Feb 7, 2020

It’s really a good year so far for the historic sites in Manila. Apart from the revival of the Metropolitan Theater, which is expected to finish this May and the Jones Bridge’s makeover, the local government of Manila together with the Department of Tourism (DOT) is ramping up efforts to boost tourism in the historic walled city of Intramuros.

Pasig River Cruise

Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism

The Pasig River Cruise resumed its operation last December and currently services commuters for free until Feb. 29. [READ: Pasig River Ferry Service is back in time for the holiday traffic] Puyat invited selected guests to try out the scenic ferry tour from Guadalupe to Escolta where they then alighted and took a tranvia and electric vehicles for a night tour of Manila with Mayor Isko Moreno Dumagoso.

Jones Bridge at night. Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism
Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism

Augmented reality app

The latest development has been recently unveiled by DOT: an augmented reality mobile application called  “Experience Philippines” made by Makati-based tech school iAcademy which when used in selected sites in Intramuros reveals information on the city’s past.

Visitors can learn more about sites such as The Gallery of Presidents, Fort Santiago Gate, Ayuntamiento, Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, and the Churches of our Lady of Lourdes, of San Ignacio, of San Francisco, and of Recollects through interactive graphics and informative visuals.

DOT Secretary Berna Romulo Puyat gave a glimpse of how the app works on a tour of Intramuros last Wednesday through the revitalized Pasig River Cruise. Puyat said that they are still further developing the app to make it usable in more areas. As of now, she said the “Experience Philippines” app works perfectly during daylight but at night is having difficulties due to lighting.

A tour of Intramuros

From Escolta guests then took a tranvia and electric vehicles for a night tour of Manila with Mayor Isko Moreno Dumagoso.Photo courtesy of the Department of Tourism

At Intramuros, where the tour culminated, apart from the introduction of the AR app, guests were also treated to a lights projection show of Intramuros’ looks through history on the facade of the United Philippines Lines.

Dinner was then served inside what used to be the Marble Hall of the Ayuntamiento or the former office of the Manila City Council, which now houses the Bureau of Treasury. It was restored in the style of Parisian salons with black and white marble tiles and big chandelier lighting.


Header photo courtesy of Department of Tourism

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Read more:

Isko promises revival of Escolta, Manila Bay, Intramuros, and other historic Manila landmarks by 2021

The Fort Santiago Dungeons are now open to the public

IN PHOTOS: Centuries-old church artifacts fill three-story Museo de Intramuros


TAGS: Berna Romulo-Puyat department of tourism Intramuros it's more fun in the philippines manila manila tour pasig river cruise