DOT Chief: Intramuros Tourist Center to elevate tourism experience in the Walled City

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10 June 2024

Office of Public Affairs and Advocacy

Manila, Philippines – Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco expresses her full support as First Lady (FL) Louise Araneta-Marcos on Sunday (June 09), unveils her latest cultural tourism initiative inside Manila’s Old Walled City — the Intramuros Tourist Center.

“Today, marks a momentous occasion because we’re here to inaugurate our Intramuros Tourist Center, and what a beautiful center it is! The Intramuros Tourist Center symbolizes our gateway to the past. It’s a celebration of rich history and a testament to our collective identity,” the First Lady said in her speech.

Intramuros, with its storied walls and timeless streets, has always been a symbol of our resilience as a people. This center would add a new chapter to our legacy. It will house invaluable artifacts, tell the stories of our ancestors, and it also gives us a good reason to stroll through these historical photos without having to pretend we are lost tourists,” she added.

The Tourism Chief recognized the generous support that the Intramuros Tourist Center has received from the Office of the President through the First Lady’s initiative, which she lauds as important in the pursuit of establishing a world-class Philippine tourism experience.

“The Intramuros Tourist Center represents our commitment to preserving and sharing the unique cultural heritage of Manila. Thanks in most part to our President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., and First Lady Louise Araneta Marcos, this project not only honors the past but also provides a dynamic space for our visitors to engage with the history and stories of Intramuros,” said Secretary Frasco. 

Intramuros Tourist Center

The Intramuros Tourist Center is housed in the former site of San Ignacio Church, one of the original seven churches of Intramuros, and once renowned as among one of the most beautiful churches in Manila because of its Neoclassical architecture. Unfortunately, it was destroyed during the Battle of Manila in 1945.

Through an adaptive reuse project led by the First Lady, the ruins of San Ignacio Church have been transformed into the Intramuros Tourist Center funded by the Office of the President in coordination with the DOT and other government agencies, transforming the historic San Ignacio Church into a dedicated tourist hub in Intramuros. This significant initiative marks a major milestone in preserving and promoting the cultural heritage of Manila’s iconic Walled City.

The Intramuros Tourist Center will provide a window into the significant events that transpired in the history of Intramuros, starting from the precolonial era to the Spanish colonial era when Intramuros was the seat of government, to the destruction brought by World War II, and onward to the current and future development of this Walled City.

Adjacent to the Center is the Museo de Intramuros which houses the ecclesiastical collection of the Intramuros Administration, many of which were excavated from the ruins of San Ignacio Church.

“True to our mandate in DOT and as envisioned by our President, the Intramuros Tourist Center is dedicated to enriching the Philippine visitor experience,” Secretary Frasco added, citing the tourist hub’s primary aim to celebrate the vibrant heritage of Manila’s Walled City through a range of services and programs.

In addition to its historical narrative, the museum features a remarkable collection of archaeological finds, unearthed from various excavations within Intramuros. These artifacts offer tangible connections to the past, giving visitors a deeper understanding of the Walled City’s archaeological significance. The museum’s exhibits are further enriched by items from the extensive collection of the Intramuros Administration.

First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos delivered her speech during the launch of the Intramuros Tourist Center on Sunday (June 9) at Intramuros.

The next HOHO stop

The centerpiece of the Intramuros Tourist Center is an immersive museum, designed to take visitors on a cultural journey through Philippine history. Beginning with the pre-colonial era, the museum exhibits significant cultural events during the early history of Manila, showcasing the indigenous cultures and societies that flourished in the region.

Frasco confirmed that once open to the public, the Intramuros Tourist Center will soon form part of the Hop-On-Hop-Off Manila- Cultural Hub, offering an exceptional experience for visitors and allowing them to delve deeply into the rich and diverse history of the World Travel Awards Asia’s Leading Tourist Attraction in 2022.

New tourism hub: a showcase of FBSE-trained frontliners

Beyond its role as a museum, the Intramuros Tourist Center serves as a dynamic information center that will be manned by DOT-trained tour guides, and tourism front liners trained under the signature Filipino Brand of Service Excellence training module.

Tourists can access essential resources, including guided tour information, details about ongoing events and activities within Intramuros, and services provided by the Intramuros Administration (IA), Tourists can access essential resources, including guided tour information, details about ongoing events and activities within Intramuros, and services provided by the Intramuros Administration (IA), according to its Administrator Atty. Joan Padilla.

Free to Visitors

The Intramuros Tourist Center will open its doors to the public for free starting Wednesday, 12 June 2024, in time for the commemoration of the 126th Independence Day. It will operate daily from 9 AM to 6 PM.