For all of you out there who associate Philippine city halls as being hotbeds of financial shenanigans, snake oil sales, megalomaniacal machinations, and dark dingy hallways, well... I'm pretty sure you are right on the money. But in the case Manila City Hall, you'll be glad to know that they went out of their way to get rid of that image - or rather, that part about the dark dingy hallways at least. When I last entered Manila City Hall, I was pleased to see that they buffed up the once depressing looking hall right under the clocktower. A brand new chandelier, a new coat of paint, and a row of portraits done by society portaiture artist Lulu Coching now grace the once gloomy area leading into the Mayor's office and it's anteroom where Carlos Botong Francisco's famous mural on the History of Manila is displayed. It really shows what a difference a new coat of paint, a few new bulbs, and a little care can do to a heritage structure. I'm sure looking forward to seeing the rest of the building getting a makeover too.