There are three structures that I consider Ayala’s distinct landmarks, and yet are not bound to stay. These are the original Insular Life building at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas (whose walls used to have sculptures showcasing the Filipinos’ traditional way of life), the Gilarmi Apartments, now replaced with towering Discovery Premea luxury suites, and most recently, the InterContinental Manila, a 5-star hotel that has stood proudly for the last 46 years along Ayala Ave.
From November 27 until December 31, 2015, fans of InterContinental Manila were given a chance to experience how it’s been to stay here and bid the Grand Dame goodbye through a special promo.
My sister and her family bit into this special promo because her wedding and reception were held in this hotel 11 years ago. Checking in, she took all the opportunities to rekindle special moments of herself and her groom at the Bahia ballroom, to re-enact and re-take photographs of the same similar places, purposely striking the same pose each time for that ‘before-and –after’ look.
What a throwback experience indeed. On a personal note, I still can’t fathom why it had to be demolished at its beautiful peak, to give way to a commercial development that will be taking over.
I could still recall how it has been known not only for its premium accommodation and service, but also for its famous Where Else and Euphoria Disco during the 70s and 80s.
During the mid-90s, there was a time my good friend and I were hooked on the yummy omelette at The Jeepney, the hotel’s restaurant where one also would have buffet breakfast after staying overnight at the hotel. I recall having a number of brunches here just because of the omelette, which I would pair with a glass of calamansi juice.
Just this evening, I passed by Ayala and saw the building already chained, albeit still with some lights on. I tried to hold back my attachment, recalling Lao Tzu’s words: “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”