Intramuros. The Walled City. I savor the sounds and sensations of the
old Spanish names rolling off my tongue. Baluarte de Santa Barbara,
Baluarte de San Miguel. As we walk along the weathered walls, I shiver
thinking of the histories these stones have seen. Here Rizal wrote his
farewell poem before he joined the ranks of the Philippines’ martyrs.
There the prisoners were kept during the Japanese occupation. Oh, I’ve
been to older places: temples in Japan, museums in France, graveyards
in the US… But it’s different when a history is *your own*, when you
recognize the names and stories from the textbooks of your childhood,
when you catch a glimpse of your heritage.
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