Thursday, January 17, 2008


Without much fanfare and much to my dismay, the Coconut Palace has closed for good. For now.

Last week my "Living La Vida Imelda Tour was unceremoniously re-directed because the Coconut Palace has suddenly switched hands from the Department of Tourism to its "rightful owner", the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). Therefore, the place was shut down for fifteen days for "inventory" without any directive to open it's doors to the public thereafter. And so, without any announcement and consideration for all the printed guidebooks, organized tour operations, and tourists, downtown Manila was suddenly deprived of another world class tourist attraction. And according to the grapevine, the last event to be held there will be on February 8 and there is talk of it becoming a casino. Like - as if Manila needs another one?


Although I would rather have see the Palace converted into "The Museum of Philippine Design", a showcase of contemporary Philippine fashion, accessories, handicrafts and housewares (with rotating exhibitions/workshops curated/managed by CITEM and the Philippine Design Center), I really wouldn't mind it being converted back into the simple banquet hall that it once was.

Ahem. Paging Winston Garcia of the GSIS: What are your plans for the damned thing? Will the GSIS ever open The Coconut Palace to the public again? Or will the GSIS just let it sit there, gain dust and rot in the sun and sea air? Because judging by the crappy GSIS track record for investments and the condition of other architectural masterpieces in its possession (the rotting Metropolitan Theater) and the decaying former GSIS headquarters near Arroceros Park, I can only look forward to years of neglect for The Coconut Palace.

Please prove me wrong, guys.

Dang. And just when I kept pushing the Coconut Palace as a tourist attraction and pushed for its being included as a significant place of interest for tourists. What wasted effort.

Dang. Dang. Dang. Back to the drawing board for my CCP tour too.

Mood: Annoyed.

Thank you My Soul Insurance and Senor Enrique for the photos of the Coconut Palace.