Heritage Sites

Historic Manila Bay Landmark Now in Rubbles -- And Not by War

Metro Manila

Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Sep 12, 2014

The elegant heritage landmark that is the Army & Navy Club is being converted into a boutique hotel. Concerned groups have raised an uproar, and just recently, Senator Pia Cayetano along with officials of the National Historical Commission paid a surprise visit. Guess who was surprised!


Fast facts:

  • The Manila Army and Navy Club is located near Quirino Grandstand and Luneta.
  • Founded in 1898, it was the first American social club to be established in the Philippines for the exclusive use of the US military.

(image credit)

  • It was designed by William E. Parsons.
  • Parsons, in turn was recommended by Daniel H. Burnham.
  • Burnham was the famed city planner of Manila and Baguio during the American period. He also had a few projects at Washington D.C.
  • The edifice was used as a bomb shelter and evacuation center during the Japanese occupation.

(image credit)

  • It was declared a National Historical Landmark of the Philippines by the National Historical Institute on April 26, 1991.
  • The Manila City Hall used the building as a stockroom.


  • The National Historical Commission allowed the demolition of two annex buildings, not the main building.
  • The Oceanville Hotel & Spa Corporation claims that intervention was necessary in the main building, since the old structure had posed a threat to safety.


  • Oceanville will spend 1.5 B pesos for the project.
  • In a memorandum of agreement between Manila City Hall and Oceanville, the latter will pay a Fixed Minimum Monthly payment of not less than PhP 300,000.00 plus additional 10% from net income.

VIEW: Another historical Manila landmark to face demolition: Anda Monument.

Anda Monument as seen from Paseo de Maria Cristina (Bonifacio Drive) in the late 19th century.
(Photo credit: John T. Pilot's photostream via nostalgiafilipinas.blogspot.com)

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