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My day: watching a minor coup attempt live from my hotel room in Manila

My day: watching a minor coup attempt live from my hotel room in Manila

Old Nov 29, 07, 3:58 am
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My day: watching a minor coup attempt live from my hotel room in Manila

Staying on the club floor of the Shangri-La Manila, I have a great view of the Peninsula hotel across the street. It was there where a general, a senator, and a former VP of the Philippines, along with some disaffected soldiers took over the lobby and conference rooms in protest of how their court-martial for an earlier failed coup attempt was going.

We heard the shots fired, watched the troops hiding behind armored personnel carriers sneak around the corner and to the lobby entrance, saw guests evacuated, and are now watching the entire show wind down.

In the Shangri-La club lounge, high tea was served as scheduled. Excellent, as usual!

For a few more details, check out
http://edition.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/as....coupsuspects/

I love travel!
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Old Nov 29, 07, 4:10 am
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How can you not love to travel after reading something like this? Minor coup or major, it's in the news and you were there [jealous]
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Old Nov 29, 07, 4:13 am
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They just announced a curfew for Manila and surrounding provinces for tonight from midnight - 5am for no apparent reason, just to show they are on top of things I guess. ho hum....
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Old Nov 29, 07, 4:14 am
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id be curious to hear just how bad the damage is at the Pen lobby..
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Old Nov 29, 07, 4:16 am
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Probably just a precaution. Be safe out there.
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Old Nov 29, 07, 4:19 am
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
id be curious to hear just how bad the damage is at the Pen lobby..
Tend to doubt I'll walk over there to check it out! I did hear from someone in Pen management that it was the CEO of the Pen chain who personally (from outside the Philippines!) made the decision to go along with the government request to evacuate the hotel earlier today.
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Old Nov 29, 07, 5:17 am
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I haven't been to the Philippines for a few months but used to stay in the Pen when I was there so I was rather surprised to see it on the BBC tonight! Any FlyerTalkers staying there at the moment?

As noted in another thread, they finished a major renovation there a year or so ago which meant that rooms were sometimes difficult to get. I assume that the lobby needs a new renovation now and rooms may be a bit easier to come by in the next few weeks!
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Old Nov 29, 07, 5:45 am
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Originally Posted by grahamb View Post
I haven't been to the Philippines for a few months but used to stay in the Pen when I was there so I was rather surprised to see it on the BBC tonight! Any FlyerTalkers staying there at the moment?

As noted in another thread, they finished a major renovation there a year or so ago which meant that rooms were sometimes difficult to get. I assume that the lobby needs a new renovation now and rooms may be a bit easier to come by in the next few weeks!
I hope your prediction is accurate, as I will be needing to stay there in January 2008.
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Old Nov 29, 07, 5:53 am
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I remember taking my first real backpacking trip back in 2005. As I was leaving Kathmandu on my way to Bangkok, I noticed what seemed to be a few too many soldiers out on the street. My driver brushed it off: "They're probably just bracing for another demonstration."

The next day in Bangkok I turned on the BBC to find that Nepal's king had successfully taken over the government and instituted martial law, shutting down all the airports, internet connections and phone lines in the country.

Stuff like that is what makes traveling worth it.
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Old Nov 29, 07, 6:02 am
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wow! that's exciting that that happened across the street from your hotel. be sure to stay safe while you're there.

all the excitement on my current trip consisted of a medical supply truck catching fire in Atlanta this morning.
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Old Nov 29, 07, 6:08 am
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Just took a walk around the block, things are calm although there are a LOT of security guards and police with dogs, shotguns, etc, on the street. The two major roads immediately around the Pen are still closed but people are on the closed street walking -- probably because they have to walk to the nearest open major street to get transport home.

At one time earlier today, crowds were standing around the Pen watching events unfold. Particularly cute to see a Santa among the watchers. Then shots rang out and everyone ran away very quickly.

Hard to tell if the Pen re-opened for guests, despite my earlier comments, I'd say it hasn't since it didn't look like there were any taxis going into there. However there are lights on in numerous rooms, it may be that a goodly number of guests chose not to leave.

Edited to add: They are showing damage to the Pen on TV now. An armed vehicle rammed the front door, pretty much destroying the entryway. Apparently the lobby furniture and the lobby itself was also damaged to some extent. It is possible the hotel may not be able to open tomorrow either.

Last edited by RichardInSF; Nov 29, 07 at 6:35 am
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Old Nov 29, 07, 6:24 am
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The 22:00 CX flight from HKG to MNL has just been delayed to 05:00. Exciting evening in the Novotel for some people.
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Old Nov 29, 07, 7:10 am
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Originally Posted by Swanhunter View Post
The 22:00 CX flight from HKG to MNL has just been delayed to 05:00. Exciting evening in the Novotel for some people.
I assume the 22:00 flight would have arrived into MNL after the curfew that's in place from midnight. Don't think I'd like the idea of arriving into the curfew with a reservation for a night at the Pen The Novotel would probably be a more relaxing way to spend the evening.
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Old Nov 29, 07, 7:10 am
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10pm, local streets were just re-opened to traffic, things are calming down.
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Old Nov 29, 07, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by MegatopLover View Post
Peninsula Manila is now closed until further notice. Glad no guests were hurt, it seems.

http://manila.peninsula.com/
The occupation of the Peninsula Manila by a group of anti-government rebels has ended, and the rebels have left the hotel. The matter is now being dealt with by the relevant Philippine authorities.

Hotel guests are currently being accommodated at neighbouring hotels. The Peninsula Manila takes the safety of its guests, patrons and staff extremely seriously, considering it to be of paramount importance, and the hotel will continue to liaise and work closely with the Philippine authorities.

The Peninsula Manila is now closed until further notice.
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