Friday, June 5, 2009

Cebu: Fort San Pedro

The third destination in what turned out to be our historical tour of Cebu City is Fort San Pedro. The fort is in an area now known as Plaza Independencia, just walking distance from the Basilica de Sto. Niño and Magellan's Cross. Facing the front entrance of the basilica, walk down the street to your left. After about three blocks, you'll find the plaza and the fort's walls.

Fort San Pedro, Cebu

There is an entrace fee of 21 pesos. Well worth it, I think. The place is well-maintained (too maintained, if you ask me). They've developed the interiors into some sort of a park. Good thing the structures are still there. One old-looking building has been turned into a museum. Pity it was closed when we visited.

Fort San Pedro, Cebu

I discovered later that the fort was built by the orders of Miguel López de Legazpi himself. It's that old. The adelantado wanted a military fortification there in order to protect the then emerging Spanish settlement from raids and assaults. By the late 1800's, the historical site served as a stronghold for Filipino revolutionaries.

Fort San Pedro, Cebu

Again, walking into the fort, you wouldn't really see this "history." Mainly because the park/garden dominates the interiors. That isn't the case, though, when you climb up the fort's battlements. There are many staircases leading up to the walls, one even wheelchair-friendly. So do go up.

Fort San Pedro, Cebu

There you'll find stone walkways (again, very well-maintained), out-of-service cannons and some sort of a steel artillery storage bunker. Also, there is a concrete staircase leading to the rooftop deck of the front walls. An area higher than the battlements. From there, you'll have a view of a terracotta rooftop and, of course, the streets and buildings right outside the fort.

Fort San Pedro, Cebu

Before leaving, make sure you drop by the souvenir shops beside the entrance/exit gates. Aside from the keychains, necklaces and bracelets (which you can get personalized with your names, by the way), you might find there a blind man singing together with a young girl gifted with an amazing voice. They were singing some old songs. Some in Tagalog even. So listen and spare some change.

Fort San Pedro, Cebu

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