After a delicious take-out lunch, Team Philippines took off through the Intramuros district of Manila. This is the old part of the town surrounded by large stone walls. It is where CRS, Caritas, and many other reputable groups are based. We toured the Cathedral of Manila and then went down to the old fort that has a central role in not just the Philippine history but also American history.
Fort Santiago sits atop the river at the edge of Intramuros. Anyone who has controlled the Philippines also controlled this fort. It is also central to the history of the Philippines struggle for independence in that Jose Rizal was imprisoned and executed from there. He was surely not the last to die there as we got a special tour down into the dungeons. Our "guide" snuck us in where few tourist get to go to show us where at least 600 Americans and Filipinos died during the Japanese occupation. Needless to say we were grateful for the out of bounds tour, and it further highlighted the special relationship that an American organization like CRS has in the Philippines.
Tomorrow should be an equally interesting day as we completely shift focus from coffee for our visit with GE and then a lunch with the ND alumni club...of course this is all down around the business district of Makati. Go Irish!