Intramuros literally meaning ‘within the walls’ is the oldest district and historic core of Manila, the capital of the Philippines. Also called the Walled City, it was the original city of Manila and was the seat of government when the Philippines was a component realm of the Spanish Empire. Explore and go beyond the walls with Adrian Panadero’s book – Beyond the Walls: A Pop-up Journey to Intramuros designed to aid children in getting to know Intramuros, Manila’s Walled City and the Philippines’ historic capital.
“Beyond the Walls” is my undergraduate thesis. It is a pop-up book showing children the history of Intramuros, or Manila’s Walled City and the Philippines’ historic capital. It aims to go beyond Intramuros’ walls to show its many stories for readers to have a better appreciation of the place. As a pop-up book, not only does it tell a story to readers, Beyond the Walls also takes readers in for an immersive experience through the many surprises inside it.
Established in 1571, Intramuros was the center of power in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period. As the country’s capital, it has seen turning points in the Philippines’ history, and within the stone walls which fortify it is a city full of life, vibrancy, and stories to tell.
I came up with the book’s design and artwork by doing extensive research on architecture, fashion, customs and events in Intramuros and the Philippines during the Spanish colonization from the 16th to 19th centuries. I also looked at a lot of prints, paintings, and drawings from that era. However, I made it a point to make the book’s design and artwork look and feel current. I didn’t want readers to feel as if they were looking at something old or antique; but rather, I wanted them to feel that the past is coming alive through this book. I made sure to make the artworks look vivid and vibrant.
My inspiration for this project is the sorry state of heritage conservation and appreciation for history in the Philippines. I feel that many Filipinos tend to have “amnesia” when it comes to their history and heritage and it shows how they value different heritage sites such as Intramuros. Heritage sites are being traded off for malls and skyscrapers; while others are being regarded as mere sites for field trips without knowing its value. Through this book, I hope to change that, even in just a small way, by introducing to children stories which they could use the value our country’s many heritage sites like Intramuros.
Although I feel like I still have a long way to go as an artist, my advice to fellow artists/aspiring artists is to continue trying to improve yourself. I think that we should always strive to learn and try new things and this would help us find ourselves as artists. We should always strive to be better than our past selves and grow in our works.
About Adrian Panadero
Adrian Panadero is a designer and illustrator from Antipolo, Philippines. He recently graduated from the University of the Philippines with a degree in Visual Communication. Adrian has a passion for the Philippines – its history, heritage, culture, and he tries to incorporate it in his work whenever he can. Aside from art and design, He’s into history and fashion. See more of his work at Behance.