‘Old downtown’ entices visitors with must-visit historic places

By Kaye Mangabat

QUIAPO, MANILA – For many Filipinos, Quiapo remains a preferred destination for shopping and dining if you don’t mind the crowded streets and sidewalks and the traffic. Aside from shopping, others may see it as a place to visit historic landmarks.

Back in the days, Quiapo is also referred as the “old downtown” in Metro Manila and is known for the famous Black Nazarene that Filipino pilgrims visit every year.

If you’re planning to go to Quiapo, here are some places you should try to visit.

Bahay Nakpil – This century-old house has been a home to many “katipuneros” of the 1896 revolution. Julio Nakpil, who lived here composed the Katipunan’s patriotic hymn. He also married Gregoria de Jesus who was then the widow of Andres Bonifacio. The house still stands at A. Bautista Street.

Boix House– Right beside Bahay Nakpil is the Boix House. At first glance, visitors may depict the house as your typical “haunted” house you see in movies. Abandoned long ago, the wooden pillars may appear brittle but are still standing.  However, small stalls selling a variety of food and commodities are found downstairs that make the place less scary especially at night.

Quiapo Church– This is considered the heart of Quiapo where the feast of the Black Nazarene is held every year. It is easily noticeable for it is located at center of Quezon Boulevard in Plaza Miranda. Thousands of devotees can be seen every Sundays and first Friday of the month.

Hidalgo Street—Dig deeper in “old downtown” and you will get to Hidalgo Street where you will see many historic structures. Here you will find houses and mansions. One place you shouldn’t miss is the huge Golden Mosque where Muslims pray.

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