The beginning of the 20th century was a remarkable moment for the people in the Orient as the sail winds from the New World brought tremendous changes in this side of the world.
The Philippines’ iconic Manila Hotel celebrates its centennial anniversary this year. The beautiful California-Missionary styled building designed by Architect William Parsons officialy opened its doors on July 4, 1912. This first-class premiere accommodation was the first in the Philippines and was the choice of the affluent tourists who visited the country.
As part of the master plan of Manila, Parsons designed a hotel that is situated at the center of the graceful half-moon of Manila Harbor providing Manila Hotel a commanding view of the fabled Manila Bay sunset. It was an elegant edifice by the bay and through the years, Manila Hotel was the first hotel to have modern convenience known to man including airconditioned rooms, telephone lines, and the first guest lift to be installed in Asia.
Since its grand opening, Manila Hotel has lived through two world wars, the formation of a new Republic, the rise and fall of a dictatorship, and two People Power Revolutions among others. A bastion of refined traditions, it is one of the few Philippine landmarks that has survived the turbulent history of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Aptly called the Address of the Prestige, Manila Hotel has been the choice of world leaders, royalties, notable personalities, and legendary figures. Indeed, it was a Hotel that made history. Among its most illustrious guests was General Douglas MacArthur who made Manila Hotel his official residence and headquarters during his tenure as the Military Advisor to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines. The Hotel has also been the venue of lavish banquets for the members of the Royal Family, grand society balls, and milestones in Philippine government including the Philippine Constitutional Convention in 1971.
The great story teller Ernest Hemingway who once stayed at the Hotel said that it’s a good story if it is like Manila Hotel in response to a reporter asking what made a good novel. The Hotel, which mirrors the Filipino culture and tradition and has played part in shaping the country’s history, was declared a historical landmark on February 3, 1997.
The 100th-year celebration of Manila Hotel will commence with a grand Centennial Ball on July 4, 2012. Event’s highlights will include the unveiling of the Hotel’s centennial logo, a 3D video mapping projections of the Hotel’s history bringing the Hotel’s building to life, and a grand ball featuring elaborate dance performances by Filipino artists. A 20-piece exhibition featuring the most important artifacts and memorabilia of the Hotel will also be on display during the evening.
For the entire anniversary campaign, Manila Hotel will host a series of commemorative events and special programme for its guests. The Hotel will offer exciting room packages including a special room rate of PhP 1,912.00 for the first 100 guests to book at the Hotel’s front desk on July 4, 2012 and on October 6, 2012. As part of the celebration, special commemorative items will also be launched including the Manila Hotel Philippine Postal Stamp and a set of luxurious items that will be made available to the guests.
Manila Hotel would also like to share with this generation memories and treasured items of the Grand Dame. An exhibit will be set up beginning July 2012 and will be open for one year at the Lobby Lounge and will be open to the public. A memorabilia search is launched to invite previous guests to share their memories of the Hotel.
The Hotel will also re-create the favorite dishes of General Douglas MacArthur, the El Mero Envolvio en Hojas de Platano or steamed Lapu-Lapu wrapped in banana leaves with calamansi sauce and Squab Chicken Manhoco or stuffed chicken terrine with mushrooms, olives, and Quezon de bola, the favored dish of President Manuel L. Quezon. These and other Filipino favorite dishes will be offered in the 10th buffet station at Café Ilang-Ilang.
On one of the most exciting times in its history, join Manila Hotel as it celebrates 100 years of Filipino hospitality and world class service.