While in Manila, I had the opportunity to visit Fort Santiago where Jose Rizal, national hero of the Philippines was executed.

So why was Jose Rizal such a big deal in the Philippines? Very good question. This blog post will attempt to educate you on a bit of Filipino history!

So everybody, history time!


Manila, Philippines


Philippines used to be a colony of the Spanish empire, from 1521 – 1898. That’s a whopping 377 years of control under the Spanish. The Philippine Revolution then begun in August 1896 with hopes of ending Spanish Reign.

Dr Jose Rizal was one of the Filipinos that started this revolution with hopes to attain freedom and control of the country. However, unlike most revolutionists he did not want to fight and cause bloodshed. Instead he fought the Spanish empire through his writing of how the Spanish Government was manipulating his people. –

His execution

Dr. Jose Rizal was executed on December 30.

24 hours before his execution, he was held in a cell in Fort Santiago. When I visited Fort Santiago I saw the footprints which illustrated his final walk. I snapped some photos to share:

Manila, Philippines

Manila, Philippines


The last picture is of me posing with a security guard. Not sure why my tour guide (totally was a waste of money) forced me to take this photo, was quite awkward……anyways…I digress..back to Dr. Jose Rizal.

His final plea during the execution was to be able to face the firing squad, but the commander would not let that happen. Instead, when the shots were fired, Rizal forced his face towards the sun and said the words “consummatum est” which means, “It is finished”.

That’ some sad stuff right there.

Fort Santiago

On a lighter note, walking through Fort Santiago was a treat.

But it was also hell. Why?

Because this was a walk of death:

Manila, Philippines

It was damn hot, and the walk from the entrance to the ticket booth was just too much for Choi to bear. But Choi is a man, so he soldiered on.

His local tour guide (which you don’t need to hire for the godzillionth time) then educated me on how Fort Santiago is a place of many deaths. Er, so I am visiting a death site right?

Damn that’s quite scary.


Photo opportunity……………..

Aside from all the sad and scary stories, this fort provided a lot of nice photo ops:

Manila, Philippines

Manila, Philippines

Manila, Philippines


Final words: Fort Santiago, great historical site with an eerie past.

Manila, Philippines
Inside the fort
Manila, Philippines
More inside pictures
Manila, Philippines
Tour guide and I in front of Fort Santiago

Written from Manila, Conrad Hilton on September 18, 2017


  1. Luna, I knew that as I researched Rizal for a wonderful website that I used to contribute to that was killed off by the appalling and immoral Tripad**sor (I will not spell the name properly so they do not get any further traffic from me) and did you also know that he was allegedly married to an Irishwoman although the validity of the marriage is disputed? He was indeed a remarkable man.

  2. I have been there and, like you, was struck by the how he was shot in the back, probably just the Spanish way. I completely agree that there is no need for a tour guide anywhere in Manila, indeed there is little need or one anywhere except technically challenging areas like mountains, canyons or whatever.

    Great stuff.

  3. Yep, there are tour guides that are totally a waste of money. Once in while you would come across some very funny yet very witty ones though. Glad you enjoyed your history.

  4. I loved visiting all the historical sites near Intramuros! Did you know Jose Rizal was a polyglot ? He could speak more than 20 languages and he was gifted in science and the arts. It was such a shame he died at such a young age.

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