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Manila Is for Lovers

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[Photo of Four-layer cake in Manila hotel]Allow the Manila Hotel and performance artist Carlos Celdran to change the way you look at Manila

With its century-old attractions and infrastructures, Manila is no doubt the most romantic city in Luzon.

The remnants of Spanish colonial buildings in Intramuros waxes poetic of the epic battles it has witnessed, and its paved streets cradle the music of street performers singing forgotten ballads. Despite the bad reputation it has gained for its shady nightclubs and poverty-stricken alleys, Manila boasts of historical landmarked of unmatched beauty and mystique that are perfect settings for dates.

The city is also where the historic Manila Hotel is located. Manila Hotel has served as a refuge for heads of state and royalty for over 97 years. Regarded by many as the “Showcase of the Philippines” “Aristocrat of the Orient,” and “Grand Dame,” the Manila Hotel is undergoing its third renovation to offer something new to its residents and guests. It is this commitment to providing a high standard of service that the Grand Dame continues to garner local and international distinction. Just recently, the hotel received another important award when it bagged a spot on Prestige Hotel's list of world's finest hotels.

Needless to say, Manila Hotel is an unparalleled place to hold a first date, all the more, a wedding. This month, Manila Hotel serves as the stage for couples who want to tie the knot. Couples have four choices for their wedding reception: the French-inspired Champagne Room, the Chinese restaurant Mabuhay Palace, Ginza, and Cowrie Grill.

Couples can choose from three wedding packages: the Wedding Package A, the Wedding Package B, and the Maynila Ballroom Wedding Package. The minimum number of people for all the packages is 150, and the cost ranges depending on the choice of set lunch, dinner or buffet menu between  P187,867.50 and P299,422.50.

Newlyweds who'll be spending the weekend at the hotel should take advantage of the Grand Dame's promo, the My Manila Weekend Room Package with performance artist and true Manileno Carlos Celdran, which will be available on June 19-20 and July 3-4.

Carlos Celdran is a travel guide who has made a name for himself through his themed walking tours around Manila which are a performance in themselves, figuratively and literally speaking.

Celdran would dress up according to the theme of his tours—he would don Spanish colonial attire in Intramuros, and 1970s bell bottoms for his Imeldific tour at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. A man on a mission, Celdran says, "I can’t change the way Manila looks, but I can change the way you look at Manila."

Celdran often acts out scenes from history, capturing the spirit of the era that he is recounting during his walking tour. His routes often include Escolta, Quiapo ("The North Bank: Walking Tour of Escolta and Quiapo and the North Side of Pasig River" ), and Intramuros ("If These Walls Could Talk: Walking Tour of Historic Intramuros"). Interestingly, he ends his tours with  quirky activities like afternoon tea or window shopping through flea markets like what he did for his Living La Vida Imelda Walking Tour at the CCP.

After the tiring tour around the metro, the honeymooners can avail of Manila Hotel's couples room located at its newly built spa, which prides itself in its artfully done ceramic love tub. This only proves that Manila Hotel takes care of its guests from the moment they step inside the hotel until they tuck themselves (or each other) into bed—Sandy Miguel

Print ed: 06/10


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