Senator Richard J. Gordon today lauded the revival of Intramuros as the country’s history town, showcasing historical events and cultures from the different regions in the country.
Gordon, chairman of the Senate tourism panel, made the commendation as the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Philippine Tourism Authority (PTA) revived Wow Philippines program featuring Intramuros as the country’s history town.
“We are happy that the government has pushed through with the re-opening of Intramuros History Town in time for the Christmas season. The Walled City used to be known throughout the world as one of the best cities in Asia,” he said.
“Today, we see the continuation of our efforts to revive Intramuros by making it a central showcase of our country’s rich culture and heritage,” he added.
The Senator lauded current Tourism Secretary Ace Durano, Tourism Undersecretary Oscar Palabyab, the Intramurous Administration, and the heads of all the agencies that contributed efforts to open Intramuros History Town.
During his term as Tourism Secretary from 2001 to 2003, Gordon led efforts to revive the Walled City through the Wow Intramuros project – which preceded Intramuros History Town..
The project transformed Intramuros into a major tourist attraction with daily events, bazaars featuring crafts and products from all over the Philippines, entertainment ranging from ethnic shows to rock concerts, restaurants, and al fresco dining along cobblestone streets.
The former tourism secretary also commissioned the establishment of the Light and Sound Museum in Intramuros that tells the history of the Philippines.
“Before Wow Intramuros and the current Intramuros History Town, the Walled City only had Fort Santiago and the walls of the Walled City itself were in a sad state of neglect,” he said.
“When we revived Intramuros, local and foreign tourists came in droves to have some fun but came away enriched with an improved, more positive view of the Philippines and its proud heritage. More than that, even ordinary taho vendors were making P2,000 a night in brisk trade in Intramuros and this speaks volumes about tourism creating jobs,” he added.
In 2003, when the revival of Intramuros was first launched, the Intramuros administration recorded the number of visitors at 2,691,426 with revenues reaching P52 million and in the following year, the number of visitors went down to 1,771,395 with revenues reaching P30.2 million.
Intramuros History Town Philippines this year will be open daily until from Dec. 5 to Dec. 30. Highlights in its grand opening include demonstrations of indigenous games, an electric parade, performances from various bands and chorale groups, and a major fireworks display.
Sights to see include native architecture such as the new frontage of the Clamshell which is modeled after a 19th Century Bachelor’s House, a new Torogan, Kalinga octagonal hut, Mayoyao house, and the pook Alitaptap. Various Filipino products will be available at souvenir shops along Sta. Lucia Street and the PC Barracks will be a daily venue for rock bands and concerts.