Through the eyes of my father.

If you are a Filipino, born and raised in Manila, Binondo may not be in your top three list of possible day tour adventures. Having walked around its vicinity during your elementary years as part of a field trip itinerary, you have probably heard its history and maybe even the cliches that complement the tour guide spiels.

Now, Manila has become a personal favorite destination of my dad. It has been a usual occurrence that he would write on his travel notebook snippets of the capital’s good old days. I would peep through his door as an antique green lamp would be a customary accessory to a night infused with antiquated trivia of Escolta’s golden age.

Today, I was a proud recipient of that knowledge, and I must say it was nothing I have heard of before.

In line with the mastery of the subject, my dad carried with him over-sized photos of the years that have gone by. It gave his audience a vivid image of how things were just to give them a tinge of what they have missed, and probably will never see.

The story began at 9 am on the marble floors of Binondo Church.

We braved the heat, and trailed behind the storyteller as he best recounted the tale of Manila under the Spanish rule, to its destruction during World War 2.

Read more