(SPOT.ph) It will soon be exactly 121 years since General Emilio Aguinaldo first unfurled the Philippine flag and declared independence. And while a single day can't possibly cover everything that happened before and after June 12, 1898, the Intramuros Administration lets you learn more about our rich history by offering free admission to four museums and an open house—with two scheduled tours—of the Manila Cathedral on June 12.
"We hope that the public will be able to learn more about our country's rich heritage and history as they visit the museums," says Sheena Botiwey, Sales and Promotions Supervisor of Intramuros, in an exchange with SPOT.ph. The free events are part of the Freedom at the Walled City celebrations happening all over Intramuros on June 12. It will be the first time for the administration to hold an Independence Day celebration this big, says Botiwey.
Areas of the Manila Cathedral will be open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Join a guided tour, one at 10 a.m. and another at 3 p.m., to access the usually off- limits areas of the main altar, crypt, pulpit, side chapels, choir loft, and roof deck.
You can also check out different points of our colorful history on June 12. If you want to know more about the country's religious history, visit the newly opened Museo de Intramuros, which is in the reconstructed San Ignacio Church and houses religious artifacts from around the city. It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fort Santiago, first built in 1571 and used as a stronghold by the Spanish, British, American, and Japanese forces, will also be accessible. It was here that Jose Rizal spent his last days before his execution, and now houses several of his memorabilia. It will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
If you're more into the experiential side of things, you can check out Destileria Limtuaco Museum. This distillery is the oldest in the country, and the tour will take you through the process of making whisky and rum. Did we mention that you could also do some liquor tasting for P100? They will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Learn more about Chinese-Filipino relations at Bahay Tsinoy, which you can enter for free from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Entrance fees to the Bagumbayan Lights and Sounds Museum will also be slashed at 50-percent off on June 12, which means you only have to shell out P75.
Other activities happening on June 12 include the We Are Intramuros Short Film Festival, with free screenings of 10 student-made short movies at Teatro, Fort Santiago from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will also be the a free music festival, with acts like Orange & Lemons and Ang Bandang Shirley, at 5 p.m. at the Puerta Real Gardens.