REACTION PAPER: Intramuros Beyond The Walls

Culture defines identity and community spirit. It shapes a national for people who live a common culture. “To understand and own our story as a people” is Adrian Panadero’s goal for creating his projects. A cum laude graduate of Visual Communication in the University of Philippines, Panadero fuses his love for graphic design and Philippine history through a paper cut out model book of the most benevolent landmarks for Filipinos entitled “Intramuros: The Walled City”


The book contains 90 cut out pieces of churches, schools, government buildings that Intramuros housed over the centuries. Namely Fort Santiago–a 1517 Spanish fortress that oversaw spice trade Americans; the Mother Church of the Philippines–Manila Cathedral and; the Palacio de Gobernador where the Spanish Governor General resides.

What’s groundbreaking about Panadero’s work is not just the original idea of scaling down a national heritage sites but the holistic accuracy of it. From the architecture to the historical backgrounds about it, he conveys the origins of Intramuros. He describes the purpose of each structure whether it is a government building or a residence of an official. Though some elements had to be sacrificed like the actual scale size of the buildings and the Pasig River, the amount of research pored over by the author is truly reflected and even made more authentic with its partnership with the Intramuros Administration who is “responsible for the orderly restoration and development of Intramuros”



Panadero takes us beyond the walled city, as readers are granted access to assemble the buildings and become architects of historic Manila. All the while retelling the stories of colonial past. The book explains the origins of Galleon Trade, the houses of prominent Filipino families, the earthquakes and uprisings the Manila Cathedral has survived, the prisoners captured in dungeons including Dr. Jose Rizal who spent his final days in Intramuros.

In this book, the historic site is resurrected from all the earthquakes and wars that has destroyed it over the years. Even brought to life in the smallest details of kalesas-horse drawn carriages, vendors carrying baskets and soldiers marching the common areas. Panadero even goes as far as adding statues, trees and ships in order to create a picture of a Spanish colonial lifestyle.

It’s recommended to complete the scale with a group, but single handedly it can be done. The instructions are clear and specific. The legends of what areas to fold and cut are clear. The pieces  have all been color coded and numbered accordingly. At each back cover, a 3D image of the finished scale and its parts are illustrated for readers to follow. The book is close to utter completion if it weren’t for the space limitations that could not accommodate all the walls of Intramuros. However, if this calls for a new book, expect children, families, students and avid lovers of history to be lining up.



(n.d.). Adrian Panadero on Behance. Retrieved from

Gardner, R. S. (n.d.). Retrieved from

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Kalesa, the 18th Centuries Rolls Royce. (n.d.). Retrieved from

T., About thetravellingfoolBob aka: The Traveling Fool  The World of Deej says, Says, M., Says, M. W., & Says, T. (2017, January 31). Fort Santiago, Manila Philippines. Retrieved from

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