Intramuros during the American Colonization


  • Irene G. Borras University of Santo Tomas


Intramuros, located in the capital city of the Philippines, became a symbolic siting that represents one’s social status and importance in society during the Spanish colonization. Also known as the “Walled City,” Intramuros is home to the oldest churches, schools, and government offices in the Philippines. When the Americans decided to colonized the Philippines, they did not have to conquer all the islands of the archipelago. They just have to secure Intramuros and the entire country fell to another colonizer.
The goal of this paper is to identify the effects of creating a “center” or a city––from the way it is planned and structured––on one’s way of thinking and later on the attitude of the people towards the city. Specifically, the paper will focus on the important and symbolic structures near and inside the “walled city” and its effects on the mindset of the people towards the institutions that they represent. The paper will focus on the transition of Intramuros from a prestigious and prominent place during the Spanish colonization to an ordinary and decaying “Walled City” during the American period. Significantly, the paper will discuss the development of “Extramuros” or those settlements outside the walled city. It will give focus on the planning of Manila by Daniel Burnham during the American period which was basically focused on the development of the suburbs outside Intramuros. The paper will also discuss the important establishments built outside the Walled City during the American period. Lastly, it will analyze the loss of power and grandeur of Intramuros in the hands of new colonizers.

Author Biography

Irene G. Borras, University of Santo Tomas

Irene G. Borras is a full-time instructor at the University of Santo Tomas. She took up BSE major in Social Science minor in Women’s Studies at the Philippine Normal University- Manila and obtained her Master’s Degree in History at the University of Santo Tomas. She is currently studying for her Ph.D. in History in the same university. Ms. Borras presented a paper for her Master’s Degree requirements entitled, “Education during the Japanese Occupation in the Philippines, 1942-1944.”




How to Cite

Borras, I. . “Intramuros During the American Colonization”. TALA: An Online Journal of History, vol. 2, no. 1, June 2019,