“Matakot ka sa kasaysayan pagka’t walang lihim na ‘di nahahayag.”
– Gregoria “Oryang” de Jesus, Mother of Philippine Revolution

To celebrate our lovely Direk Ellen’s birthday, the Pelikulove team hit the streets of Manila for a one-of-a-kind tour. The walled city of Intramuros was waiting for us with open arms, as ironic as that sounds.

The team posing near the entrance to Fort Santiago

With the Walk This Way tour, may history lesson at social commentary ka na, may kasamang performance pa! The passionate Carlos Celdran was a witty and informative guide. He took us on an interactive theatrical performance that brought us along the lovely architecture of Intramuros.

Carlos Celdran looking like a fabulous Ilustrado from the Spanish era

“Walk this way!”

There were a lot of fellow Filipinos in the tour, which just goes to show that even we have a lot to learn from our past. Our entertaining guide challenged everything we learned in school about Philippine history. Parang biglang nagkabali-baligtad lahat ng natutunan namin noong elementary at hayskul pero dito rin namin naisip na tama si Oryang. A lot of things might not be in history books but there will always be people who will remember and make sure that we will never forget, just like Carlos Celdran himself whom, as we discover in the end, has his own stories to tell.

At the gates of Intramuros

San Agustin Church, the only church in Manila that survived the 1945 war during the Japanese occupation

Our trip ended with a glass of halo-halo on one hand and a newfound perspective on this well-loved Pinoy dessert on the other. The Filipino people have a lot in common with it, after all. Kahit halo-halo man ang kultura natin, lagi tayong humahanap ng paraan para gawin ‘tong sariling atin. Ganun tayo katatag at ka-creative!

Carlos ends his talk with musings on halo-halo and Filipino culture

After the tour, we discussed our realizations and learning among the team. Given our vast history, it’s safe to say we were left with more questions than answers. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from our past and our halo-halo culture, it’s that Filipinos are resilient. Hindi tayo basta-basta magpapatalo kahit sino pang mang-api sa atin. We survived because we adapted to change. And we owned this change as part of our identity as a people.

Sa pagtanggap sa ating nakaraan, mabuti man o masama, mas natututo tayo sa kung anong dapat gawin sa susunod. And as Carlos said right before ending the tour, the change starts with us. May we choose to be agents of truth and change in our own little ways.

Join Carlos Celdran in his Walk This Way Tour! Check out the details here.

Article by Kirby Castro

Photos courtesy of Kirby Castro, Aimee Bertulfo, Mitch Malubay, and Vanz Lavado