So Long, Intercon!

In October last year, InterContinental Manila announced that it is closing its doors after 46 years to make way for Ayala Land’s new commercial, mixed-use development plan. The hotel ceased operations as soon as the contract between Ayala Land Hotels and InterContinental Hotels Group ended on December 31, 2015.

Weeks leading to December 31st, the hotel offered numerous closing promos and events, including a photo nostalgia contest where people shared old photos with accompanying stories on the hotel’s Facebook page, which was sadly deactivated on New Year’s Day.

Night view of InterContinental Manila. Photo from intercontinental.com.

Night view of InterContinental Manila. Loyal patrons will never forget the address, No. 1 Ayala Ave. Photo from intercontinental.com.

I was one of the loyal patrons who shed a tear for the closing of this iconic hotel. InterContinental Manila was a big part of my youth. My businessman father would meet up with his colleagues and friends several times a month at Jeepney Bar. My sister and I were excited whenever Papa took us to Jeepney Bar in the ’80s, because back then there were actual jeepneys in the restaurant, and you could eat and play inside. They took out the jeepneys in the ’90s, and the restaurant was renamed Café Jeepney, and eventually, The Jeepney. We ate there regularly and even found our “usual” table.

Jeepney Bar, Intercon's most famous restaurant. Photo from intercontinental.com.

Jeepney, Intercon’s most famous restaurant. Photo from intercontinental.com.

Papa and his friends were such familiar faces that the employees knew them by name and gave them a special parking slot in front of the entrance. In our school uniform, my sister and I would get dropped off at Intercon after class and would know that Papa and Mama were already there when I spotted their car in Papa’s parking slot.

View of Intercon from Glorietta Mall, which also happens to the mall I frequent the most. Photo from intercontinental.com.

View of Intercon from Glorietta Mall, which also happens to be the mall I frequent the most. Photo from intercontinental.com.

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In Jeepney, Papa knew the chefs and even after the kitchen closed, we could order whatever dish we desired, whether it was on the menu or not. I remember dropping by Jeepney after a party and asking for tapsilog. The waiters would gift us with chocolates and jars of jam on the house. When I hit my teens, Papa helped me get access to Euphoria (now called Compass), one of Makati’s “it” clubs in the ’90s. In my awkward braces and flared jeans, I felt at home in Intercon.

For my 18th birthday, my parents threw me a debut party at the grand ballroom. The guests included Intercon patrons that we met and bonded with through the years. Some of them remain my good friends to this day.

Throwback to my 18th b-day at Intercon, circa 1999. I was escorted by my beloved father. I chose the design of my customized dress and thought that it was fa-bu-lous!

Embarrassing photo from my treasure chest: Throwback to my 18th b-day at Intercon, circa 1999. I was escorted by my beloved father. I chose the design of my custom-made dress and thought that it was fa-bu-lous!

I don’t know when exactly we stopped frequenting Intercon. All I remember is that soon after I graduated from college in 2003, some of Papa’s Intercon buddies relocated and moved on to other ventures. We would still visit Intercon, but only a few times a year.

On December 29, 2015, I took my family to Intercon one last time to pay tribute to our favorite hotel before it closed for good. Dozens of other patrons had the same idea, so Jeepney was fully booked until New Year’s Eve. We also could not attend the parties at Compass (formerly Euphoria), but celebrated vicariously through friends and employees who posted photos on Facebook.

My last visit to Jeepney Bar on Dec. 29, 2015. Cheers!

My last visit to Jeepney Bar on Dec. 29, 2015. Cheers!

One of the notable collectibles at Jeepney

One of the collectibles at Jeepney

As CNN Philippines reporter Paul Garcia put it, “Hotel Intercon’s closure is a reminder that things, even those we love and treasure, don’t last forever, and that the only permanent thing in this world is change.”

January 3, 2016



8 Comments

  1. Sayang! I wasn’t able to visit that Jeepney Bar ? Sana iconsider ng Ayala Land na mag-open ng Jeepney Bar sa bago nilang venture, to commemorate Intercon. Btw, you look dazzling in that metallic-yyy dress! ?

  2. Brenda wrote:

    So pretty in that metallic dress. Just watching It’s showtime and saw the new hair of Karylle, looks like yours??…gorgeous curls, want to have it too.

  3. Kitty wrote:

    I remember your 18th birthday! Yes, your papa was well known & loved at Intercon. (From Bahia to coffee shop up to parking!) will not forget the first time I met your Papa. Your Ninong Roger introduced me & my sisters to papa at Bahia. It was a ballroom dancing night & I thought your papa was chinese! Hahaha! It was a start of a beautiful friendship that started with a great love for our favorite hang out; the Intercon hotel, ballroom dancing,food & a lot more! It came to a point that our day will not be complete without spending time at Intercon. Yes! Your papa would request the cooks to make him food that is not on the menu or buffet! The staff are very accomodating! I remember looking at Intercon’s parking from afar (Glorietta or Rustans) to check if Papa’s car was there already! The laughters & precious memories with Pa & Intercon family will always remain in my heart.

    • Kate wrote:

      Thanks for sharing your memories. When I wrote about the Intercon patrons who are still my good friends to this day, of course I was referring to your family, haha! OMG, I forgot to mention Bahia! 😉

  4. Vicenica wrote:

    So sad i haven’t tried there. Or maybe i did? (When i was just a kid. Haha) .. Anyway, you look great in that dress!! ?

  5. Love your dress! Never had a debut or something just because I don’t want to. Haha. I’m shy like that. Anyway, it’s so sad to hear about the closing. My brother used to work in Intercon and he mentioned how kind the people are. The jeepney resto looks superb. Too bad I didn’t have the chance to try it. Oh well. Better things will happen 🙂

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