For Valentines, our Senior Zone went to a place called Barbara’s Restaurant, which is located within the walls of Intramuros...meaning “the walled city”. We planned to spend time wandering around this historic area, but it was pouring outside, so we quickly ran into the restaurant and spent the evening there.
A little bit of information about Intramuros follows: It is located right near Manila Bay, beside the Pasig River. It was built during the Spanish conquest....started in 1590 and added onto by each new governor until 1872. It covers an area of 160 acres. The wall is 22 feet high and wide enough for a foot path. Originally it had an inner moat just inside the wall and an outer moat around the entire outside. There were a number of gates allowing entrance, and Fort Santiago was built to protect the walled city. It became the center of political, military and religious power during the time the Philippines was a colony of Spain. In 1941 with the Japanese take over, Intramuros managed to be mostly preserved, however, in 1945, as the Americans retook the Philippines, it was completely destroyed. Most of it has been rebuilt now. It is a beautiful, historic place to visit.
Barbara’s is one of the many nice restaurants built with the old Spanish influence. We had a nice buffet dinner and then were entertained by a dance group performing dances from both Spanish and Filipino eras. There was a point where the dancers asked for volunteers to come and try one of the dances...I immediately hid myself...that was the last thing I wanted to do!!! Sure enough, I was volunteered and went up! At least my feet managed to do the steps correctly, and soon I was back in my seat with my husband saying, “Good job!”
Everything else about the evening was lots of fun. Next to our table was the Ambassador to the Philippines from South Africa.....they had a group of 10. One of our senior missionaries, Sister Hardick, grew up in South Africa, so she approached their table and introduced herself. To all of our amazement, one of the diplomats had the same last name as Sister Hardicks maiden name...he treated her and her husband like long lost friends. They exchanged business cards and set up a time to get together again! What a fun experience that was to witness. We have such great friends among the missionaries...that makes all of our activities enjoyable.