“If it’s a good story, it’s like Manila Hotel.”—Ernest HemingwayMANILA HOTEL, fondly called the “grand old dame,” was bedecked in her finest Wednesday night (July 4) as she celebrated her 100th birthday, looking even more brilliant and feeling optimistic about her future.
About 800 guests in formal Filipiniana attire, including President Benigno S. Aquino III, came and helped the venerable and much-loved hotel celebrate its birthday in a grand in a grand celebration dubbed the ”Centennial Ball” at a huge tent on the premises.
The celebration began with cocktails at 6 p.m. before a short audio-visual history of the institution was presented and projected on the wall of the hotel. Declared a national historical landmark in February 1997, the hotel has attracted VIPs such as Gen. Douglas MacArthur (where a suite is named after him), Hollywood celebrities such as Liza Minnelli, Sammy Davis Jr., and boxing legends like Muhammad Ali, to name a few.
Guests were then served during the sit-down dinner starting with wild mushroom consommé with truffle custard, accompanied with Casa Lapostolle, Chardonnay; Southern Spiny Lobster and Apple Salad with Celery and Crisp bacon, tarragon, and sherry vinaigrette (with Cuvee Alexandre Lapostolle, Chardonnay); a passion fruit sorbet as palate cleanser; with the main course of Oven-roasted sea bass with brown butter and tomato fondue, potato and a bell pepper frittata with spicy sausage (Casa Lapostolle, Merlot); and for dessert, a Lemongrass mousse on coconut-chocolate joconde cake, pineapple compote, and ginger crème Anglaise as well as chocolate pralines with either coffee or tea. (The rest at InterAksyon.com, July 5, 2012. Photos courtesy Manila Hotel.)