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Ladies and gents our story begins with our author who one day packed up his bags to spend the next 5 years of his life on some tropical island far far away. This land is not like any place he has ever been to before. There is no telling of what he may encounter during his stay there but one thing is sure he is going to be in for one crazy adventure. And this is where you get to read about it.

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The stories told here maybe appear larger than in real life and at times may even appear outlandish. However, all actual events are in fact real (well, most of them). What may appear as a distortion of reality to some may only be due to the author's perspective of the actual events. Some say he is just not right in the head.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Summer Break Flashback Part 3: The Manila Hotel

Manila Hotel is the place to be even when you can’t sleep inside.

The five star Manila Hotel opened in 1912 and is one of the oldest hotels in the Philippines. At one time General Douglas McArthur was a resident at this historic hotel and its grounds also served in the campaigns of both Ferdinand Marcos and Corazon C. Aquino. Other famous guest of this hotel include President John F. Kennedy, the Beatles, Sammy Davis Jr., John Wayne, and Michael Jackson.

The grand lobby is one of the nicest in all the hotels I have ever been to.

The were quiet a few wedding pictures being taken of different couples during our stay.

Someone once told me that Manila Hotel is still the place where you can go to see all the politicians with their mistress (or hookers) coming and going at the wee hours of the night. Unfortunately for me I’m not a politician. So I spent my first night at the Manila Hotel with my dad and a few of his buddies. Imagine if you can, spending your night listening to a live band at a bar in the Manila Hotel, and having a beer with a few 50+ year old martial art masters while watching grown Korean men dance with one another on the dance floor. Well it's not something I would have to try hard to imagine, it was a reality for me. Sometimes there is nothing more bizarre than life itself.

The rooms are nothing spectacular but for what it's worth you get a view of the Manila Bay.

The very next morning we headed out to Rizal Park which is right across the street from the Manila Hotel in search of what they came all the way from the US for, Filipino martial arts. And the one giving the marital arts demonstration that morning turned out to be none other that Grandmaster Rodel Dagooc, A.K.A. the Smoking Sticks.

Grandmaster Rodel Dagooc holds an 8th degree black belt (Lakan Walo) in Modern Arnis and though he looks a little small and feeble I bet he could still take a few people down. For his age the old guy still moves pretty well too. Check it out...

Here is another clip of his buddy showing some moves. And just to let you know this guy is missing a thumb.

And here is a Grandmaster Edgardo Telebangco showing us some of his techniques against a knife. He also had some cool moves against a person with two knives but my batery ran out.

We would end up staying one more night at the Manila Hotel before my dad and his buddies set off to make their little Filipino movie, while I returned to my non-functional air conditioned dorm.

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Anonymous Analise said...

Good post.

1:47 PM  

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