Colors white, red, blue, and yellow fill each street, proudly presenting the Philippine flags. People devote their time out with friends in malls or with families at home. Schools and government offices closed for an entire day.
But nowadays, it appears that more and more people come to be ignorant of the spirit of one significant highlight – a critical day in Philippine history. June 12, 1898, was the declaration of Philippine Independence for more than 12 decades now.
Why Travel Historical Sites?
Being a melting pot of people and cultures, the Philippines has a rich history. We are rich in mountains, beaches, and other natural beauties that all travelers patronize. However, other than these attractions, the Philippines is a country abundant in culture and tradition.
From history lessons, you can learn that the Philippines was under the rule of more than one nationality—Spaniards, Americans, Japanese, and more in between if including the shorter times. This point offers us all the more reason to give importance to the Philippine historical sites that are equally notable and worth visiting.
But where are these places that can help enlighten travelers about the country’s past? If you’re ready to take part in a historical adventure, here’s 5 of the must-visits.
Address: Manila, 1002 Metro Manila
Made with defensive walls against foreign attacks, this oldest and historic core of Manila has been through a lot – from the Spanish Colonial Period to World War II. You’ll find this spot a fascinating destination as you appreciate the historical churches and landmarks in the area and can still feel the Spanish mood.
As you tour around, don’t miss visiting other Tourist Secrets such as Baluarte de San Diego, Fort Santiago, and San Agustin Church. Also, don’t bother bringing a ride, the walled city is great to explore on foot or a calesa (horse-drawn carriage).
Jose Rizal Park and Shrine
Address: Brgy. Talisay, Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte
Great for history enthusiasts and nature lovers alike, this Memorial Protected Landscape is a farm spot where the country’s national hero was exiled. This landscape signifies evidence of how he lived creatively instead of struggling in self-pity after being blamed for plotting the Philippine Revolution.
Ric Canizares [CC BY-SA 3.0]
The hero’s life in Dapitan was critically underplayed. But a sight of the park’s attractions represents a proof that the four years that he spent in exile are just as remarkable as the days leading to his death.
Address: Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
Recently renowned as one of the Seven Wonders Cities, Vigan is well-known for its sophisticated architecture, cobblestone streets and horse-drawn carriage generally identified as calesa. It is one of the few Hispanic cities that has been and is still being dynamically well-kept to hold its historic beauty.
Calle Crisologo is the street that Vigan is eminent for, so make sure to include it in your tour. Besides, there are still other destinations to see in this remarkable city such as the Crisologo Museum, Bantay Church Bell Tower, and Ilocos Region Museum Complex.
Address: Corregidor Island, Manila Bay, Cavite
Corregidor is known for its significant historical fascinations. For one, it became the command center of the Allied Forces during the Japanese invasion in 1942. It also became a battleground of the Japanese movement to defeat the Philippine government, wherein a lot of Filipino, Japanese and American lives were lost through the battle.
Today, Corregidor’s gun towers are silent; its structure, tunnels, and buildings lie in ruins. But the island still signifies a tribute to the bravery of those who fought in the battle. A visit to this former battlefield will be a remarkable experience, especially for you who treasure and appreciate freedom and peace.
Leyte Landing Memorial Park
Address: Red Beach, Palo, Leyte
Famous for the lines “I shall return,” this 6.78-hectare war monument honors General Douglas MacArthur’s fulfillment to the Filipino people. His histrionic return started with a dramatic landing in Leyte Gulf on Oct. 20, 1944, culminating in a violent naval battle that concluded in Japanese defeat and surrender.
Xtechi no sama [CC BY-SA 3.0]
Made by the legendary sculptor Anastacio Caedo, the statues now draw attention to people from all over the place. Tourists are not only eager to take photos but take part in the celebration of this historical event as well.
Ancient places have souls, but none as deep as those explored in landmarks of great historical prominence. These remarkable historic destinations are quiet but are great storytellers; static yet the closest thing to a time machine you’ll ever explore and experience.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a curious traveler, or a history expert, you can discover more about the Philippines. Although not as popular as the usual tourist spot destinations, these historic ones much helped form the Filipino identity in reflective and remarkable ways.