Classy Classic

Manila Hotel is one establishment that every abled Filipino must experience. It is a heritage and part of the Filipino culture. There is no denying that it has aged. It did, but with ample grace. The building, from a distance is not that high rise. It is not humongous as other newly constructed hotels all over the Philippines. Yet as one enters the premises, there is a certain feel of awe that would envelop the guests. The massive pillars at the entrance and the entire welcome lounge, the shining chandeliers, the furnitures, the flowing music at the lobby, the staff clad in Filipiniana, the courteous security guards right away impose respect from anyone. I have experienced that lobby so many a times and I thought that would suffice.

As a family, we’ve stayed to different hotels both big and small, in and out of the Philippines but we have never booked at Manila Hotel. Hubby and I decided to try it as we are half a century old already. I have observed that the price for two is not sore high. It is even lower than the newer ones in the vicinity. So I kept myself conservative of my expectations (I might get disappointed) by virtue of price and reviews (some are too generous while some are too critical). I browsed into the amenities and inclusions of the hotel package I got. It included free breakfast buffet, free use of pool, pool bar, gym, and health room (sauna and jacuzzi). Sounds excellent!

We came in a little early at 1pm. I started processing the check in, as I always do, and the staff immediately accommodated me. “Cool” I thought. I am so used to inching my way to checking in early in most hotels but not with Manila Hotel. And I was entertained with a smile not with grumpy comments! Aight! I already had a feeling of a wonderful stay by that initial treatment.

We were ushered to our room at the 8th floor, room 809 (big bed, non-smoking, I stated). I noticed heavy carpeting on the floor. Because the corridors are wide enough, I didn’t feel any form of suffocation or dust attack. Perhaps it was also clean or maybe I just had a good psycheing experience with the receptionist.

The room is spacious reminiscent of old houses in the country where intricate wood works are centerpieces.

The TV set is housed in a shelf that has an inscription stating that the hotel is a historical landmark built in 1912. I haven’t been to any hotel with such a furniture! I guess it basically reminds every client that ‘hey, we are part of history built at a time when maybe you haven’t been born yet’.

There are two apples and an orange that served as our welcome treats. It was followed by a really full and good chocolate bars packaged in the cutest mini cardboard pouches.

After taking some shots, hubby and I decided to visit the health room where we can enjoy what we love most- jacuzzi!We used the more private access via the catwalk.

The health room is proximal to the pool and it houses the gym too. The facade is similar to the Onsen at APA Villa Hotel Marunouchi Nagoya Japan. The males are separated from females.

The jacuzzi is elevated from the floor. The bubbles may be adjusted as one requests the attendants. The temperature is just enough for people of our age (not too hot, just warm enough to bring comfort to aching bones). The steps are fully matted to prevent slipping of clients. The comfort rooms are delineated from shower rooms and they stand opposite each other. There are steam and dry sauna rooms on both sides of the jacuzzi. The place is equipped with a water dispenser for hot/cold water (of course the cold is normally preferred to cool warmed bodies) and a swimsuit drier. The last one is really unique and is a welcome addition to any health facility as this one. Dripping is avoided this way. The toiletries are a little wanting compared to most Onsen in Japan. They only have alcohol, lotion, cotton buds, ear buds, shampoo and bath gel. While in Japan, they have conditioner, facial wash, facial lotion, toner and all the spa works. I am not complaining, just saying. Note that picture taking is not allowed inside the locker and wet spa so am really sorry to not be able to show it. You must try it yourself, I guess. The pool is good both for leisure swim and exercise. The bar serves drinks for young and old alike.

The buffet breakfast is an awesome treat! There is a wide array of dishes for breakfast. It offers international cuisine. I enjoyed the Indian menu and the do-it-yourself taho. The fruits come in big slices also. They have valuable nuts and all kinds of breads.

If you’ll do breakfast walk in at Ilang Ilang Cafe it will cost 1,550.00php. For more information related to this restaurant please visit https://www.manila-hotel.com.ph/cafe-ilang-ilang/.

The experience is tops! I enjoyed the tub with water temperature that is easily manipulated. The height of the tub is perfect. It generously submerges the body for complete relaxation. And oh, I even loved the M bedroom slippers that has thick soles so unlike the paper like ones from other different hotels.

The family intends to do staycationing at The Manila Hotel soon. Now I know why the name must start with “The”. The place is classic that makes it classy. Ageing with grace is its gift! For more about the hotel you may visit https://www.manila-hotel.com.ph/.

Classy Classic

Manila Hotel is one establishment that every abled Filipino must experience. It is a heritage and part of the Filipino culture. There is no denying that it has aged. It did, but with ample grace. The building, from a distance is not that high rise. It is not humongous as other newly constructed hotels all over the Philippines. Yet as one enters the premises, there is a certain feel of awe that would envelop the guests. The massive pillars at the entrance and the entire welcome lounge, the shining chandeliers, the furnitures, the flowing music at the lobby, the staff clad in Filipiniana, the courteous security guards right away impose respect from anyone. I have experienced that lobby so many a times and I thought that would suffice.

As a family, we’ve stayed to different hotels both big and small, in and out of the Philippines but we have never booked at Manila Hotel. Hubby and I decided to try it as we are half a century old already. I have observed that the price for two is not sore high. It is even lower than the newer ones in the vicinity. So I kept myself conservative of my expectations (I might get disappointed) by virtue of price and reviews (some are too generous while some are too critical). I browsed into the amenities and inclusions of the hotel package I got. It included free breakfast buffet, free use of pool, pool bar, gym, and health room (sauna and jacuzzi). Sounds excellent!

We came in a little early at 1pm. I started processing the check in, as I always do, and the staff immediately accommodated me. “Cool” I thought. I am so used to inching my way to checking in early in most hotels but not with Manila Hotel. And I was entertained with a smile not with grumpy comments! Aight! I already had a feeling of a wonderful stay by that initial treatment.

We were ushered to our room at the 8th floor, room 806 (big bed, non-smoking, I stated). I noticed heavy carpeting on the floor. Because the corridors are wide enough, I didn’t feel any form of suffocation or dust attack. Perhaps it was also clean or maybe I just had a good psycheing experience with the receptionist.

The room is spacious reminiscent of old houses in the country where intricate wood works are centerpieces.

The TV set is housed in a shelf that has an inscription stating that the hotel is a historical landmark built in 1912. I haven’t been to any hotel with such a furniture! I guess it basically reminds every client that ‘hey, we are part of history built at a time when maybe you haven’t been born yet’.

There are two apples and an orange that served as our welcome treats. It was followed by a really full and good chocolate bars packaged in the cutest mini cardboard pouches.

After taking some shots, hubby and I decided to visit the health room where we can enjoy what we love most- jacuzzi!We used the more private access via the catwalk.

The health room is proximal to the pool and it houses the gym too. The facade is similar to the Onsen at APA Villa Hotel Marunouchi Nagoya Japan. The males are separated from females.

The jacuzzi is elevated from the floor. The bubbles may be adjusted as one requests the attendants. The temperature is just enough for people of our age (not too hot, just warm enough to bring comfort to aching bones). The steps are fully matted to prevent slipping of clients. The comfort rooms are delineated from shower rooms and they stand opposite each other. There are steam and dry sauna rooms on both sides of the jacuzzi. The place is equipped with a water dispenser for hot/cold water (of course the cold is normally preferred to cool warmed bodies) and a swimsuit drier. The last one is really unique and is a welcome addition to any health facility as this one. Dripping is avoided this way. The toiletries are a little wanting compared to most Onsen in Japan. They only have alcohol, lotion, cotton buds, ear buds, shampoo and bath gel. While in Japan, they have conditioner, facial wash, facial lotion, toner and all the spa works. I am not complaining, just saying. Note that picture taking is not allowed inside the locker and wet spa so am really sorry to not be able to show it. You must try it yourself, I guess. The pool is good both for leisure swim and exercise. The bar serves drinks for young and old alike.

The buffet breakfast is an awesome treat! There is a wide array of dishes for breakfast. It offers international cuisine. I enjoyed the Indian menu and the do-it-yourself taho. The fruits come in big slices also. They have valuable nuts and all kinds of breads.

If you’ll do breakfast walk in at Ilang Ilang Cafe it will cost 1,550.00php. For more information related to this restaurant please visit https://www.manila-hotel.com.ph/cafe-ilang-ilang/.

The experience is tops! I enjoyed the tub with water temperature that is easily manipulated. The height of the tub is perfect. It generously submerges the body for complete relaxation. And oh, I even loved the M bedroom slippers that has thick soles so unlike the paper like ones from other different hotels.

The family intends to do staycationing at The Manila Hotel soon. Now I know why the name must start with “The”. The place is classic that makes it classy. Ageing with grace is its gift! For more about the hotel you may visit https://www.manila-hotel.com.ph/.

Classy Classic

Manila Hotel is one establishment that every abled Filipino must experience. It is a heritage and part of the Filipino culture. There is no denying that it has aged. It did, but with ample grace. The building, from a distance is not that high rise. It is not humongous as other newly constructed hotels all over the Philippines. Yet as one enters the premises, there is a certain feel of awe that would envelop the guests. The massive pillars at the entrance and the entire welcome lounge, the shining chandeliers, the furnitures, the flowing music at the lobby, the staff clad in Filipiniana, the courteous security guards right away impose respect from anyone. I have experienced that lobby so many a times and I thought that would suffice.

As a family, we’ve stayed to different hotels both big and small, in and out of the Philippines but we have never booked at Manila Hotel. Hubby and I decided to try it as we are half a century old already. I have observed that the price for two is not sore high. It is even lower than the newer ones in the vicinity. So I kept myself conservative of my expectations (I might get disappointed) by virtue of price and reviews (some are too generous while some are too critical). I browsed into the amenities and inclusions of the hotel package I got. It included free breakfast buffet, free use of pool, pool bar, gym, and health room (sauna and jacuzzi). Sounds excellent!

We came in a little early at 1pm. I started processing the check in, as I always do, and the staff immediately accommodated me. “Cool” I thought. I am so used to inching my way to checking in early in most hotels but not with Manila Hotel. And I was entertained with a smile not with grumpy comments! Aight! I already had a feeling of a wonderful stay by that initial treatment.

We were ushered to our room at the 8th floor, room 806 (big bed, non-smoking, I stated). I noticed heavy carpeting on the floor. Because the corridors are wide enough, I didn’t feel any form of suffocation or dust attack. Perhaps it was also clean or maybe I just had a good psycheing experience with the receptionist.

The room is spacious reminiscent of old houses in the country where intricate wood works are centerpieces.

The TV set is housed in a shelf that has an inscription stating that the hotel is a historical landmark built in 1912. I haven’t been to any hotel with such a furniture! I guess it basically reminds every client that ‘hey, we are part of history built at a time when maybe you haven’t been born yet’.

There are two apples and an orange that served as our welcome treats. It was followed by a really full and good chocolate bars packaged in the cutest mini cardboard pouches.

After taking some shots, hubby and I decided to visit the health room where we can enjoy what we love most- jacuzzi!We used the more private access via the catwalk.

The health room is proximal to the pool and it houses the gym too. The facade is similar to the Onsen at APA Villa Hotel Marunouchi Nagoya Japan. The males are separated from females.

The jacuzzi is elevated from the floor. The bubbles may be adjusted as one requests the attendants. The temperature is just enough for people of our age (not too hot, just warm enough to bring comfort to aching bones). The steps are fully matted to prevent slipping of clients. The comfort rooms are delineated from shower rooms and they stand opposite each other. There are steam and dry sauna rooms on both sides of the jacuzzi. The place is equipped with a water dispenser for hot/cold water (of course the cold is normally preferred to cool warmed bodies) and a swimsuit drier. The last one is really unique and is a welcome addition to any health facility as this one. Dripping is avoided this way. The toiletries are a little wanting compared to most Onsen in Japan. They only have alcohol, lotion, cotton buds, ear buds, shampoo and bath gel. While in Japan, they have conditioner, facial wash, facial lotion, toner and all the spa works. I am not complaining, just saying. Note that picture taking is not allowed inside the locker and wet spa so am really sorry to not be able to show it. You must try it yourself, I guess. The pool is good both for leisure swim and exercise. The bar serves drinks for young and old alike.

The buffet breakfast is an awesome treat! There is a wide array of dishes for breakfast. It offers international cuisine. I enjoyed the Indian menu and the do-it-yourself taho. The fruits come in big slices also. They have valuable nuts and all kinds of breads.

If you’ll do breakfast walk in at Ilang Ilang Cafe it will cost 1,550.00php. For more information related to this restaurant please visit https://www.manila-hotel.com.ph/cafe-ilang-ilang/.

The experience is tops! I enjoyed the tub with water temperature that is easily manipulated. The height of the tub is perfect. It generously submerges the body for complete relaxation. And oh, I even loved the M bedroom slippers that has thick soles so unlike the paper like ones from other different hotels.

The family intends to do staycationing at The Manila Hotel soon. Now I know why the name must start with “The”. The place is classic that makes it classy. Ageing with grace is its gift! For more about the hotel you may visit https://www.manila-hotel.com.ph/.

An Impressive Collection

I have seen people fancy cars, toy car models, Barbie dolls, signature bags and shoes, make up, and even Starbucks tumblers. A man from Bataan by the name of Jose Rizalino Acuzar had a different kind of liking of buying old, wooden houses all over the Philippines, dismantling it piece by piece then reconstructing it in his huge lot in Bagac, Bataan. He incorporated replicas of stone dwellings in that community of houses of his. That is understandable since stone dwellings cannot be uprooted from its site and pieced back together in his property.My family and I already visited Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar ( The Philippine Houses of Acuzar) in August of 2015. I was totally awed of what I saw. We agreed to return this year together with two other people special to our kids. I was however shocked by the existing entry prices to the place now: 1500php Monday thru Thursday, 1850php Friday, 2500php Saturday and Sunday. Maternal impulse (meaning expense conscious) made me cancel the date. My youngest retorted, “Okay because it is really expensive. But I bet, we’d push through if it were abroad”. Toink! I was caught by that statement which made me re-think of my decision. Making my country men earn is a good way of spending hard earned money. We proceeded with the original plan.As we arrived at Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar after an hour of slow drive from Orion, Bataan,I learned that the entrance fee for one included many activities. The first one was a choice between a Balsa Ride (similar to Venetian Gondola) and lunch or dinner. We opted for the first. Food can be obtained within the premises from different retaurants-Filipino, Western, Italian or Pica-pica stalls at prices below 500php per head. The 30minute river ride is 500php flat rate though.With the Balsa Ride, a wide brimmed Filipino hats were provided to prevent us from being scorched by the sun. It started from Lola Basyang’s bridge. Lola Basyang is a well known Filipino storyteller and loved by children of all ages in the country. As she often recounts Philippine mythology, the bridge has kapre (giant smoking man), manananggal (flying half woman) and tikbalang (man horse).

The Balsa (raft) was big enough to accommodate about 12-15 passengers. It was manned by a charming boat man who served as our tour guide cum photographer. Lola Basyang’s bridge connects the heritage area with that of the stunning Hotel de Oriente.

Along the cruise, we passed by houses reminiscent of Zamboanga dwelling places. It was actually a datu residence, bought and pieced together in Las Casas. Only with the Balsa Ride can one take a clear shot of it.

The most important part of the river cruise for me was the passage through the Binondo River or Estero de Binondo. It showed how beautiful that place was during the olden times. The houses back then had their own verandas and stairs leading to raft transport during those times. The architecture was similar to European ones.The kids, hubby and I had a tremendously grand time taking photos of ourselves in that Binondo route.

The cruise passed by the replica of Lambingan bridge. It’s intended for lovers. A wishing portion was in place and every centavo thrown goes right into the river.

The Balsa Ride was short but awesome. We next hopped into the kalesa ride. This was one major transportation in the Philippines then. It is still being used to date but for tour purposes only or as ultility ride in some chosen areas like Binondo/ Divisoria in Manila. It went around the heritage area and ended in the beach front. We went down the Quiapo house to have a photo with our Alma mater’s logo- University of the Philippines.

We also took the time to take a scenic shot of the replica of St. Joseph’s Cathedral. The original and still standing is located in Balanga town proper. Several wedding ceremonies were already held at the replica. Masses are heard in this church as well.

The Kalesa brought us to the doorsteps of Hotel de Oriente. It opened in 1889 according to author De Viana. It was a first class hotel of Don Manuel Perez located in Binondo Manila. You may visit https://www.google.com/amp/s/tanawin.wordpress.com/2008/09/29/then-and-now-hotel-de-oriente-in-binondo/amp/ should you wish to learn more about it. Meanwhile, allow me to showcase what the replica has to offer. I was amazed with the majesty of the interior of the hotel. Basically because everything was in wood and puzzled in together! Even the pillars, and ceilings show royalty this way.

The massive entrance door, to floorings, to balconies, to staircases talk only of those wealthy, aesthetic, and magnificent Binondo days.

There was this wooden puzzle interpretation of Spoliarium of renowned Filipino artist Juan Luna. They made it a wonderful lobby showcase. Inside the main ballroom at the second level,there was a display of grandeur. Hanging cherubs completed the interior! You must have to experience it to understand fully what I am talking of.

The guided Heritage Walk offered welcome drinks of gulaman to everyone. We donned our hats and brought my umbrella of course as we embarked on the tour. At the Casa Binan there was a short play about Dr. Jose Rizal as that was the replica of his mother’s house in Calamba Laguna. It was also a way of paying tribute to our National Hero. Teatro Tatsulok performed a musical play to remind everyone of what Filipino youth should embody. Love of the land and of our language were foremost of what must be inculcated amongst Filipinos.

The entrance fee allows guests to swim in the beach. An inflatable water playground is also available for an additional fee of 500php per head. Since it was already quite late and we also wish to watch the cultural show, we opted to have a quick dip in the clear water of the fine, black sand of Bagac, Bataan. The water temperature was just the right one to refresh our perspired bodies. The sunset added to the cool experience under water.

We capped the night with the entertaining cultural dances performed at Belmonte square. The dancers were well rehearsed. Most were into their performances exuding enthusiasm and pride for the Filipino race!

The new price schedules for Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar may look exorbitant at first. But with all the added activities, amenities, the relatively difficult reconstruction and reproduction of old houses all over the Philippines, the price is just worth it! It is more fun in Pinas!