Resorts World Manila, the hottest and premier entertainment and gaming complex, is actually in Pasay City.
When it began construction, I felt some sadness. The area where a mall, various commercial buildings, hotels and high-end condos comprising Resorts World used to be offices of the Philippine Air Force. My father worked in the Air Force. I grew up in the area where all I can see were barracks of those men in uniform. Soldiers abound in every place. People were segregated between the civilian and the military. The military is further classified between the enlisted men and the officers. It was a time where life inside Villamor was dictated by rank.
I practically lived all my life in Villamor in Pasay City where Resorts World now stands. I was born here. I lived here when Villamor was still called “Nichols Air Base”. I spent all my earlier years here. There had been a time where the world I knew was nothing beyond Villamor Air Base. I witnessed how the place changed from being “military themed” to what it is now an entertainment and gaming compound. I have never imagined that Villamor would look like this.
Yet, I missed that old Villamor. I can recall the time when there was a curfew imposed inside the base. After 10 p.m., I got to be home or show that piece of paper I recall as the “curfew pass”. That dreaded “white car” haul curfew violators to the office of the military police and holds them until 4 a.m. When rules are strictly enforced, only officers, relatives and guests of military personnel were allowed to enter the base. Upon entering, I need to show an ID to prove that I am a son of one that works in the military. This ID has to be renewed annually.
It felt more secure back then. Everyone in Villamor knows almost everybody. Almost all sons and daughters of military personnel studied or are graduates of the same elementary and high school located inside Villamor Air Base. Most people are relatives of military personnel and everyone inside the base are more or less of the same upbringing. No crime, except petty ones, were committed. That is as far as I can remember.
During that time there were few cars or vehicles parked on the road. It was easier to navigate your way through the streets. But when I reached college, the security at the Villamor Gate became an inconvenience. I studied in Manila. The travel from Manila to Pasay coupled with my academic schedule often made me go beyond ten pm. As I do not have the time to renew that curfew pass, I often pray that entry to Villamor Air Base was not strict. Otherwise, I am forced to let the curfew pass or send a message to my father to fetch me at the gate. It was so inconvenient as cellphones were just invented a decade later.
Now that the area has been sold, I think to MegaWorld, drastic changes have been happening to Villamor. The Air Force base has been confined to a much smaller area. Demolition of familiar establishments and construction of new infrastructures have taken place. I missed my elementary and high school that were transferred near the golf course. When I saw my high school building being demolished, I really felt that a part of my life was also being torn down. Each and every nook of that high school was a part of my life. I wanted to stop the demolition every time I passed by the area. But, I know there is nothing constant but change itself.
As I looked at the changes that have taken place, I began to appreciate it. It made Villamor “classy”. Going to a high-end mall has never been easier than before. Resorts World opened a new world for the residents of the once military dominated theme that was Villamor Air Base. Now, the area has been transformed into something as if its a place abroad. Resorts World Manila is now the premier and hottest entertainment and gaming complex in the country.
New Port Mall in Resorts World Manila has theaters that are convenient, advanced and high tech. During weekends, these theaters run for twenty four (24) hours non-stop. Yet, I still have to experience watching a movie at 4 a.m. I wonder if I can sleep inside New Port’s Movie House? Here you can have the experience of watching a movie while lounging on a lazy boy. Popcorn and drinks can be ordered without leaving the comfort of your seat. All you got to do is to push a button.
Crisostomo Restaurant has a branch inside the New Port Mall. I often see a lot of foreigners enjoying those delectable dishes served at Crisostomo. Definitely, a taste of how life was in Rizal’s time. The cuisine is authentically Filipino. It gives an introduction of how it is being Filipino and be proud being one.
Craving for seafoods? Red Crab Restaurant with its delicious cooking of crabs and lobsters has a branch in New Port Mall. I remember dining at Red Crab in Greenbelt Makati with my late father. I cannot forget that lobster with cheese on top. Until now, I still crave for the lobster cooked that way. Crabs cooked with coconut milk relives those dishes cooked in our hometown in Bicolandia. The coconut milk gives that unique flavor that leaves a long lasting taste. After savoring on those crabs cooked with coconut milk as an ingredient, I really appreciated eating on this posh restaurant.
There are several fine dining restaurants to choose from in Resorts World. You will actually never run out of restaurants. Everything is here including Mcdonalds. I wonder why its stiff competitor has not put up a branch here. I prefer their burger than that offered by the American brand.
I saw that the “King and I” still has several scheduled performances in the New Port Performing Arts Theater. You can still catch this play and experience entertainment at its best.
The hottest bar is no longer located in Makati. The “Republiq” in Resorts World is now the premier nightlife destination in Metro Manila. It is located on the second level of the New Port Mall. With the Republiq showing the way on how it is to really party, all the other bars in Metro Manila are playing catch up. Everyone wants to party in the Republiq. You would not know how to party if you have not partied in Republiq. Its like all roads lead to this bar from midnight to dawn on a Friday night.
If everything else fails to entertain then there is the Casino. I have not actually experience playing in the Casino. I am not into games of chance. I would rather play chess where skill is put to a test and enhanced. Chess does not depend on luck like those games played in the Casino. But just for the experience, I think there is nothing bad betting on some games. Only 21 years old and above are allowed however to enter the Casino in Resorts World.
Resorts World Manila has brought something new in Pasay City. The accompanying airport has further confirmed that Pasay is presently the gateway to the Philippines. With a high-end mall, Villamor in Pasay City has been transformed into something beyond the military. The area has become a tourist spot. It is now the place to be in the Metropolis.