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Rizal Visitation

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We decided to make to visit Fort Santiago due to the facts that there are still questions or issues before Rizal’s dead that are still left unanswered. Going in Fort Santiago might shed some light to our questions since it is the place where Rizal was imprisoned before his execution. We wanted to learn more about Rizal before his dead. We want to learn more about recent events before his dead and during his execution. During high school he all have knowledge about his life and his two famous works which are Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, but our learning in high school are limited only, so we want to learned more about him, his dead and execution. And we wanted to go there due to the fact that we haven’t been there before. It would be like fitting two birds with one stone; going there to have fun and learn.

Our story of the flow of the activity
First and foremost, was deciding what to do. After some brain storming, we decided on doing a simple video photo tour of Fort Santiago. This video will consist of photos in Fort Santiago, giving a simple tour around the place. Since we are only two at the time, we also wanted to ask other classmates to join our group but unfortunately we weren’t able to do so.

After the time given to ask to decide what to do for the co-curricular activity, there was a meeting where we presented our proposal to our professor. Luckily, the proposal was approved. During our break time, my partner and I planned when to have the visit. We compared our schedules. We are both free on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 12:00nn until 6:00 pm. Since we have classes the six and estimating the time of travel from Mapua to Fort Santiago including traffic; my partner and I only have an approximately 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm to go around Fort Santiago and take pictures.

At First we decided to go on a Thursday afternoon on the first week of August. But since it was raining at the time, we decided to move our visit probably next week. The next week after, classes were suspended due to continuous rain and floods on certain area in Metro Manila. Given that, we decided to move again our visit next week. Luckily, our professor gave us all a one week extension.

My partner and I was shocked when our professor ask for the waivers. We panicked since we don’t have one and we didn’t thinkwe needed one. After the class, we ask our professor if we needed one, he said it’s okay if we don’t have one since it wasn’t that far compare to other groups who are going to Calamba.

After all that, on August 14 we decided to go the next day. In preparation for our visit, we remind our parents that we are going the following day, since our visit was twice move due to the rain. We also charge the battery of the cameras that we are going to use for the visit. We decided that both of us should bring a camera so that if something unfortunate happened to the first camera; there will be a back-up camera to use.

The following day, it was still slightly raining but we still push through to our visit because the deadline is near and we don’t know if the weather will be better or worse. From Mapua – Makati we rode a jeepney to LRT Buendia then a bus going to Lawton. In Lawton we crossed the road to the side where the FX going to Sucat is parked. On that side of the road was where the jeepneys going to Pier passes by. When we crossed the road we waited for a jeep going to Pier to ride. The jeep we rode was not the one that goes inside Intramuros but around outside the Intramuros, we where face with traffic but we still got to our destination.

The entrance fee in Fort Santiago was Php 75.00 and Php 50.00 for student & young children. Students must present their ID upon paying. Once we are inside Fort Santiago, we started taking pictures. We started taking pictures at the Visitors Centers then slowly going inside the Fort Santiago Proper gate. We pass through the Baluartillo De San Francisco Javier, Ruins, picnic area/playground to Fort Santiago Gate. The small church of Our Lady Guadalupe was closed; the gate path to get there was closed so we weren’t able to go inside it but was able to get some picture from the Baluartillo De San Francisco Javier. My visiting uncles mention before that it was often when they went there around the year of 2010. From the gate, we then went to ruins at the left side. Baluarte De San Miguel was closed for renovations when we visited. Then moving on, we went back at the Plaza De Armas. There is a statue of Rizal at the bottom center (facing the statue from the gates) of the plaza. Then we went inside the Rizal Shrine. Upon the entering, we noticed a painting of Rizal when he was shot at Luneta and glass with Rizal’s poem printed on it, there is also a guest book.

Then there is the door to Chamber of Text. Inside the chamber, at the ride side we saw black panels with Rizal’s works and stories about him. At the left side, we saw images/sketches of him, his family, lover (Leonora Rivera) and people who was a part of his life. There are also some of his collections. But upon all the things inside the chamber, most importantly, there is the manuscript of Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Once we got out of the chamber, at the right was the contemplation room and inside was his prison cell. On the front of the contemplation room was the entrance to Stairwell Gallery. Upon the entrance, we saw his Last Goodbye in Braille (how the blinds reads and writes). On each side of the entrance door and the side of the stair were paintings reenacting a certain event in his life. On the second floor walls, hang painting of him as an Ophthalmologist doing an examination on his mother’s eye with his sister at the side of his mother. Opposite to that painting was a painting of him seating in a chair with a paper, a feather pen and ink. There is also a painting of Osei San and an image Josephine Bracken.

Then there is the Reliquary Room, inside we saw his clothes made by his sisters, dambels (weights) & fencing sword, his coats and at the center of the room was a portion his remains and the bone with the bullet. Then there was the room called the Valedictory Poem. The wall we first saw was a wall sculpture with Mi Ultimo Adios and the opposite wall was his reaction/reflection to the story about the moth that his mother read to him when he was very young. At the floor was a letter/message from Asuncion Lopez Bantug, 1982. Then there was the Veranda Gallery, here we saw different translation of Mi Ultimo Adios; there were Chinese, Japanese, and Korean translations, I don’t know the other language but I think there was French at the far side of the veranda near the exit. There is also a small Museum Shop. The exit that we went through was an exit opening to Falsabraga De Santa Barbara, and then we went to Falsabraga De Media Naraja, the Baluarte De Santa Barbara and the Dungeons. And then to the Memorial Cross, then to the side of the Rajah Soliman theater, then to the towards exit of the Fort Santiago. After the visit the rode back home, my partner Camille rode an FX at Lawton to SM Fairview while I took the bus to Sucat.

Days after when we want to start making the video, we notice that some shots were not so focus and there were some missing shots of some place. We made a rush decision in going back and take those other pictures. Good thing it was a sunny day. We went to my home in Parañaque to grab the camera and go. At home we ate lunch first, rest a little while charging a little the battery of the camera; then we went to Fort Santiago again. The journey we took was almost the same as the first one but from home we rode the bus to Lawton and the jeep going to Pier, learning from our mistake, we took the one the goes inside the Wall City. Once we are at the Fort Santiago again our way of taking the photos were quite different from the first one. We took photos first to the key places we missed and those that were not so clear. Since we had time left and a little more battery, we took more photos of the scenery and room around once again.

When the battery has no more charge, we decided to call it a day and went home. The day after the second visit, we started doing the video and documentation. I went to my partners home to do start making video photo tour, I almost stayed the night to finish the activity but decided in the end to go back home even though it was late. My partner continues the work I had done, since I used her computer in making the simple video. At first we were having so much trouble of what program to use to edit and we both are not familiar in making video edits. In the end we used the simple movie maker of Windows since it was easy to use, though we wanted to use flash for it to be better we don’t know how to make this in flash since we are not familiar with the program. For the documentation, we divided our parts, I did the narrative part of the documentation while my partner did the pictures part with descriptions.

Problems Encountered
In doing the activity, we encountered problems. Problems are expected in most of all kinds of activity, they may be big or small but still you we find ways to solve or make amends with it.
The first problem we met was the schedules, we have conflicting schedules and the 6 hours that we can do the activity is very limited, we don’t know if we can do it at the time given. There is also the travel back to school for class; the negative feeling that we may or may not be late because of the traffic was clouding our minds.

On the ride to Fort, it suddenly rain fast and quite strong. When it rains, its always expected that the traffic will slow. And since in our 1st visit we rode a jeep that goes outside the Intramuros, we face traffic, our time was wasted. If we rode the one that goes inside Intramuros the traffic won’t be as bad as what happen to us.

Due to the continuous rain, some of the areas are closed, we were not allow to enter in certain areas, there were renovations also going on.
Since it was raining when we first went to Fort Santiago, the photos where a little dark though the brightness can be edited. Even though the rain was not that strong, it is still raining and it was hard to take pictures with a single hand and the other hand holding the umbrella.

In the preparation for making the video tour, a member notice missing place that wasn’t shot in detail or wasn’t taken at all, photos were not that presentable or clear enough, so we have to go back and take picture again.

Since the decision in going back again was a rush decision, the camera batteries were not fully charge, the battery run out of power while we are getting more extra photos of the other places along the side of the picnic grounds (towards the exit) and the bamboo garden, before we actually got to the bamboo garden the battery’s charge got drained. Cameras battery was low when we are at the side where the cross stands, so we rush quite a bit to take the missing parts. Since battery run out, we have no more business to do there so we decided to go home early but it’s okay since we did got quite a lot of photos to deal with.

Another problem was in editing video we both are not familiar with. The ideas we want to execute wasn’t done because we can’t do it in the way we want the editor we used is only for the simple ones. Doing it in flash or in Sony Vegas was our idea but there are problems with the installation and it will take time for us to familiars ourselves in an unfamiliar environment of this editors.

Individual Reactions
This activity for me was informative, interesting, and tiring. As a high school student, I wasn’t so keen in learning thing that I’m not interested in and I don’t like reading poems. I do like books but I not so much with poems. In Filipino classes, we read some Filipino poems that were quite famous to all Filipinos. These are the times when I don’t read much, I have troubles reading poems and understanding deep Filipino word. May be this was the reason I don’t know much about Rizal’s work. To be quite honest I didn’t read much about the Noli and El Fili, every chapter I will just read some summaries from the internet or ask my friends to tell me the story. And may be, because of my laziness in reading Filipino words/text, I don’t know much about Rizal.

It was a relief when I noticed that our book in Rizal was written/typed in English, it means I won’t be having much trouble in reading it and understanding it. Through this activity I was able to learn more about Rizal, not only him but I learned more about our history during his time. It was interesting that even during Rizal’s time gossip was a habit of people. I remember those gossips about Rizal and Josephine Bracken went he was in Dapitan up until this executions. Some people are still in doubt the facts about his marriage right before his execution. It is quite interesting; even now I still don’t know what to believe about these stories. There are, I think, still some issues about the events that happen with Rizal before his execution that are unclear or maybe I should read more to find answers to my questions.

About the place, I think it was nice that they are preserving of what is left from our history for future generations to learn more. The view of Plaza Moriones was also beautiful especially in sunlight. The site of the Fort Santiago was wonderful, the detail in quite good. Especially the views from the Baluartes are beautiful; I just hope that the outside of Fort Santiago was also kept clean. The Fort Santiago was really beautiful for me.

This activity really helped me to learn more, read more about things about Rizal and some of his works. This activity makes me want to know more of what kind of a man Jose Rizal truly is. Makes me want to know, what was he thinking during the last days of his life; and what if’s about his life (e.g What if he escaped or what if he wasn’t executed, etc.)? -Orapa, Adrienne Joy A.

First thing that comes in our mind is what we should do if we proposed a visitation. Then the common things that most students do is make a video out of your experience, and then we come up an idea that maybe a result of visitation. During our planning stage, both of us didn’t have assurance whether we pass the requirements or we fail because some of our subjects are somewhat as the same deadline as our Rizal co-curricular, that’s why we plan to visit Fort Santiago on a week that there is still rain but obviously we didn’t succeed because of the heavy rain and wind. Due to some difficulties on taking pictures we decided to stop and be satisfied in what already have.

At that moment I already feel that we confident that we took many pictures and look great but as expected because of the rain some pictures are not quite nice as we seen. After a few days, we look again in our pictures and a not planned visitation happened and it was a successful because it stops raining and on our way to Manila is fine. In terms of the preservation and renovation of Fort Santiago, for me, I’m not satisfied in some of the areas being renovated because in such a way there is still garbage everywhere. Some small places are still being taken advantage of because some people are not passing the place but for me they should clean everywhere and take care every single little thing in Intramuros. Maybe they should hire more people to fix the places so we can gain more tourists. -Ortega, Camille Bernadette D.

Summary of New Learning
“Fort Santiago has a savage history. Over the centuries many Filipinos were imprisoned, tortured and left to drown in the Fort’s notorious dungeons, which were beneath the high tide level. Philippine’s National Hero, Jose Rizal, was imprisoned here for almost two months before his execution in 1896.” These are some of the information the members gathered after they watch the free film in Teatro in Intramuros Visitation Center. Luckily they have the chance to visit Fort Santiago and make it a co-curricular project. Some information they gathered to help them finished the co-curricular are: Fort Santiago has a tight security that tourist/visitors should pay first and present the ticket, no littering inside the area, tourist/visitors are prohibited to take pictures with flash, Intramuros Administration provide specific brochures to provide information for the visitors, groups visitors can hire tour guides so that they will be guided accordingly, names provided In every place in Fort Santiago and lastly, they learn that some relics or things of Rizal that admin collected are very much taking’ care of because of its sensitive coverings. After two visits, they started planning on how they will work on the co-curricular. They plan to make a video tour/presentation that will provide their co-student the information and provide pictures as if they are already touring in Fort Santiago. Orapa and Ortega both took pictures and collaborate in the video. Most of the information also in the documentation is provided by the two. Pictures

Baluarte De Santa Barbara
Quarters of the artillerymen and the house of commandant built in 1609. Headquarters of the US Army. Storage cells and power magazine used as dungeons for hundreds of prisoners who were killed at the end of the war.

Memorial Cross
It marks the final resting place of approximately 600 Filipinos and Americans who were victims of the atrocities at end of February 1945.

Falsabraga De Media Naranja
A lower wall for additional defense were are a guardia civil over look the rivers

Falsabraga De Santa Barbara
A lower wall for additional defense were are a guardia civil over the rivers

The Museum Shop
Offers the visitor items based on the Intramuros antique collection, souvenir items bearing the stamp of the rich culture of old manila from books, fans, porcelain sets, coffee mugs, bookmarks and much more.

Baluartillo De San Francisco Javier
Built in 1663, houses the Intramuros Visitors Center (IVC) providing information for visitors, a historical video of Intramuros and exhibit chambers.

Pay a visit to the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe
A quaint chapel in the Reducto de San Francisco Javier, constructed in 1773.
Parks, Promenades and Picnic Areas
Transformed this once-forbidding into a relaxing place to spend a leisure day. One can stroll around the gardens of Plaza Moriones and the quiet greenery of Plaza de Armas amidst historic ruins.

The Rizal Shrine
A reconstruction of the colonial period barracks where the patriot, Dr. Jose Rizal, was confined during his trial for sedition. It houses, a museum where the momentoes of the hero can be viewed.

Baluarte De Santa Barbara built in the 16th century, now houses the Rizaliana Furniture Exhibit. It offers tourist a view of the colonial period stronghold.


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