Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Gates of Intramuros - Puerta del Parian, Manila

Long before the Spaniards colonized the Philippines, the Chinese were already active in business. Social hierarchy in Spanish Philippines set the status of every individual and his/her functions in the community. This did not spare the local Filipinos who were below the Middle Class. Prior to Manila's  affluence, caused by the opening of Manila to World Trade, some local Filipinos weren't allowed to wander or linger inside the walled city. This was also true among the Chinese. The Chinese were not allowed to conduct business inside the walled city.

The Parian was built to house the Chinese merchants. This can be accessed by Intramuros residents through the Puerta del Parian. It was named after the Parian de Arroceros, one of the earliest concentrations of Chinese merchants located in the area now occupied by another endangered Manila landmark, the Metropolitan Theater.

The Parian gate was built in 1593 and was one of the first entrances to the Walled City. It became the official entrance of the Governor General in 1765, in place of Puerta Real which was destroyed during the British invasion.

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