Intramuros admin takes Filipinos on virtual tour of arts, culture collection without leaving home

April 2, 2020 - 9:15 PM
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This October 2019 file photo shows the night view of Fort Santiago in Intramuros, Manila. (Intramuros Administration/Facebook)

As the public stays home in light of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, the Intramuros Administration recently set up a virtual tour website that gives them a view of the historic walled city’s rich arts and culture collection.

The IA partnered with Google Arts and Culture to let the public enjoy some of its sites online.

“The Intramuros Administration wishes everyone’s good health and safety during these challenging times,” the administration said.

“As we look forward to the day that we can pay a visit to our beloved Walled City, we encourage the public to view IA’s extensive collection of artifacts through an online exhibit as well as our our sites, parks, and plazas through a virtual tour,” it added.

Among the 17 museum views you can explore on IA’s Google Arts & Culture page are the following:

  • Plaza Roma
  • Baluarte de San Diego
  • Puerta del Parian
  • Baluarte de San Andres
  • Puerta Real
  • Baluarte de San Gabriel
  • Reducto de San Pedro
  • Fort Santiago
  • Puerta de Santa Lucia
  • Baluarte de San Francisco de Dilao
  • Postigo del Palacio Deck
  • Baluarte de San Miguel
  • Baluartillo de San Eugenio
  • Baluartillo de San Jose
  • Plaza San Luis Complex
  • Baluarte Plano Luneta de Sta. Isabel
  • Baluartillo de San Juan

The IA also released some in-house exhibit of the Museo de Intramuros that showcases ecclesiastical art, furniture, vestments, and textiles and other artifacts.

The three-story building, designed to house the period art collections of IA, opened to the public in May last year.

Relive Intramuros history via mobile phone

In February this year, the Department of Tourism announced that tourists can now relive the history of Intramuros with an augmented reality app called “Experience Philippines.”

This innovative application is a joint project of the DOT and iACADEMY, a school in Makati City offering specialized courses on computing, business, and design.

Its augmented reality feature currently works only on the DOT logo and certain sites in Intramuros including the Gallery of Presidents, the Fort Santiago Gate, the Ayuntamiento, the Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church, and the Churches of our Lady of Lourdes, of San Ignacio, of San Francisco, and of Recollects.

The tourism application is available on Google Play or the App Store.

Intramuros sites closed until further notice

Last March 14, the IA announced that it would strictly comply with the guidelines set by the government on stringent social distancing measures and further guidelines for the management of COVID-19.

It said that tourist destinations Fort Santiago, Casa Manila, Baluarte de San Diego, and Museo de Intramuros shall remain closed until further notice.

The administration also added that only essential personnel will be allowed entry to some of its sites.

“We encourage everyone to fully comply with our government’s directives and to rely only on official information,” it said.