April 25, 2014

Life becomes easier when you eliminate the problem

It is always better to have loved and lost than
to live with a crazy psychopath the rest of your life.

April 23, 2014

My Manila Hotel Tour: A Walk Down History Lane

Many say that the past isn’t always a good place to stay and linger on.  But if the past were Manila Hotel, then it must be an exemption.

As I set foot inside the Grand Dame, I can only imagine how lavish its grand opening night on July 4, 1912, which coincided on the commemoration of the American Independence. It may be over a hundred years ago but the echo of laughter and cacophony of four hundred handsomely groomed and elegantly dressed guests from the alta sociedad enjoying  American roast, Philippine lobster, and French champagne, I could almost faintly hear.

That was only the beginning. I know there is so much more history to unravel, even the furniture, painting or chandelier has their own piece of story to tell.

The Manila Hotel is a historic landmark and five-star hotel, with over 500 guest rooms, located along Manila Bay. It is the oldest premiere hotel in the Philippines built under the supervision of William Parsons in 1909 and completed after four years, to rival the grandeur of Malacañan Palace. Now a member of Prestige Hotels of the World, it has hosted dignitaries and celebrities such as Ernest Hemingway, Neil Armstrong, Michael Jackson and The Beatles, and US President John F. Kennedy.

Perhaps no hotel lobby in the Philippines could surpass Manila Hotel’s. Its iconic architecture and classic interiors are simply a sight to behold.

Graduation theme

The not so usual comfort room

The Manila Hotel’s secret chamber, best part, crème de la crème (pardon me for my adjectives) is its most sought General Douglas MacArthur Suite, which costs a whooping $3,000 a night. Upon the invitation of then President Manuel Quezon, MacArthur made Manila Hotel his home during his tenure as the Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines from 1935-1941.

The living room

Medals and decorations of MacArthur

The dining room

The study room

The master bedroom

A portrait sketch of MacArthur

The MacArthur Club Lounge is a luxurious VIP area fully furnished with first-class amenities, and offers breathtaking views of Manila Bay and Intramuros.

A romantic dining spot

Though other rooms may pale in comparison to the MacArthur Suite, they all still look lovely and exquisite.

The Intramuros Suite

Superior de luxe room

Sunrise Suite

Intimate and fine dining is also an unforgettable experience in the hotel. Recognized by Philippine Tatler, their in-house restaurants serve authentic Italian, French and Cantonese-Chinese cuisine.

Mabuhay Palace

Tap Room

Champagne Room

Café Ilang-Ilang

Assorted bread

Italian cheese

Would you believe I made this Manila Hotel signature pizza?


The Archive Room is the repository of the Who’s Who among the guests of the hotel since the Commonwealth Period.

The outdoor, sunset viewing deck and pool area look more relaxed and refreshing.

The tour was visually orgasmic, definitely one of a kind, exceeding all my expectations. It should be part of the syllabus for Philippine history or Humanities class so every Filipino could appreciate the heritage and historical significance of the hotel.

Thanks to Kristine and Maki for being such wonderful hosts and tour guides.

Manila Hotel
One Rizal Park, 0913, Manila
Tel. No.: 527-0011

April 19, 2014

Nagsasa Cove

In life, we absorb negativity not by chance but by choice. Our choices therefore determine the course of our life. And sometimes, if our choices are wise enough, they could take us to some places, wonderful and unimagined.

Like Nagsasa, a naturally-alluring cove guarded by Aeta communities, which is an hour boat ride away from Pundaquit, San Antonio, Zambales. It has grayish sand beach lined with refreshing pine trees and surrounded by mountains strikingly scorched by summer heat. Nagsasa today is the rebirth of the cove almost damaged by the massive volcanic ash falls and lahar flows brought about by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991.

It is a picture-perfect place to unwind, nurse a broken heart or reflect for the Lenten season.

No matter which direction you take, make sure it makes you happy.

Life is never constant. Accept that some boats are not meant to stay in your shores forever.

Now and then, it’s good to rest from your relentless pursuit of excessive pleasure and simply enjoy life in its basic and original form.

Be patient. Be kind. Be a home, someone would always want to take shelter to.

Surround yourself with positive people who can also bring out the sunshine within you.

Chase your dreams. Don’t be afraid to give yourself everything you ever wanted in life.

Throw to the fire all your negative emotions. Happiness is a reflection of loving yourself enough to move on and find in your heart to finally forgive those who hurt you.

And always wake up in the morning believing that you were created with a purpose in life.

If we are only brave enough to explore the space of peace and reemerge a recharged and better person, I believe we can deal with anything and everything, even the Chinese invading the waters of Zambales.

Thanks to Nagsasa… all of me loves all of you.

Spent a fun-filled 2014 Holy Week here with my office mate friends Nico, Kris, Jo, Gara and Paul.