Heritage Sites

5 Philippine Destinations That'll Make an Italian Princess Think of Home

Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Feb 22, 2016
5 Philippine Destinations That'll Make an Italian Princess Think of Home

Television is every viewer's small window to the rest of the world. some of the local network's biggest TV shows have used this avenue to not only showcase primetime drama but also feature some of the Philippines' most beautiful provinces and wonderful sceneries.

We have all enjoyed the beauty of Palawan through the eyes of Ningning, the surfing destination in Zambales through the love story of Yna and Angelo (Pangako Sa 'Yo), and the lovely spots of Manila and Ilocos through the travels of Clark and Leah (On The Wings of Love). This February, we're reuniting with the Philippines, this country we call home, through the journey and self-discovery of Serena Marchesa of Dolce Amore.

An Italian bella, her character arrived in the Philippines in last Friday's episode of the teleserye. She was able to see some of the historic spots in Metro Manila that sometimes bear a close resemblance to the structures of her homeland.

Let's take a look at some of them:


1) Manila Post Office (Liwasang Bonifacio, Ermita, Manila)

The Manila Central Post Office in the Ermita district can be easily compared to the Pantheon in Rome, Italy because of the similarity in their columns. The former employs a neoclassical architecture while the latter is, of course, a classic structure and regarded as the best-preserved of all Ancient Roman buildings.

LEFT: Manila Post Office (Screencap from iWantTV: Dolce Amore); RIGHT: Pantheon in Rome, Italy (Wikipedia)

The Philippine's main post office was built in 1926 through the design of Juan M. Arellano and Tomás Mapúa. Considered as the magnum opus of Arellano, the building expressed order and balance as portrayed by the 16 Ionic columns on its facade. "Ionic" is one of the three ancient orders of classical architecture along with "Doric" and "Corinthian." The Pantheon of Rome employs Corinthian style on its large granite columns. The main body of the Post Office is topped with a rectangular attic storey while the sides are semi-circular spaces roofed with domes.

A part of Daniel Burnham's urban design for the city of Manila, the building was strategically located at the foot of Jones Bridge for two reasons. One is that the Pasig River can be used for easy routing of mail and packages and the other is that it is accesible from all sides of Manila—Quiapo, Binondo, Malate, and Ermita. 


2) Paco Park (San Marcelino St., Paco, Manila)

As described by Tenten in Dolce Amore, Manila has a "magical fountain in a cemetery." This is located at Paco Park, a garden that used to be a municipal cemetery built by the Dominicans. 

(Screencap from iWantTV: Dolce Amore)

It was designed as the resting place for the affluent and artistocratic Spanish families who reside in old Manila or within the walls of Intramuros. It was officially inaguarated in 1822 and ceased to be a burial ground in 1912. Between these years, Dr. Jose P. Rizal was interred at Paco Park after his execution at Bagumbayan in 1896. The Second World War turned the park into an ammunition depot and defense grounds. The Japanese durg trenches and pill boxes within the Park prior to the liberation of Manila in 1945. The former cemetery and former fortification was converted into the present-day national park in 1966 during the term of President Diosdado Macapagal.?

Paco Park is circular in shape and is lined with an inner circular fort and a second outer wall that used to serve as niches. On top of the walls are pathways now used as promenades.


3) Basilica of San Sebastian

The Basilica of San Sebastian in Quiapo, Manila is the only church in Asia that is made entirely of steel and is also claimed to be the only prefabricated Church of its kind in the World. Its other claim-to-fame is that Gustave Eiffel, the designer who conceptualized and built Paris' famous Eiffeil Tower in the 1880s, was also involved in designing the all-steel church.

(Screencap from iWantTV: Dolce Amore)

Rising 105 feet from its foundation to the very tip of the double spires, the Basilica remains to be an iconic figure amidst the urban backdrop of Quiapo, Manila today. The façade features multiple smaller spires while the interior walls are joined by intricately connected vaults which is true to its character of being the only Neo-Gothic Church in the country.

(Photo from Travel Insider Julius Calvin Santos)


4) Araneta Coliseum

In one funny scene, Serena of Dolce Amore thought that the Philippines' amphitheater similar to the historic Colosseum of Rome, Italy is Cubao's Araneta Coliseum. This is not the case, of course, since the Philippines has a lot of other open-air venue used for entertainment, performances, and sports. 

LEFT: Araneta Coliseum (Wikipedia); RIGHT: Colosseum in Rome, Italy (Screencap from iWantTV: Dolce Amore)

Also known as The Big Dome, the Araneta Coliseum is an indoor multi-purpose sports area and regarded as one of the largest indoor arenas in Asia. It is mostly used for sports but sometimes used as the venue for local and international concerts, circuses, and beauty pageants.

It was constructed in the late 1950s through the design of Architect Dominador Lacson Lugtu.


5) Remedios Fountain

What used to be an open field located between the Malate Church and shores of Manila Bay, a popular beach and bathing area during the Spanish colonial times, is now a public square famous for a technicolor water fountain. Plaza Rajah Sulayman is sometimes claimed as the new center of Malate nightlife following its renovations in 2002. It is named after Rajah Sulayman who died in the  Battle of Bangkusay Channel while resisting the invasion of Spanish troops in late 16th century.

(Photo from Paolo Marco Mañalac, Flickr, CC License)


What other Philippine destinations will Serena Marchesa visit? Find out in the next episodes of Dolce Amore after FPJ's Ang Probinsyano!

Read Related Stories:

1) 3 Teleseryes That Featured the Philippines' Best Places in 2015

2) 5 Times OTWOL Made Us fall in Love Again with Manila

Add to your: Wishlist Done That

Be a Pinoy Wanderer!

Choose Philippines encourages writers, photographers, travelers, bloggers, videographers and everyone with a heart for the Philippines to share their discoveries and travel stories.

Share Your Journey

Other Stories by Choose Philippines

Tell Us What You Think

Related Stories