Walk This Way – Discover Manila with Carlos Celdran

Walk This Way – Discover Manila with Carlos Celdran

Mynila Team April 16, 2018 Travel

Carlos Celdran is a Spanish Filipino performance artist and activist from Intramuros, Manila. 

Walk around Manila’s ancient walled city of Intramuros with me. I will analyze Philippine architecture, culture and history as we stroll through its storied streets. Learn all about Manila, literally, one step at a time. There will be humor, drama, candy and carriage rides. Promise.

After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1996, Celdran moved to New York City to intern with Blue Man Group, Socrates Sculpture Park, and Thread Waxing Space in New York City. This experience exposed him to the use of art as a catalyst for urban development, cultural expression and tourism. In 2002, Celdran started his walking performance art tours of the city of Manila, a place notoriously inhospitable to pedestrians. As the producer, director and actor of these walking performances, he becomes a one-man show within a multi-venue, costumed performance.


His performances utilize theatrical elements to explain Philippine history.

My background is the arts; fine arts and performance art, so I just decided ‘why don’t I make a walking tour more interesting for myself?’ That’s why I added music, theater and comedy.


The tours put special emphasis on issues surrounding Philippine arts, culture and international geopolitics in order to place Philippine history within a global context. His tour repertoire includes ‘If these Walls Could Talk’, a three hour walking tour of Intramuros, where he is dressed in the Spanish-colonial garb of an illustrado (Filipino educated class); and ‘Living La Vida Imelda!’, where he dons bell bottoms for a tour of the 1970s-built Cultural Center of the Philippines and relates both facts and myths about former first lady Imelda Marcos. “Livin’ La Vida Imelda’ has since been developed into a stage play and produced on the Off-Broadway stage for the 2014 fall season.

Past projects have included half-day tours of Quiapo and overnight tours of Corregidor Island. His Imelda performance was reviewed by the New York Times as “Gleefully Gossipy”.

As for his Intramuros walk, Time magazine said: “Celdran offers up rich narratives that are by turns gossipy and compelling…the description of a bombed-out Manila, at the end of World War II, is unforgettable.”