Top 5 Historical Places in Manila

When I was still a student, one of the things that I looked forward to in every school year was the field trip. It makes me happy and excited whenever I attend field trips. I find it fun because I get to spend time with my classmates while eating lots of food during those long stretches of travel. The eating and bonding are great and all, but the best thing about field trips for me is the destinations involved. I find it awesome to personally see places that remind us of the history of the Philippines.

Manila is the capital city of the Philippines, and of course, there are a lot of places in this city that have become a symbol of the country’s identity. It’s nice to have the opportunity to see those and discover things about our history. So let me go through the top 5 historical places in Manila for you to see what I saw when I had my field trips in school.

Paco Park

Paco Park


Located in General Luna Street, Paco Park was built by the Dominican Fathers in 1820 for the purpose of burying the dead of the Spanish elites. It was once the municipal cemetery of Manila for autocratic families who resided in old Manila or Intramuros during the Spanish colonial era. Dr. Jose P Rizal was interred there after his execution and was later exhumed and was buried back to Luneta a.k.a. Bagumbayan, where he was executed.

It is now a recreational area where, when Friday arrives, “Paco Park Presents” feature the finest musical talents and chorales. Local and guest stars perform for an evening of classical and traditional Filipino music.

The Malacanang Palace

The Malacanang Palace


This is where the current Philippine president during his/her term. The palace is located along the north bank of the Pasig River in Manila. The name came from a Tagalog phrase, “may lakan diyan,” which means “a rich man lives there”. But the Spaniards said that the name came from “mama lakaya”, which can be translated as “the fishermen who laid their catch there”.

Inside the complex of Malacanang Palace, you will find Bonifacio Hall. It is the Premier Guest house used by President Ferdinand Marcos, which later became the office of President Corazon Aquino. During the leadership of President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, this hall was again used as his residence. Aside from Bonifacio Hall, other places that you can see in Malacanang are the Kalayaan Hall, Mabini Hall and the New Executive Building. There’s also a Malacanang Park, which has a golf course.

Rizal Park

Rizal Park


Also known as Luneta Park, Rizal Park was named after the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal. He was executed there on December 30, 1896, which sparked the Philippine Revolution against the Spanish colonizers. Also, the political rallies of Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon Aquino took place in Rizal. It is there where dictatorial government of Marcos ended.

Rizal Park is located at the heart of Manila, along Manila Bay, where the historical World War II took place. Because of its beautiful and garden and grassy lawns, it is a favorite spot for unwinding and socializing. It is also a bonding place for family picnics on Sundays and holidays.

The bronze and granite Rizal monument is among the most famous cultural land marks in the country, and underneath this monument are the remains of our national hero.

Fort Santiago

Fort Santiago


Here is a citadel built by Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi, for the newly established city of Manila. It was named after St. James the Great Santiago, the patron saint of Spain. Before the Spanish occupation, it was the settlement of Raja Sulayman, a Muslim Filipino.

Fort Santiago was used as the base of power. Now, it has become a tourist attraction, where you will see the shrine of Jose Rizal. It is also the place where you will see the museum that showcases a replica of Jose Rizal’s prison cell.

Intramuros, Manila

Intramuros, Manila


Sometimes referred to as “The Walled City”, Intramuros is the oldest district and core of Manila. It was the seat of the government during the Spanish colonial period. Its name in Latin literally means “Within the walls.” The city is located along Manila Bay and south of the Pasig River.

Before the Spanish colonization, Intramuros was called Manila itself. It was a large Malayan-Islamic resettlement named Maynilad (ruled by 3 chieftings – Raja Matanda, Lakan Dula, and lastly, Raja Sulayman). Its strategic location made it ideal for Tagalog traders to trade with other Asian civilization such as Chinese and Islamic merchants.

Like the other historical places in Manila, it has turned into a tourist spot, and if you want to have a tour around Intramuros, you can enjoy a two-wheel battery-operated chariot, a service offered by White Knight Hotel Intramuros!


  1. White Knight says:

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