Preserving something that makes it entirely unique is a tricky feat to pull off in Manila. A highly urbanized and westernized suburb like Metro Manila is one that quickly moves by the pace and follows suit through whatever is new and elevates modernity. It’s rare that people find anything authentically Filipino anymore in terms of architecture at least. In the main business districts and city centers, the Filipino identity is not manifested in design and structures, rather people will have to go to far-flung areas of Old Manila or the provinces like Vigan to see what “truly Filipino” looks like.
1898 Hotel Colonia En Las Filipinas
In the busy district of Makati City, where all business-driven people and establishments are based, there’s one place to stay at when you would like to marvel in Pinoy luxury. The 1898 Hotel Colonia En Las Filipinas, located in 5030 P. Burgos Street, Corner Kalayaan Avenue, Makati City is one hotel travelers and tourists alike will enjoy staying in. Not only is it in the middle of the bustling nightlife of Makati, but it’s also completely decked with superb five-star amenities, and most importantly, it’s found a way to integrate truly authentic Filipino interiors, designs, cuisine to your hotel experience.
The intricately weaved designs illuminate d by the bright interiors are designed to suit the modern Filipino touch. It manifests a combination of post-colonial designs, as well as minimalist monochromatic arrangements highlight the Spanish Filipino heritage of the Philippines. The rooms are well lit and spacious enough for guests with a soft comfy single, double, queen, and king-size bed depending on which the guests prefer. The 1898 Hotel has 26 floors and a total of 137 rooms with idyllic furnishings and Filipino inspired art and fixtures in each and every temporary abode.
The hotel also has its own Filipino-Spanish restaurant called Café Sobremesa where their best-sellers are enough to get visitors to keep coming back for lunch and dinner. It is open daily from 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM where a wide variety of Filipino-Spanish fusion dishes are served. Some popular dishes include the Baked Tahong, Pella De Colonia, and Kare-Kare which all fall into the 100-500 PHP price range. Amenities include dipping pools and jacuzzis in the sixth floor, a massage haven at Fez Morrocan Spa, and of course, a gym for those planning to stay in shape during their travels.
Suffice it to say, trying to understand what “truly Filipino” means is a challenge. Being Filipino is a conundrum in itself, being too westernized and Asian at the same time can sometimes get in the way of our national and personal identities. The culture consistently changes and goes through transitional phases through the years, thus the authenticity and Filipino customs rapidly fading through the years. Establishments and other bodies who continue to preserve Filipino architecture, cuisine, art, and expressionist identities of what truly makes a Filipino, Pinoy, are ones that we should continue to foster and support, because in essence, that’s what truly becoming Filipino is all about.