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Summit of Solace

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star
Summit of Solace
“Two Islands of Promise”) and the winding San Juanico Bridge that connects the twin provinces and from where Dante Varona took a daring jump for a movie; and, yonder, the open sea that rose and swallowed the city and almost wiped it from the map.
Photos by Raoul Tidalgo

TACLOBAN City, Philippines From the window of the Sangyaw Suite of Summit Hotel, my friend Raoul Tidalgo and I had a sweeping view of the city — the houses and buildings that have risen from the ruins left by the 2013 killer Typhoon Yolanda; the body of water that divides Leyte and Samar (described by our Social Studies textbook as “Two Islands of Promise”) and the winding San Juanico Bridge that connects the twin provinces and from where Dante Varona took a daring jump for a movie; and, yonder, the open sea that rose and swallowed the city and almost wiped it from the map.

Raoul and I stayed overnight at the Summit Hotel (#3) after we attended the feast of Our Lady of Nativity (Sept. 8, the birthday of Virgin Mary) in Las Navas, Northern Samar which is seven hours away by car, with two other Samar cities (Borongan and Calbayog) celebrating the same event. We were to catch our PAL flight back to Manila the next day.

With the Daniel Craig 007 starrer Quantum of Solace in mind…and tired from the road trip…we whispered “Summit of Solace” to each other as soon as we checked into the hotel which was inaugurated only last June by the Gokongwei-led Robinsons Land Corporation in the heart of the city, the fifth property in the Summit Hotels & Resorts collection. It’s the largest hotel in the city with 138 rooms that pay homage to the beauty and culture of Eastern Visayas.

Sangyaw is one of the guest suites inspired by the various celebrations of Eastern Visayas. It has bold floral patterns and metallic accents representing the Sangyaw Festival held every June coinciding with the Sto. Niño fiesta. The Lubi-Lubi Suite has bold leaf patterns and a variety of textures and colors reminiscent of the lubi-lubi (coconut) dance; while the Pintados Suite is adorned by modernized symbolic tattoo patterns to commemorate the first inhabitants of the Visayas.  

Raoul and I took photos only of the Sangyaw Suite because that’s where we were billeted, complete with a spacious sala (#4), a huge bedroom with a king-size bed (#5), and a well-equipped bathroom (#6). You look down from another window and you see the kidney-shaped swimming pool (#7).

Before we walked to the adjacent Robinsons Place for a fast-food dinner, we first took a quick tour of The Summit. (Robinsons Place has recovered from extensive damage caused by Yolanda and expanded to include a wing with cinemas where we watched the Sarah Geronimo movie Miss Granny, showing Sarah at her award-winning best.)

We spent a few minutes at one of the two homey lounges (#1 and #2) while waiting for a call from Aster Amoyo who was coming the next morning from Borongan where she and Boy Abunda attended the patron (fiesta) hosted by Boy’s Nanay Lising as Hermana Mayor. We checked out the different function rooms and the banquet hall (#8) where the inaugural party was held, with Pilipinas Got Talent (PGT) finalists Jeff & Jenny (#10) and Sofia Romualdez (#11), daughter of Tacloban City Mayor Cristina Romualdez and former City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, among the performers. Both walls along the long, wide corridors are lined with paintings for sale.

Then, we woke up to a big breakfast at the lobby café that presented a buffet of mouth-watering goodies. A Summit of Solace, indeed!

(Summit Hotel Tacloban is offering its value-for-money Summit Holidays room package valid until Jan. 31, 2019. Guests may avail an overnight stay in a Super Room for only P3,200 net or P6,200 net for a two-night stay. Rates are inclusive of buffet breakfast for two, free use of swimming pool, coffee/tea-making facilities and complimentary WiFi. Summit Hotel Tacloban is located beside Robinsons Place Tacloban. For reservations, call +63(53)832-9949 or 0998-8407356 or email rowena.samonte@robinsonsland.com)

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

ROBINSONS LAND CORPORATION SUMMIT HOTEL TACLOBAN SUMMIT OF SOLACE
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