Sunday, 2 October 2011

Manila Hotel

 By: Paolo M. Bustamante

I was invited last October 1 by my bestfriend to his sister’s wedding in Manila Cathedral. It was a beautiful wedding even though the weather wasn’t that cooperative. The wedding reminded me about the movie “Sex and the City” but the only difference is that Mr. Big did not ditch his Carrie in their wedding day. I was just surprised at the end of the wedding there is another couple outside waiting for their turn to get married.  I just can’t believe that the Manila Cathedral is in demand I mean we have hundreds of beautiful churches here and the Philippines waiting to be booked.

Anyway, the reception was held at the Manila Hotel beside Intramuros. I am not that much of a fan of the Manila Hotel even though it is a historical landmark I am not liking its façade, maybe because it is too simple and too white. My first impression of the Manila Hotel was it looks so old but a different kind of old. It is hard to explain but everytime I pass by the Manila Hotel, I can’t help but ask, when will it change its exterior. Well who am I to judge? I mean I haven’t been inside the hotel so for the meanwhile I’m suspending my judgment till the reception and the program is over. 

When I went inside the Manila Hotel. I was like Judy Ganland in the Wizard of Oz “Toto I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore." It was so beautiful because it has a mix of every tradition there is in the Philippines. I like the use of capiz in the Manila Hotel because it was everywhere, from the chandeliers to the walls of the hotel; it really incorporated the tradition of the old and ideal Filipino houses.

The Manila Hotel was opened in 1912 during the American Occupation. The beauty & the design behind the hotel is William Parson. Daniel Burnham hired him to do the Manila Hotel in his plan to remodel Manila but all came to a halt when the Japanese Invaded Manila. It survived the invasion but it needed some remodeling. Now it is where V.I.P.'s, notable personalities spend their vacation to see the  Manila. It is also a stop for flight attendants.

I could not help but notice that there were two national historic marker about the Rotary Club of Manila & The National Federations Club in the Philippines. It seems that the Rotary Club of Manila was the fist in the Philippines and in Asia and was founded by the Americans during 1919 and the National Federation of Women's Clubs of the Philippines was founded in the Manila Hotel also during the American Period in 1921 with 300 members. I did not know that the Manila Hotel is rich in history.

I wasn’t able to wander around and gave myself a tour. Because the reception ended late parts of the hotel were closed like the champagne room so I just roamed around the lobby, The Sampaguita Hall & the Roma Salon so I cannot say much about the Manila Hotel but the sneak peek was worth it. I will definitely check-in the Manila Hotel someday. When I get a job, I will spend my first pay check in the Manila Hotel but for now, studies first and I'll just let my mom do all the spending but soon I will definitely return the favor.

Thanks so much to the newly weds. I had so much fun during the wedding and the reception! Mabuhay ang Bangong Kasal! Thanks to Rexy and Jeff Go.

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