Carlos Celdran

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John Charles Edward "Carlos" Pamintuan Celdran was a Filipino performing artist who was also considered one of the best travel guides of Manila. He started as a tour guide for the Philippine Heritage Conservation Society and the American Women’s Club.

Tour of Manila

Among his routes were the Intramuros, Escolta and the Cultural Center of the Philippines walking tours. His audience was not just composed of the normal foreign tourists or bored expatriates, but also Manileños who have to be weaned into the idea of enjoying their own city from the street up. Celdran pulled all the stops out, turning into a complete performance artist--in Intramuros he used to wear Spanish colonial dress or even 70s bell bottoms when he did his Imeldific CCP tour. His performances became a tour de force, with the tourists in awe of the artistry of his acts.

His walking tours featured a variety of themes such as "If These Walls Could Talk: Walking Tour of Historic Intramuros" and "The North Bank: Walking Tour of Escolta and Quiapo and the North Side of Pasig River" which covered the American period in Manila. Celdran captured the Marcos era through his "Living La Vida Imelda Walking Tour" at the CCP Complex. The itinerary culminated with a "Do it yourself Tour" which included an afternoon tea and window shopping through the flea markets of Evangelista Street, Bangkal, Makati City.

The idea according to Celdran was "I can’t change the way Manila looks, but I can change the way you look at Manila." He passionately campaigned against the construction of Torre de Manila as it obstructed the line of sight behind the Rizal Monument.

In December 2010, Celdran was listed as one of Forbes Magazine's “Names You Need to Know in 2011”. He was a segment host of AksyonTV's commentary program Tayuan Mo at Panindigan.

In October 2012, The New York Times featured his “Living La Vida Imelda Tour”.


On 30 September 2010, Celdran was arrested and detained for heckling at a mass held inside the Manila Cathedral. During the mass, which was attended by some members of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), Celdran flashed a placard bearing the word "Damaso" near the church's altar. He then shouted at the bishops, "Stop getting involved in politics!"

The incident happened at the height of the Reproductive Health Bill controversy, with the CBCP announcing that it would lead a civil disobedience campaign if the bill will be passed. President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III announce during a state visit in the United States that he supports the bill. Celdran is a supporter of the said law.


Celdran died of cardiac respiratory arrest on 8 October 2019 in Madrid, Spain.

External Links

  • Celdran Tours Series: All The Way Down To Chinatown and Quiapo! at




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