Adventures, Establishments, Hotels, Landmarks, Only in Davao, Places, Strange and Amusing
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Post Halloween Special : Revisiting Durian Hotel

 [Tweet “Ever wonder how it feels like stepping inside a dark, abandoned hotel? Come join me.”]

Durian Hotel in 2013 © Jojie Alcantara

Durian Hotel in 2013 © Jojie Alcantara

Post Halloween Special : Revisiting Durian Hotel
by Jojie Alcantara

When the Asian economic crisis hit the country in 1997, major hotels suffered a breakdown in Davao, and while several struggled and recuperated through the crisis, two hotels didn’t — Durian Hotel and the ambitious Ekran Berhad in Samal.

Durian Hotel in 2013 © Jojie Alcantara

Durian Hotel in 2013 © Jojie Alcantara

Durian Hotel in its time was one of the tallest structures in Davao City at 12 storeys high.  It was prominent, elegant and a prime location at the heart of the city.  Low occupancy because of decreasing tourist arrivals as well as high operational expenses eventually led to its closure by Metrobank.

Me and the gang in the elevator © Jojie Alcantara

Me and the gang in the infamous elevator © Jojie Alcantara

In 2011, after securing a special permit to shoot, we climbed up the rooftop of this old hotel so we can shoot top views of the malls for our photo exhibit.  Rhonson and I were accompanied by Lyn and Liza, my brave buddies since elementary, and Arthur, who confessed to running all the way to the  rooftop through the stairs and closing his eyes in the dark.  He came in late, you see.  It was an opportunity to shoot Victoria Plaza, Davao’s oldest mall, and Abreeza, the latest mall to open that year.  We had to wait for sundown to get the night shots so hanging out at the rooftop was a novelty.

 

Durian Hotel in 2011 © Jojie Alcantara

Durian Hotel in 2011 © Jojie Alcantara

While using the rundown elevator (note the cracks on its glass walls) tops the list of scary rides as it creaked going up, climbing down the stairs with just a guard on duty bearing a flashlight in the dark could well be the creepiest descent ever.

Elevator and its cracked glass in Durian Hotel 2011 © Jojie Alcantara

Elevator and its cracked glass in Durian Hotel 2011 © Jojie Alcantara

In my honest opinion, for those of us who used to frequent the old place, there was nothing to fear inside the premises if you’re familiar with it.  The kind guard told us they have ready made rooms for inspection by potential investors and were always ready for sudden visits.

Lobby of Durian Hotel in 2011 © Jojie Alcantara

Lobby of Durian Hotel in 2011 © Jojie Alcantara

The elevator has its usual routinary checkups (which spurred youtube video sightings claiming it was haunted and operates by itself).  Being a “sensitive”,  I didn’t feel spooked during my stay, and so did my buddies.

Heroes Bar and its empty pool on top floor of Durian Hotel © Jojie Alcantara

Heroes Bar and its empty pool on top floor of Durian Hotel © Jojie Alcantara

I am posting this album to bring nostalgia to those who used to hang out for coffee or dining,  or work here.  Hopefully in the near future, the investors of the new and refurbished hotel will bring back to life a once wonderful landmark in Davao.

Me and Rhonson at the rooftop

Me and Rhonson at the rooftop

 

Shooting Abreeza Mall at sundown from the rooftop of Durian Hotel

Shooting Abreeza Mall at sundown from the rooftop of Durian Hotel

There is no 13th floor so this becomes the 14th floor

There is no 13th floor so this becomes the 14th floor

Following the kind guard on duty

Following the kind guard on duty

Going down a dark flight of stairs from the rooftop to the ground floor

Going down a dark flight of stairs from the rooftop to the ground floor

There is just one light on this floor

There is just one light on this floor

View of Victoria Plaza Mall from the rooftop of Durian Hotel

View of Victoria Plaza Mall from the rooftop of Durian Hotel

Shooting Abreeza at sunset from Durian Hotel rooftop

Shooting Abreeza at sunset from Durian Hotel rooftop

Filed under: Adventures, Establishments, Hotels, Landmarks, Only in Davao, Places, Strange and Amusing

by

The author is a multi-awarded photographer, journalist, and artist whose works are featured in tourism campaigns (It's More Fun in the Philippines), covers and spreads of books and international magazines. A long time columnist of SunStar Davao, she is a frequent traveler in search of inspirational heartwarming stories of human interest. She is also an  influencer and motivational speaker who gives photography workshops in universities and organizations. A former TV personality, she has done several print and TV commercials, event hosting and speaking engagements. In 2013, she has received an award from the City Government of Davao for her significant contribution in the social media. She was one of the speakers in Photo World Asia 2017.  A web designer/blogger since the 90s, she has seen the evolution of the internet and social media transition from the perspective of a traditional media person.

1 Comment

  1. JM Cueme says

    Hello ate actually I look at hotel but theres no guard who watching the hotel how can we get permit to take picture. I’m a traceur and we want to take the hotel as our spot and also take some pictures give me some guide.Also add me on fb JM Cueme

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