Saturday, November 22, 2008


OK. Right now I am in the midst of writing an article on the Manila Hilton for Rogue Magazine. It's been quite a while in the making truth be told (almost five to six months now).

I interviewed it's owners, the hotel's many wonderfully charming ladies from the opening team, and collected a cache of very interesting photos of the hotel in it's heydey from 1967 until 1988, a when Ermita was still the country's premier business address and The Manila Hilton was the center of Philippine high society.

Some have said that the Manila Hilton was the only true 5 star hotel in the City of Manila. They popularized the "lunchtime" fashion show, as well as introduced the concept of in-house art galleries, in-house shopping centers, and even a real Catholic chapel (so you could have a wedding and a reception in exactly the same venue).

And in order to get a feel of the hotel, I actually stayed overnight with my wife, Tesa. And even though the hotel has new owners and name (The Manila Pavilion of the Waterfront Group of Hotels), one room still remains as an evocative time capsule, still trapped in it's narra carved, capiz lit, polyester curtained 1967 glory.

And just for shicks and kiggles, Tesa and I did a photo shoot with some friends to try and capture the glamour and precariousness of the Cold War era. We tried to do make a pa-edgy fashion shoot without well, the fashion. We were kinda going for this architecture-as-historical-narrative blah blah.

Now, let me get to my point. The reason why I am posting this is because I need more data. If anybody out there has an interesting story, an interesting photograph, or an image of an interesting personality that stayed in the hotel. Pleeeease come forward.

I want this article to be a good one, and I am not quite content with what I have gathered so far. I especially need pictures of celebrities that stayed there. I heard that Muhammad Ali, Lynda Carter, Gregory Peck, Dovie Beams, and countless CIA operatives stayed at the Manila Hilton, but I don't have any photographic proof. Architectural shots of the Barrio Hilton by the swimming pool, and the Coral Ballroom would also be much appreciated. And any photo of Ninoy Aquino being whisked away from the hotel by the police a day after martial law was declared will get my eternal gratitude.

Hope to hear from you all soon.