01/25/17

Miss Universe in Manila

During the past couple of years, we’ve had a leader of Catholic Church and leaders of the countries belonging to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation grace Manila, and the country as a whole with their visit. This year, we have been graced again with the holding of perhaps one of the most celebrated events that has been beloved by many Filipinos as much as any important international event. I am of course talking about the Miss Universe pageant.

This year’s Miss Universe pageant (technically, Miss Universe 2016 because of the screwed up schedule that pushed it further from the calendar year over time) is going to be held on January 30 this year. And while the Urban Roamer is by no means a beauty pageant expert, this presents an opportunity to do this special feature as we look back at the past Miss Universe pageants that have been held here in the metropolis.. Twice past to be exact. Continue reading

09/19/16

The Henry and The Conrad: Exploring Two Pasay Hotels

Pasay City today is one place in the metropolis which has a conflicted identity brought about by the many changes that came upon this part of the metropolis over the last 70 years or so. There is the Old Pasay, at least remains of the old genteel neighborhood where some of the Manila’s elite families lived, especially before the war and in the early postwar years. Then there is the Modern Pasay of today, suffering in urban squalor, decay, and congestion brought about by the emergence of the urban poor populace who lived in the city as the elites moved out to escape the creeping urbanization. And of course, there is the New Pasay, the hoped future of the city at least, concentrated in the reclaimed area of the city, where there is more room to plan the growth of this part of the city.

Such contrasts in identities can be exemplified in today’s entry as we roam and look into two hotels found in the city that reflect Pasay’s contrast in character. Incidentally, these two hotels in questions are named after first names of men, which makes this study of contrasts a bit more interesting: the Henry Hotel and the Conrad Hotel. Continue reading