when me and my bestfriend went to intramuros. :(

Lorco said...

One good idea is having more no cars allowed areas as it's already said. But I think that if we take out casa Manila and two more thinks Intramuros is empty. All the historic sites are there, they only need to be cleaned, repaired... And included in the Intramuros visits. Each time we go we do the same things, 500 meters of muralla, casa manila, fort Santiago and that's all :(

Tourists like to sit down while having a nice view, some shadows and something fresh to drink. And Intramuros don't have that now.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carlos , my thoughts humble as they are regarding Intramuros .
First I love that place , wandering around and letting my imagination run wild .
secondly , i grew up in the town of Fremantle , in Western Australia , its a port town with many historical buildings , though none more than 150 years old ,but all are protected , even if you want to paint the exterior it has to be in the original colours etc . As a result the town is thriving , with many peiople living in the centre of town and thats in a countrty where suburban living rules !
I just pray the new administrator can bring this special place alive...oh and take the cars out....bikes , calesas and foot power only .
Regards ,
Mark .

Preston D. said...

No cars pls. They belong extramuros.

Ligon said...

I am glad that a knowledgeable person of history is at the helm of the Intramuros Administration and not just any greedy political appointee. I hope that the administration will have a better vision from now on. As for suggestions, I was thinking of a place that could house studies and exhibits of the history of Intramuros architecture. Plaze San Luis shows a model housing complex in turn of the century Intramuros but if you'll read the books they are architecture found from houses outside of Intramuros and not in it. I was hoping there is somewhere in Intramuros that house this kind of area so that students, especially those studying architecture and design, could see the wealth of creativity in yesteryears architecture especially during the art deco and art noveau eras. It is through this that students may get inspired to develop or create Filipino inspired designs based on yesteryears creativity.

Another suggestion is could we possibly have a museum similar to the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. Although, the memorare monument is already in place in at the back of the Cathedral, this museum would probably be more effective in reaching out to people especially to the young ones that war should not happen in our home land again. Just a suggestion.

Congratulations to Ms. Harper again.

canDIshhh said...

Eliminate the squatters area! I know it's quite close to impossible but, they can try right??

Paul said...

Will she abolish that IA rule that prohibits would-be photographers of Intramuros landmarks unless they pay a hefty fee?

Anonymous said...

1. Clean up the area like spraying the brick roads often.
2. Remove all the squatters.
3. Bring back the WOW Philippines weekly or monthly events.
4. Let open air restaurants operate near the walls. These will be restaurants like Via Mare, Cascada, Cena, etc.
5. New business, residential addresses, and history can live side by side. Look at the city of Utrecth in the Netherlands.
6. Lights. Lights. Lights.
7. Roving cops should be everywhwere and visible.
8. Promote weekly events via glossy brochures like Disneyland.

P said...

Rent subsidies or incentives for creative/knowledge enterprises to operate there.
I like the pedestrian-only rule. What about bicycles - any room for this, like a bike-share/rent program?
Bookstores! Bookstores!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree with some commentators that Intramuros needs to be a pedestrian walled-city (or at least most of it). More sidewalk benches. All gates must have some form of maps or information to help orient visitors and inform them of events currently happening. Visible and understandable street signs. Involve all the communities and schools inside the walled city to participate and promote Intramuros (even fund-raising activities would be great for everyone). And finally, no more billboards please near or around Intramuros.

Anonymous said...

Why not the Intramuros Administration starts talking with the National Museum (and other caretakers of such tourist spots like Rizal Park, Carriedo/Avenida, Baywalk, etc) around the Luneta and come up with a comprehensive tourism strategic plan that will promote the entire area as one great tourist destination for both Filipinos and foreigners. An example would be trolleys/trams (like the ones in Corregidor that will connect the different tourist spots and will be open to tourist or regular commuters alike).

Anonymous said...

We need to reserve beautiful spanish colonial style residential condo buildings in some of the blocks of Intramuros to breathe life into this place. This will give rise to businesses such as upscale stores that sell fresh produce and local goods ala' Harrods in London or the Samaritane in Paris.

They need to build a "grand hotel" like that of the Metropole in Hanoi or Raffles in Singapore to bring back that glamorous era of Manila.

Please relocate the squatters and have a strict 'covenant' agreement with residents and commercial owners about keeping the heritage look of old Intramuros. Try to copy the Varadero in Habana Vieja to capture what it was like in the colonial times. One more thing, build the most beautiful cark park buildings with European facades to make it both interesting, efficient and useful.


poni said...

housing for existing informal settlers, plus housing for students, and maybe middle income housing too. there needs to be some sort of study of who are the people living inside and involving them in the whole process of revitalization. stakeholder participation etc. residents make a place come alive and make it into a vibrant neighborhood, not just a tourist area.

also a more enlightened perspective of the type of architecture which can be built inside. (it need not neccessarily be of similar style, it can be very modern, sculptural, really different but respectful to the scale of the area..e.g. like the louvre pyramid, jewish museum in berlin...)

Anonymous said...

Limit non-Intramuros residential cars and limit the amount of cars that can be parked in Intramuros. Rereate working novelty cable cars to ply the main avenues of intramuros taking them from rizal park and manila hotel to the interior of Intramuros similar to the old Tran Via of Manila. Design these to be uncoupled instead of "cable" cars but run on electric to manage pollution.

poni said...

oh, and i don't agree with the car park buildings with european facades (above). it seems totally fake and dishonest to try to disguise a carpark with a european facade. the trend today is to build modern buildings to look like modern buildings, not copies of the past. new buildings can compliment old buildings through scale, rhythm of elements, color.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with you Poni. We need to keep Intramuros historically accurate. I live in Savannah, Georgia which has retained its old colonial grandeur through smart design of multivel car parks that blend in with the old architecture. Keep the modern architecture in Makati and the Fort and keep Intramuros architecture in tune to its old heritage look and feel. They should also address the tangled electric cables and bury these under ground like they do in Paris. something about it!


Anonymous said...

Remember how Intramuros was before this historical site was carpet bombed: beautiful churches, Cathedrals, European buildings, moats, etc? Intramuros will have to be restored the way it was before the city was carpet bombed. It can't be remodelled or redeveloped or evolved into something else--IT MUST BE RESTORED THE WAY IT WAS in terms of architecture and landscaping. As soon as this is completed, regentrify this heritage site for commerce and tourism. Things will fall into place but the most important is the preservation and restoration of structures.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with your comment. Let us keep Intramuros' "colonial" look and keep modern structures out of the city walls. BTW, I hate the IM Pei pyramids in front of the Louvre museum. It looks like aliens started a colony in front of the former royal palace.

Anonymous said...

The others have already provided a lot of good suggestions. What I would add is for IA to allow photography hobbyist the freedom to take pictures inside Intramuros and Fort Santiago. This has often been one of the complaints of hobbyists and is very irritating considering that the place is public and a tourist site at that.

Anonymous said...

Carlos, let's say a private person offered to buy Intramuros for $1,000,000,000.00 (billion dollars) and pledged to revive this historic city street-by-street and block-by-block within 5 years; again, the only difference is that Intramuros will be owned and run privately, not by the government. Would the Philippine government allow this scenario to happen?

Please advise :)

Anonymous said...

There used to be a depressed area in West Pal beach called city place which was recently revitalized to be an example of urban renewal. It looks just like Barcelona to me.The same idea can be applied to Intramuros to make it a living vibrant component of Manila and not just a museum.

Here is a link that maybe Miss Harper can use:

Anonymous said...

I think that among the first thing Ms. Harper should do is to meet with the administration, faculty and students of the universities that are within Intramuros: Mapua, Letran, Lyceum, Sta Rosa and PLM. If you think about it, these guys -- plus maybe the Archbishop of Manila and the Agustinians -- are the main stakeholders of the area. It is their needs that should be prioritized in redeveloping Intramuros.

Encouraging more of these students to live within the walls will do wonders in improving the nightlife, ambience and economic viability of the area. If these guys were to be there permanently, we can be assured that the economic impact would be stronger than the WOW Philippines and other great but unsustainable programs of the DOT.

gracing said...

I'm excited already with all the suggestions, they are all great ideas! I love them all! Instead of a tram, perhaps free tourist jeepeneys to ferry visitors from one site to another (eg. after we did your tour 2 christmases ago Carlos, we went to Manila Cathedral and then Luneta but had to find our own way there - maps would help!). Here in Melbourne we have free tourist trams that go round the same route every 15 minutes. Even locals can catch them. Anyway, I think specially marked jeepeneys would be fitting with the cultural feel. Perhaps some kind of craft and food market, somewhere either indoors or with a roof but open sides to add to the things to do and see in Intramuros. I know there are shops around the walls but a nice outdoor craft market is always a drawcard. Whenever I visit towns, it's always fun to wander around and purchase cheap postcards, little handicrafts, buy some streetfood etc.. You can encourage the small industries to get involved (eg. those re-usable bags made by villages in the province, hand-made jewelry etc..) you really feel the vibe of the place. Hope some of these suggestions do get implemented. I like the idea of increasing residences too.

Anonymous said...

First, GET RID of squatters.

Squatters are the Black eye of Intramuros.

vodkaethics said...

- A Filipiniana Starbucks. ok maybe not Starbucks... but a wifi coffeehouse with nice comfortable seats to hang out and browse Filipino classics for free to stress the branding ie Noli, Fili, Manila, My Manila...(Ask donation from Kris Aquino for books) Tapos, spoken word or poetry readings. Balagtasan!

The being wi-fi is not just being a yuppie ha, it is to encourage web blogging by tourists who hang out and word of mouth where they are and their immediate experience.

- present a brochure program to experience Intramuros at least a half day itinerary which means a variety of things to see and encourage more purchase while it is being a tourist trap. Yung parang kay Rick Steve's na guide book, he tells you..if you half day, you see site A & B ...if you have one day, site A,B,C,D.

- collaborate with acting schools to present a short skit depicting colonial life and make this like a live diorama with probably hourly performances in different pockets of intramuros to spread out the crowd.

- give livelihood to the neighborhood by giving them jobs for hop on/hop off pedicab tours (yes I agree no cars). Yung sa Villa Escudero, diba yung mga workers di nila yung mga nagpeperform? yun na lang pala, i-offer sa mga resident na rumaket as performers/caretakers para sila rin ma-educate at ma-ambunan ng pride of our heritage.

- a fountain na pweding pag-tampisawan on a hot day.

-plants, shades, trellis to make it cool and pleasant. a botanical garden!

-art galleries for local artists. i just saw this on Ivan Henares' blog- Art gallery overload in Angono Rizal

- ibalik ang zarsuela at moro moro. maybe you can ask KC Concepcion to pitch in a performance, tutal she has seen how Parisiens appreciate their history. I hope she can encourage the public same way. She can draw a local crowd let's face it.

- summer outdoor evening classic Filipino movies.

- is there room for a B&B or for a row of boutique hostels? tapos feature ang naghaharana sa gabi. awwww!

- an outdoor rave or concert venue! para maiba naman sa mga gentrified na night spots natin.

- eto medyo baduy, have some spots movie filming friendly (parang universal studios) and so it can generate more income tapos yung mga local performers package deal pa na extra.

- rent space for film schools or an annex of film schools so that their tendency is to utilise their surroundings as a backdrop or be inspired by the history.

-in the same vein, rental spaces for photography schools

- i suppose i should say na rin, art schools... anything visual that will seed a stock of old manila themes.


Anonymous said...

Couple of ideas on the spot while reading these excellent news:

Considering the historical grounds of the site I consider it could be good to have a place where they will display a big miniature city on how Intramuros was in the old days, maybe including parts of San Nicolas, Binondo, Sta. Cruz, Quiapo, San Miguel, Ermita... Same as you can see in Rome or in Shanghai museums. Then collections of pictures of the city how it was, life in the different statuses: eclesial, government, commercial, etc. Something that will be curious enough to bring children from schools around the country and older filipinos and foreign tourists.

Then I agree on making the place more liveable and friendly. It is astonishing for me to see how many terraces and outdoor tables and chairs are spreading around the city. And I don't mean only Serendra or Greenbelt. See a bar in Pasong Tamo in from of Makati Cinema Square, also Leon Guinto corner Estrada, etc. Imaginging this ten years ago and you was kind of impossible.

Can we do something with Escolta? And with Marvel Bldg. in Juan Luna? I was yesterday in Yuchegco Museum in RCBC Plaza and I liked part about old Binondo.

And ask Spanish and US Agencies to support with funds!!!

Jose Manuel.

cathy b said...

Note: I haven't skimmed through the post above so my idea may not be as fresh as expected :)

- ban "modern" commercial establishments and bring in "historically" themed ones. Instead of Starbucks, some good old coffee shop with the works of old coffee machine (whatever that may be) and really traditional sounding names (whatever coffee shop names are during old times)
- B&B houses (live life like during those times)
- bring in interesting little shops (need not purely painting or decorative shops, it can be selling stuffs that are really "interesting" and to laugh about)
- bring in rare book shops (need not sell artistic books again, can be 1st edition Sidney Sheldon books or similar)
- nightly performances (could be our zarzuelas,puppetry, etc.) and again, ban modern OPM bands :)
- allow street performance artists like anyone can just bring his guitar or keyboards and do his thing (parang new york :P)and other type of artists like painters
- allow mode of transporation in the form of old times - if it will be kalesa, kalesa it is. But i think, we have to consider handicaps, so do allow, small cars like carts perhaps (and please make them environment-friendly like battery operated perhaps)
- of course, we need a museum unless we canfind a way for people to have a walk tour (self-guided ones) that will bring them onto National Museum without killing themselves crossing the street or mugged in the underpass. Oh yeah, a self guided walk tour (sorry, might bring a decline to your good work :( ) will be nice - spanning from Chinatown until Intramuros until Quiapo.

That's it for now :)

Anonymous said...

We definitely have to bring Intramuros back to its old grandeur. We might be able to tap into the big companies of our country to support & sponsor the restoration of Intramuros for tax rebate. But i think building new style houses is a "no-no".
When I visited Lemery years back, I was quite impress with the old & original structures that they preserve. Very nice. We should reconstruct the Spanish era.

vodkaethics said...

somebody mentioned above suggested the involvement of the universities within the naman pala eh! yes, tap into the students to participate. yung may mga curriculum under the liberal arts, tourism..etc should be encouraged to utilise the area as a sort of a laboratory for them. it will increase the profiles of their courses, give them exposure and sense of identity with history. yung may mga curriculum under business or entrepreneural pwede rin rumaket like organising a street fair.

essentially make the space into one big practicum/work shop to keep it brimming with activity.

ewan ko lang about offering some private residential area. ipa-renta kaya with a contract commitment to adhere to preservation guidelines. tapos make it a point system of incentive whenever there is a concept or idea that is integrated to the heritage objectives. ibig sabihin, kung magdamit maria clara sila every day at gumamit lang ng kandila e di may bababa ang renta nila! this way, the stakeholders are pushed to compete, encourage research and dig deeper about our history. kumbaga, make it a state of mind hindi generic theme park lang.

i am excited. sayang eh ang intramurus kung pababayaan lang. we keep looking for new stuff and building malls, eh hindi naman natin selling point ang magpaka shanghai. we were a vibrant part of the old world and our role was rich and colorful.

carlos, can we have a peek at the marketing plan of IA?

caryn said...

congrats to Mrs. Harper!

I agree with sam and Urbano about remaking Intramuros back into a city, not persisting in preserving a mausoleum. I also like poni's idea for making the new buildings modern, not the usual faux antique. but of course all modern developments should respect the scale and lines of the area. one good example is the new city hall in merida, mexico. they turned the old city hall into a museum and built a new one next to it. the building is unashamedly modern, yet respects the lines of the new establishment.

we do not want a theme park. we want a vibrant, functional, sustainable city. how can it be sustainable when we treat it like an artifact?

maybe one of the new buildings can house an architectural and urban planning research center? then architects and urban planners could be invited to speak there, also collaborative exhibits and competitions between the different architectural schools could also be held.

also, inter-disciplinary consulatation should be encouraged to promote a holistic approach.

carlosceldran said...

Ok. Truth be told, no need to worry about new architecture ruining the feel of the town. PD 1616 has laws that promote the use of traditional architecture of the 19th century. It is illegal to defy the architectural guidelines of Intramuros. So far, people follow it as much as they can. If you are wondering about the ugly buildings that don't match the ambience of Intra, those buildings were constructed before 1979, when the IA was created by Imelda...

Anonymous said...

What I don't understand is that the Philippines received an enormous amount of funding and reparations immediately after World War II for reconstructions--WHERE DID ALL THESE MONEY GO. And what do we have now--a chaotic and urban jungle since 1945 that political thieves dip into as their own personal bank accounts.

Come to think of it, Warsaw was the most devastated city yet look at what they've rebuilt and retained.

Nevertheless, I wish Harper all the best. Carlos too and all the true and selfless Filipinos who dedicate their lives to serve this city, this country--WITH HONESTY.

Margarette said...

I've been to Mt. Vernon and the historic Colonial Williamsburg and was always fascinated by their walking costumed interpreters that tell the stories about the place.

Intramuros is a great historic place. Here are my two cents worth of suggestions:

1) Have BS Tourism students do their internship there.

2) Bring in live walking characters like Jose Rizal walking the streets and interacting with the tourists just like George Washington on Mt. Vernon and other interesting people in costumes.

3) Make the walled city a venue for receptions, seminars, team building, gala dinners.

4) The French has a sponsorship law which allows tax incentives to
encourage sponsors, associations and foundations to promote private initiatives in support of French heritage, why not have a similar bill in Phil. Congress to encourage
individuals and companies to give new life to sponsorship in the country.

5) Increase the interest of children by holding activities that would increase their knowledge of Phil. history (i.e., more aggressive field trips, theater, costume tours, live quiz contest, etc., etc.) and make them appreciate more our rich heritage.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your points Margarette! Very good ideas.


Anonymous said...

Why not get rid of the golf course around its walls? Instead, open it to the public.


Sidney said...

Those are all very interesting suggestions. I don’t think I can add anything but I need to stress that you need to make it again a place where people live. If possible try to attract the creative types like artists (not particularly the ones from the movies ;-).
Try to attract everybody that are involved in “culture”. Bookstores, galleries, restaurants, trendy cafés, etc. Give those people nice spaces & rents to start their business here, eventually give them tax breaks.
Organize a good public transport system with the rest of Metro Manila.

tom said...

Dresden one of our exciting historic cities was bombed by the British in WWII and totally destroyed (like Manila). Among the buildings was one of the most famous and most beautiful church of Germany- the Frauenkirche. It was totally destroyed and a pile of rubble until 1990 left there by the communist party of the DDR. After reunification of Germany some people started to get funding in order to rebuild the church. And you know what: even the British got emotionally affeted because they bombed the city an d killed thousands of innocent women and children (there was no military anymore because it was shortly before the end of WWII). So the British collected also money for the church. And now after 12 years it was ready and it is in its old glory again. So why not ask the Americans for funding the reconstruction of historic buildings in Intramuros. I mean they destroyed it.

James said...

I think the only way for Intramuros to elevate it's condition to become a world-class tourist destination is just for everyone to be knowledgeable of what really is in-store for them when they go to Intramuros. The knowledge should begin with us, Filipinos. For us to be more vocal and be proud of it.
Intramuros is, indeed, one of a kind place. The standards of it is as high as other historical places in Europe, that's what I believe.

Edwin said...

I'd probably get flamed for this but I think Intramuros has to function like a city again and not as a tourist destination.

Rezone and gentrify the area.

Concentrate shops around the plaza and by shops I don't mean tourist shops. Perhaps start with mono stores of local brands. Just have strict rules on signage say not more than a square meter. Adopt grading systems for buildings like they do here in europe. If a building is not so historically significant, allow remodeling of the interiors but have strict guidleines for the upkeep and restoration of the façade. Historically significant buildings should have iron rules on conservation and resotration. One can have Jolibee, McDo or Starbucks in a grade II or III building as long as, façade wise, they blend in. The upper floors of these buildings could also be turned into apartments.

Then perhaps have the uber tourist destination nearby where all the tourist kitsch/tourist mile is concentrated.

Zone another area that's more residential with small shops (green grocer, bistros, laundry shop etc) similar to salcedo village. This can be further away from the center, car free zone, with a residents only secure parking nearby.

Make intramuros as car free as possible, allow only registered vehicles for the shops and residents, and Intramuros' own public transportation system to service the schools, tourists and car free residents.

Allocate one of the golf greens for tourist bus parking / Taxi/Jeepney stop and another for general parking.

Cities and towns in europe with world heritage sites have been taken this strategy. The old city of St. Gallen in Switzerland is a perfect example.

Viktor and Rolf said...

Copy the footprint of Utrecht, The Netherlands in terms of architecture, tourist shops, boutiques, pancake house (!), pedestrian lane, and vehicle (bikes!!!) lane.

Peejay said...

let those offices leave the area; especially those trucking firms; take out the squatters and garbage; make it like suan lon night market and chatuchak weekend market in bangkok; let restaurant owners invest and set up shops in the area; put up low rise apartments; have shops set up in the area ala serendra or bonifacio high street; decent street food like those in seoul, singapore, bangkok.

JP said...

A lot of good suggestions have already been said. I just want to reiterate that the general area be off to vehicles, particularly jeepneys.

As much as they are the self-proclaimed kings of the road, I believe we need to have less of them running around.

And yeah, if there is a way to integrate the whole Sta. Cruz/Quiapo/Intramuros/Luneta Park into one tourist-friendly location, why not? It's free to dream. :D

Lesley Mobo said...

Sorry for changing the topic here for some hot dish.

What is the difference between the Australian lifestyle press and the Philippine lifestyle press? In Australia, they name names like in the Sydney Morning Herald regarding the Gucci Gang:

IndioBravo said...

1.Build residential areas with
2.Limit cars,build tram lines or
have free calesa rides.
3.Re-build Ayuntamiento/Intendencia
4.More open spaces/parks.
5.Relocate the informal settlers.
6.Less politics more true action.

Anonymous said...

Many of the ideas are wonderful, but ultimately unworkable, because they're too idealistic and top-down. Face it: Intramuros can no longer be recreated, and even if a lot of money is spent to reconstruct the historic buildings, they will not be viable without sufficient commerce. Soho in NY, for instance, was revitalized by entrepreneurs, and not by urban planning bureaucrats. Unfortunately, I doubt that heritage and conservation will ever appeal to Pinoys. Even Teodoro Agoncillo himself once said that Pinoys are not an archival people: they do not value history, documents, or libraries. I wish all the luck to Ms Harper, whose columns in the Inquirer I greatly enjoyed--she'll need it.

Lynn said...

my 2 cents' worth:
something as simple as better lighting in the area

it does wonders :)

Show-Ender said...

Or we could try a more brute-force approach. Nuke the shit out of Intramuros, and then start rebuilding it the way it would've looked like during the colonial era. We could also rebuild Manila the way Burnham envishioned it.

Yes, I'm THAT serious.

Show-Ender said...

Or we could try a more brute-force approach. Nuke the shit out of Intramuros, and then start rebuilding it the way it would've looked like during the colonial era. We could also rebuild Manila the way Burnham envishioned it.

Yes, I'm THAT serious.

Show-Ender said...

Or we could try a more brute-force approach. Nuke the shit out of Intramuros, and then start rebuilding it the way it would've looked like during the colonial era. We could also rebuild Manila the way Burnham envishioned it.

Yes, I'm THAT serious.