There were episodes of historic significance in the Walled City of Manila and one of those happened in the Puerta del Parian. Significant as it was historically, until today, these area of the Walled City of Manila in Intramuros beacons people from all walks of life, most students who passes its gates to where many universities inside the Intramuros are located. I once passed by this manicured garden on the wall as I pursued my studies at the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU). I have both encountered its grand beauty, day and night, under the sun or under the rain.
Puerta del Parian played a crucial role in Philippine’s history, from the time of the Spaniards to the swift British occupation of Manila in 1762-1764. However, prior to that, many enterprising Chinese, most of them, rice traders trade goods in this market. It is because trading at those times, though simply conducted on a know-you basis and to some extent, barter-trade by nature relies heavily on the Pasig river. Pasig River passes very near this gate at Puerta del Parian making it convenient for carrying loads of rice and selling it to merchants in other parts of Manila.
Today, Puerta del Parian serves as the gateway to the university called Lyceum of the Philippines University. Modern so to speak, but sustainably maintaining its historic aura and its manifold influence over the modern Philippine society, Puerta del Parian now boasts a manicured ASEAN garden where bust of Presidents and Prime Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were strategically placed in circular motion. The manicured garden projects the vast influence of Puerta del Parian in the modernity of Manila without losing its historic relevance.
Many students and professors passes through Puerta del Parian. I felt safe always as I pass through its bridge and the moat, inspiring as it was an enthralling sight to behold. On rainy days, I remembered that enterprising locals places planks of wood where students and professors walk through to reach the university from where they alight from public transport in nearby Lawton. Since then and even now, Puerta del Parian beautifully serves its patrons and as time passes by, its historic walls, its moat, its bridge, its gate humbly witness society and people in historic proportions. Puerta del Parian as was and is today, the significant gateway to the walled City of Manila in Intramuros.
How to get here:
- Take jeepney from anywhere in Manila, Quezon City and alight at Lawton, fronting the Liwasang Bonifacio;
- Walk across the street. There is an underground tunnel that leads you to the exterior gate to the Puerta del Parian;
- Walk through its cobbled stone paths and cross the moat by using the wooden bridge.
- Enter its gate to be welcomed by the grand campus building of the Lyceum of the Philippines University;