Wednesday, April 29, 2009


And as it says so quite clearly up above, we (below) did go to The Manila Hotel last Monday to check out the launch of Dick Gordon's Volunteer Movement called "Bagumbayan" - "Bagong Bayan", or "New Nation". And true to it's name, the theme of the morning was all about "change" and "renewal", and "mobilizing society" to make those changes happen.

Red was the color of the day and some guns were brought out for all to see. Willie Nep was there. So was Joanne Zapanta and Rocio Olbes, and hey, even Arnel Pineda came in full force to give the Dick a hand (below).

Which all makes me think that Dickie is running for president. And if this is so. Hmm. I am not quite sure if I would cast my vote his way. Because despite all this talk about "renewal" there really wasn't anything new in what I saw. I mean, I like the guy and I respect his work with Red Cross immensely, but everything about the program seemed a little faded. From the musical tableau vivant opening number to the liberal use of Rizal iconography, the metaphorical "breaking" of a two storey styrofoam Fort Santiago gate to the choice of the Fiesta Pavilion itself - it was all so so so "I've seen this all before". But don't get me wrong, the guy is totally ace. He supports the Reproductive Health Bill, and is the reason why Intramuros came back from the dead in 2003. In an alternate world, he would be a great president. But for now, I just don't think he has the machinery nor the broad appeal to get people's imaginations running. But either way, Good Luck Dick! You do great work at the Red Cross. President or not. At least with the IRC, you know you got that one in your back pocket for keeps.

And as for the Manila Hotel itself. Well, the bones are still nice. Classic.

It's good to see the Mabuhay Palace Chinese Restaurant renovated as well.

And the pool has been given a makeover. Very cool. Love the VIP area under the tree on the top left.

And judging by noise above me, it seems that some rooms are being given a makeover too.

But even with all these new changes, why? Why? WHY? is The Manila Hotel still so fricking mediocre? I mean, there are so many things about the hotel that are just WRONG. Such lovely chairs like the ones by the pool should not have Microsoft word cut and paste letters printed out on coupon bond and folded over as a sign for ANYTHING! For crying out loud Don Emilio Yap. Why can't you hire a graphic designer and buy a proper laminator?? It's not like you don't own a newspaper already. Or better yet, stop pretending to be a hotelier and sell the damned property already. Or lease it out to someone else like Sofitel. Now they know how to run a hotel. Your maskipops ("anything goes") management style of the hotel is a total affront to it's heritage. But I'm sure someone has already told you that.

Final verdict:
DICK GORDON - Not getting my vote but he gets my respect and props.
MANILA HOTEL - Not getting my business but it gets my.. um.. nothing. The place still sucks and will take a great effort to convince me otherwise.