Fui sobre agua edificada, mis muros de fuego son. Esta es mi insignia y blasón.
(On water I was built, my walls are made of fire. This is my ensign and escutcheon.)
– Motto of Madrid, Spain
From life’s simple stuff to grandiose pleasures, bring it on!
My first time to go out of Switzerland and visit another piece of Europe, the Madrid vacation has somewhat made me feel close to home.
I couldn’t help but repeatedly say this many times during our stay, “Madrid is like Manila. Manila is Madrid…”.
Madrid’s architectural beauty reminds me of a “could-have-been-better” version of the present Manila, or the old heydays thereof. Castillian baroque, as they put it, stands out in most buildings, and we found this classic design in the area we had stayed, Plaza Mayor. French and Italian influences are evident in some structures. I must admit, I am envious. I just wish that the old buildings in some parts in Manila, like in Intramuros, Quiapo or Avenida, could have been kept way better than what Madrid has done.