Film info

Creator / Collector

Fort Santiago is an acropolis on the bank of the Pasig River, built in 1590, in the newly founded Manila city of the Philippines and was used as a prison in which many people were executed during the Spanish colonialisation and World War II. The film shows tourists visiting the site, as well as various views of its interior, bridges, buildings, fields, emergency exits, and many cells that determine its use. Also on the walls we see signs with historical information about the fortress. The film's final shots are from the building in which the Philippine national hero José Rizal was imprisoned until executed.


Film Information

Bonar, Andrew Graham

HD (1440x1080)



Duration (seconds)

Super 8mm

Creator's description

When the Spaniards first got here in 1521 they found not a unified nation but a collection of small sultanates and principalities which were unable to provide very effective resistance. The Moslem ruler of Manila, Rajah Suleiman, was soon defeated and the Spaniards built this fortress, Fort Santiago, on the bank of the river Pasig, which at that time was quite an important trade route.

Jumping forward about three centuries this is the room where Jose Rizal, the national hero, spent his last night before his execution, while from this gate some Spaniards escaped during the siege of the fort by the British in 1762, a minor episode in the Anglo-Spanish war at that time.

The most recent occupation was by the Japanese, who filled the dungeons with Filipino prisoners, who perished in hideous circumstances.

And this is where Rizal, the leader of the independence movement against the Spaniards, spent his last weeks as a prisoner.
Bonar, Andrew Graham