Von Joflo O. Bernardo, Dave R. Camacho, Reymark A. Gempis, Aila Jemina P. Pajarillo

Note: This is a paper produced under the Internship Program of the IA Center for Intramuros Studies.


The establishment of the Intramuros Administration (IA) has opened a lot of possibilities for the walled city in pursuit of its restoration. Among the primary goals of its founding administrators was to create a museum that will showcase the rich history and culture not just of the old Manila but of the entire Philippine archipelago thus, the Casa Manila Museum and the Museo de Intramuros came to being. This study is qualitative and descriptive in nature and utilized semi-structured interviews with the Museum Curator and DOT-accredited tour guides. Using Sam Ham’s TORE model of thematic interpretation, this study will aim to describe how the curation and guides’ interpretation impact how the collections displayed in these institutions will be presented. The data to be generated from these interviews will be discussed and interpreted by the researchers with the help of secondary source materials. This study will also highlight the impacts of interpretation to the visitors of both museums from the lens of the tour guides and how the latter view their interpretive products. At the end of the study, the researchers highlighted that the interpretations of the museum curator and the tour guides have helped in solidifying the image of Casa Manila and Museo de Intramuros as representation of Filipino family tradition and devotion.

To get a copy of the paper email [email protected]

Go here to view the Intern’s final presentation

About the interns

This research paper was completed in September 2022 under the internship of the following:

Von Joflo O. Bernardo

Von is a BA History student at the College of Social Science and Development (CSSD), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Mabini Campus, Sta. Mesa Manila. He finished his secondary education at Florentino Torres High School and then at the PUP where he graduated with acquired Honors. He is a member of the PUP Samahan ng Mag-aaral ng Kasaysayan.

Dave R. Camacho

Dave is an incoming 4th year student taking up Bachelor of Arts in History at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Manila. His initial years in college and in the department became an avenue for him to hone his skills in historical research and writing, with interests in Pre-Colonial Philippines, Social History, and East Asian History. He is an active member of the PUP Samahan ng mga Mag-aaral ng Kasaysayan and once headed its Committee on Historical and Cultural Education in 2021.

Reymark A. Gempis

Reymark is a 3rd-year Bachelor of Arts in History student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines- Sta. Mesa Manila. Under this program, he hone his skills in historical research and writing. His research interests were European history, local history, military history, and social history. His hobbies are collecting and reading Filipiniana books. He is a committee member of PUP Samahan ng mga Mag aaral sa Kasaysayan- Committee on Elections in 2019 up to present (2022).

Aila Jemina P. Pajarillo

Aila is currently a 3rd year BA History student at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Sta. Mesa. She was a former member of the PUP SMK – Committee on Historical and Cultural Education from 2019-2021. Her interest include social history, particularly criminality and women’s history, as well as urban history.

Mentor: Christian Emmanuel Catahan


Von Joflo O. Bernardo

“This research prominently reflects the knowledge and experience I have acquired during this internship, in which, as a student who has been studying amidst the constraints of the pandemic, I am grateful. Given the limited means and resources, this knowledge would not have been possible through the guidance of our mentors, and of course, our resource persons, the interviewees, who had their respective significant contributions. Intramuros Administration has nurtured possibilities and has opened wider arrays of opportunities for us history students, who may wish to pursue not only the field itself, but also the other relevant areas of this program. As for the PUP, I am personally thankful to Dr. Raul Sebastian, Dean of CSSD, for giving us support and assistance to render our requirements for internship. To my fellow researchers, who have always been passionate and proactive, thank you.”

Dave R. Camacho

“Working on-the-job for Intramuros Administration – Esperanza B. Gatbonton Center for Intramuros Studies is a challenging yet a rewarding experience. Through my short tenure in this institution, I was able to explore new ideas beyond my interests, especially heritage education and management in the confines of the walled city that contributed to my skills as a budding researcher. I was also able to get a glimpse of what to expect in the future and forged bonds with my groupmates whom I have to work with in accomplishing all the tasks. What is great with this internship is the systematic working environment, bound by a timeline which motivates me to finish my duties on time. Through the guidance of Mr. Christian Catahan, we are able not just to finish work but to finish work with quality, despite being in a remote setup and with this, I will truly treasure my time at the Intramuros Administration.”

Reymark A. Gempis

“I was able to gain new knowledge and understanding about Intramuros’ importance in Philippine history as well as its role in contemporary times. Through the online internship progam under Intramuros Administration – Esperanza Gatbonton Center for Intramuros Studies, I continue to explore, gathered new ideas and able to meet curators and tour guides behind Casa Manila and Museo de Intramuros through our group’s research paper that will help to improved my skills as a researcher. It made possible thanks to the guidance of Mr. Christian Catahan and Mr. John Arcilla, who helped us to find the correct people on our group’s data gathering for the research paper. I am also thankful to our internship adviser, Dean Mr. Raul Sebastian for the guidance and support in looking for internship institutions. To my fellow group mates and researchers who were dedicated and passionate, I am very thankful to you guys. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to spend my internship at the Intramuros Administration.”

Aila Jemina P. Pajarillo

“I was able to gain a thorough understanding of Intramuros’ historical and cultural significance through our internship program with the Intramuros Administration – Esperanza B. Gatbonton Center for Intramuros Studies. Even though the internship was done virtually, we were still able to speak with key figures in the preservation of Intramuros heritage, such as the curator of Casa Manila and Museo de Intramuros and some of the tour guides. The best part of this internship will be our conversations with them as we learn more about their heritage practices and heritage interpretation. Without the assistance of Mr. Catahan, our adviser, and Mr. John Arcilla, who truly helped us to get in touch with the correct people for our project, our research could not have been accomplished. This learning opportunity further introduced me to heritage studies and undoubtedly increased my awareness of our cultural heritage.”

Learn more about the Internship Program of the Center for Intramuros Studies

Contact us: [email protected]

Interested in applying for an internship at the IA Center for Intramuros Studies? Email us your CV with cover letter via [email protected].

Note: The opinions expressed by our interns in their papers and presentations during their internships with us do not necessarily reflect any statement, stand, or position of the Intramuros Administration or of any of its personnel. Moreover, inclusion of research papers or project proposals in the online database of the Center for Intramuros Studies or the website of the Intramuros Administration do not necessarily constitute as an endorsement.

For more information contact the Center for Intramuros Studies via [email protected]
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