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    Manila Hotel National Capital Region (NCR) | Luzon Philippines
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U. S. Army 1920

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Kawashima 1943

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USAAF May 1945

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Google Earth 2018
Location
Lat 14° 34.980' N Long 120° 58.446°E  Manila Hotel is located in the Ermita District of Manila in the National Capital Region (NCR) | Luzon of Philippines. Borders Manila Bay to the west. To the south is Rizal Park (Burnham Green) and to the north is Intramuros District and Intramuros (The Walled City). Originally built as a five story hotel and was damaged during the Battle of Manila. Postwar, a tower was added and is still in use as a luxury five star hotel.

Construction
In 1900, the U. S. government Philippine Commission director William H. Taft hired American architect Daniel H. Burnham to plan the downtown area of Manila and he envisioned a grand hotel as part of the Americanization of the former Spanish colony. Famed U. S. architect William E. Parson was hired to design the Manila Hotel to be built in the California mission style as a five story structure in an H-shape overlooking Luneta and Intramuros with an observation deck on the top floor with a panoramic view of Manila Bay.

Prewar
In 1935, Filipino architect Andres P. Luna was hired by Philippine President Manuel Quezon to renovate the hotel with the help of Pedro Siochi and Company ahead of the inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth. After the renovation, the Fiesta Pavilion that was the largest banquet room in the hotel.

The hotel's most famous resident was General Douglas MacArthur and his family took up residency in 1935 the newly renovated penthouse that became known as the "MacArthur Suite". Between 1935 until December 1941 the MacArthur family lived in the penthouse until they evacuated Manila. In November 1935, Manila Hotel hosted the inauguration of the Philippine Commonwealth government.

Wartime History
On December 24, 1941 Christmas Eve Americans military forces withdrew from Manila and two days later Manila was declared an "Open City" hopes of saving the city from Japanese bombing. On January 2, 1942 Japanese forces occupied Manila and the Manila Hotel.

During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, occupied by the Japanese. During 1943, the Manila Hotel was the site establishment of the Second Philippine Republic under Philippines President Laurel José P. Laurel, a puppet government under the Japanese occupation. The painting "Birth of New Philippines" by Hiichiro Kawashima depicts a meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Hideki Tojo and President Laurel José P. Laurel in the Manila Hotel.

Despite Japanese Army General Tomoyuki Yamashita order to abandoned Manila and defend the mountains of northern Luzon, the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) under the command of Japanese Navy Rear-Admiral Sanji Iwabuchi opted to remain in the city and planned to defend ferociously with approximately 20,000 personnel.

During the Battle of Manila, by the middle of February 1945 the remaining forces from the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) Central Force under the command of Admiral Iwabuchi withdrew into the southern portion of Manila and occupied building including the Manila Hotel and established defenses and fortifications for a fanatical last ditch defense against the liberating American forces.

During the night of February 20, 1945 U. S. Army 82d Field Artillery Battalion bombarded the hotel with artillery and surrounding grounds. Meanwhile a patrol from 12th Cavalry, 1st Squadron, Troop B dug in along the northern edge of Burnham Green to prevent the Japanese from leaving the hotel to occupy fighting positions in the park.

On February 21, 1945 in the morning the 12th Cavalry, 1st Squadron with artillery support from two 105mm self-propelled howitzers and M4 tanks assault Manila Hotel. Inside, the Japanese had fortified the five story structure with indoors strong points. By the middle of the afternoon, the east wing was liberated nearly intact but Japanese still occupied the west wing, basement and underground areas.

On February 22, 1945 the Cavalrymen eliminated the remaining Japanese in savage room-to-room fighting in the west wing, new wing and basement areas until the entire hotel was liberated including the penthouse "MacArthur Suite". As a result of the bombardment and fighting, the hotel was largely destroyed and portions burned by the resulting fire with areas deliberately burned by the Japanese.

Today
The Manila Hotel was repaired and restored with a new multi-level skyscraper build overlooking the original five story portion. The Manila Hotel remains in use to this day as a 570 room, five star a luxury hotel and event space.

MacArthur Suite
Between 1935 until December 1941, U. S. Army General Douglas MacArthur and his family lived in the penthouse in the new wing of the Manila Hotel. This penthouse was his private residence and was dubbed the "MacArthur Suite". This penthouse has spectacular panoramic view of Manila Bay. During February 21-22, 1945 the penthouse was destroyed during the Battle of Manila. Today a replica of the General's prewar office is located in the original penthouse. Only the table and chair are original.

References
Manila Hotel - Official Website
Manila Hotel - MacArthur Suite

U. S. Army in World War II - Triumph in the Philippines Chapter XV The Drive Towards Intramuros pages 277, 280, 281 (photo), 290,

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Last Updated
February 21, 2020

 

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Feb 23, 1945

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