Vincenz Serrano



You don’t really stay here; a hotel is a place at which you arrive and from which you depart. When the Americans built this place with reinforced concrete and Philippine hard wood, there were still no tastefully appointed hotels in Manila. One side of the hotel faces the walled city; the opposite side, the sea. Thinking thwarts the narrative. Steep tile roofs, wide eaves, whitewashed walls. Beneath arches, bellboys would stand in attention, assisting guests who would arrive, anticipating happiness, or depart, suitcases packed with souvenirs. The opposite of anticipation is a wall. The souvenir longs for a journey. Pillows, blankets, comforters. You don’t write a story; you allow its opposing sides


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