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Intramuros: The Story of Old Manila

Author :  Jose Victor Z. Torres

Product Details

Vibal Foundation, Inc., Philippines
ISBN 9789719708513
Format PaperBack
Language English
Year of Publication 2023
Bib. Info xiv, 82p. Includes Index
Product Weight 200 gms.
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Product Description

In this follow up to his National Book Award-winning title Ciudad Murada (2005), Jose Victor Torres once again delves into the storied, complicated history of the “noble and ever loyal” city of Manila, which for centuries was synonymous with Intramuros. In concise, accessible prose, Torres explores the origins of Manila from a precolonial settlement of wooden palisades ruled over by Tagalog rajas to the majestic colonial capital of the Spanish empire in Asia. Encircled by formidable, complex fortifications that were built over the centuries, Intramuros kept invaders and unwanted residents out, and enclosed those who lived within in a hierarchical, formal, and mannered society where church and state wielded power in tandem to keep the affairs of the colony in order. Torres then traces the expansion of Manila from within the walls of Intramuros to suburbs like Ermita, Sta. Ana, and Malate during the American regime, when the new colonizers determined to “develop” Intramuros from an antiquated Hispanic enclave to a modern, technologically forward city based on the strict principles of American urban planning. While Intramuros was no longer the political or economic center of the Philippines during the prewar years, its rich, glorious past hung over it like a light veil, imbuing its walls, streets, churches, and houses with a sense of timeless peace and grace. This was all destroyed by the invading Japanese forces and the American liberators who bombed them out of Intramuros during the final cataclysmic months of World War II. The author documents the city’s eventual resurrection through careful bureaucratic planning and government funding after the war, culminating in the creation of the Intramuros Administration, which serves as a model agency for the revitalization of heritage sites all over the Philippines. A meticulously written narrative crafted with sincere love for its subject, Intramuros: The Story of Old Manila chronicles a long-gone Manila that, in Torres’ words, remains “a treasure of Philippine history.”

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