Sunday, August 08, 2010


Wild. I've recieved over 30 entries for the Hotel Intramuros Weekend Package contest and I love all of them. Some sent poems, some sent photos, some sent shameless pleas, but all of them were wonderfully sincere. I will post a few of the entries now. More to come. Contest ends on August 12. Log onto the contest rules here:

Walk This Way, with R and J

The walls inside my heart
Shatters through its part.
Wished to travel by foot
Together, we must stood.
Our bravery and might
Showed before day and night.
By our great forefathers
Fought for we and others.
Books and panorama,
Prose and every drama,
Not enough to display
Its history and faith.
Several past had shown,
Became our witness and shield.
Ruins and walls was filled
With majesty and reign.
Our foot never witnessed,
Kings and heroes sadness.
But with you while walking,
Explores our city's thing.
Past and the present holds
Our interest unfolds.
Curiosity with fun
Must not evade but done.
Me and my future wife,
Never traveled at night.
Without a care of home,
Beats us and made alone.
A vacation for us,
Will ease our burden.
Things may be forgotten
For days and a plus.
Sincerest attitude
With humblest gratitude.
Back to admiration
For best information.

i am msbj. i live in malabon city. me and my friends loves to bike around our city and admire old houses. we love going to intramuros and one of our favorite destination is fort santiago. one time, we decided to visit san agustin museum since the last time we visited it was during our high school/college days. during our visit there, we chanced upon carlos celdran who is also having his tour that time. we heard a few segments of his tour and we cant believe the amount of information we learned in that short passing. what we learned from mr celdran, we talked abt it to friends. and instantly be become historical ambassadors. we are no experts, but in a way we are influencing our friends to take another look at our culture/historical places and have a positive attitude abt it. like what mr celdran always says, we believe we are changing ourselves and other people, in our own small ways, one step at a time. how we wonder from that time on how wonderful the rest of his tour must be. it will be a great pleasure for us if we win this contest. to see the entire tour, for us, is a "wish ko lang come true". the overnight stay will just be a bonus.

I'm KP, a longtime fan of your work, and a supporter of the RH bill. I was intrigued by your contest, and decided to give it a try. Why should myself and a companion win a stay at this Hotel? Let me give you three reasons why:
1) I love the Philippines, and I love Manila. As a born and bred Manileno who's had to work abroad for a while, I have begun to appreciate just how special our country, and our city is. Manila, as Pimlott & Anderson wrote in their book on the Battle of Manila, was not only the capital of our country, but unique in all the world as the only place where four different cultures met. We were not only Asian Malays, but also East Asian, Hispanic, and North American. Where else could you find all four cultures combining in one place? As a result, Manila before the war was one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Asia. The war changed that, but the city is a diamond in the rough: peel away the layers of grime surrounding it, and you find the gems of a unique culture that has survived war and poverty.
2) As a scholar of history and international relations based in Singapore, I've studied Manila with both an outsiders and insiders perspective. The former, developed by my study of Asian and international history, allowed me to compare Manila to her contemporaries in the Far East and to see what we have often taken for granted: our dynamic and fluid culture. The latter has allowed me to take pride in and feel passion for what we have in order to preserve it. I have often written of the need to better preserve our heritage and adapt it creatively so that the current generation can not only take pride in our architecture, but to use it actively so that all segments of our society can enjoy it. I've also held discussions with my colleagues and friends from abroad and home to expose the 'real' Manila and the 'real' Philippines, which has been buried under negative press from both local and international media. Our country may not be perfect, but she is the unique, and we should love her for all the flaws she has, and work to improve her.
3) As a final note on what I see in our country, I hope you can appreciate the video I created on what Manila was, and what she can be once more (above).

I want to win because:
1) My partner Mark and I have been together for almost 5 years and we love going around different places in Manila but we haven't gone inside Intramuros yet. I know right, what gives?
2) Mark is also celebrating his 26th birthday on August 3 so winning this will give us something extra to celebrate with!
3) I wanna walk your way around Intramuros and experience it differently (than what I remember back in college!)!
P.S. I've attached one of our photos for your reference! :)

(a) I should win the overnight weekend package accommodation at Hotel Intramuros because my girlfriend of almost two years is finally coming home to the Philippines, for a few days, just for the month of August because her school starts Sept 1, but at least from Aug3 to Aug29 she's here in the Philippines, I get to be closer to love. We met in UP during college, I was in third yr, she was in 2nd yr but it was her last yr in UP, she had to fly off to CA, we never got to be together-together while we still had the chance. We became a couple yr2008, thanks to plurk and a lot of sharing of songs and stories and movies via email and since then, all I ever wanted really was to be in the same timezone as her again, even just for a few hours, if pwede shempre days. We have struggles but so far successfully proven that long distance relationship can work as long as both parties are actually willing to go the extra mile. I think your blog can really give us the chance to prove that distance is only an obstacle if you don't take the steps to make it but a number. Let us walk your way. Hoping to win. Winning your contest would really help me convince her too, that the universe is conspiring for us to be together. Help me remind her that no level of slang can change the fact that Philippines is her home, always have, always will be--reminding her that while being at the heart of Manila I find to be the most effective idea. I want to make her visit memorable too. How many times can she visit and win something at the same time too diba?
(b) I should win because I love-hate Manila. A weekend stay and one of your tours could be the tipping point, where I can finally admit to myself that I do love Manila. I think I love Manila naman eh, I just find the traumatic stories and my almost/mejo traumatic experiences far too hard to get over. Pero I think Manila is magical. Parang kahit ilang beses kong sundan yung Jose Rizal's footsteps in Intramuros, it always feels like the first time. Intramuros especially, has a way of stopping or slowing down time. It's a magical place even during the day. I would love to bask myself in Manila's beauty for a weekend, with the one I love especially.
(c) I should win the overnight weekend package accommodation at Hotel Intramuros because I want to blog about the experience on my culture and wellness blog :)

1. I want to win this for my mom & dad, Ruby and Ayo. They will celebrating their 30th anniversary next year, and it's been a while since they had a real vacation. I'd give this an an early present of sorts.
2. They were both born & bred in Manila, but are based in Zambales now, visiting only when they need to do business. This will be a great opportunity for them to get in touch with their past. As a child, my mom would take trips to Manila with her family. She entered FEU girls high then continued on to college, where she met my dad. In a way, Manila for the both of them is a special place, and I'd like for them to have the opportunity to reconnect with it.
3. My parents both have a great appreciation for beautiful architecture & interior design. My mom wanted to be an interior designer while my dad does some construction work. While both have yet to realize their dream house, it doesn't stop them from admiring beautiful structures for inspiration. I know they'll both love The Hotel Intramuros, not just for its history, but also for it's beauty.

No poems. No flowery prose. I'll take the 'keep it simple' option. My wife's a journalist and travel writer and eventhough we've made it our mission to explore the nooks and crannies of the Philippines, and no matter how far off the beaten path we wander...we always end up returning to the Intramuros area to kind of regain our compass. It really is the soul of the city and while we've wandered around it many times before...we haven't really spend a night in the area and I can imagine what a fresh perspective the experience might bring.