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On the Spot: Carlos Celdran
One of Manila’s best ambassadors on our 439-year-old city, hotels mired in scandal, his alleged hate for all things American or Catholic, and the question everybody asks him.
Published on: Jun 23, 2010 - 9:23am
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Carlos and wife Tesa Celdran
Carlos and wife Tesa Celdran

Why is Manila as good as any of the best cities in the world?

Manila's history at crossroads between the east and west makes our culture and history completely unique. We were postmodern before it was even cool. The people are friendly, charming, creative, intelligent, and an absolute reflection of our tumultuous yet multi-faceted past. The Manila Bay sunset and Intramuros are also one of a kind. No other city in South East Asia can claim anything as close.

What's your final word on the following?

Gilbert Teodoro: Kindly run for senate in 2013. Then work for Charter Change.

Noynoy Aquino: Please don't screw up. Please stop listening to Kris, and please remove Mayor Lim's hideous statues of your parents from Roxas Boulevard and Burgos Drive. They're blocking the view of Intramuros.

Kris Aquino: Stick to showbiz. Political consultancy is way out of your league.

Boy Abunda as Department of Tourism (DOT) secretary: Just as insane an idea as having Carlos Celdran as DOT Secretary. Emily Abrera, FTW!

Imelda Marcos: Sheeee's baaaaack. And with a vengeance. Well, whether you like her or despise her, you can't ignore her and what she contributed to Philippine society back in the mid-—70s. I wouldn't change the channel on her just yet. The fat lady is still singing.

The Church: Stop meddling in things you don't know about. Namely: sex.

The Reproductive Health Bill: I hope it will be filed as House Bill #1. Moreover, I hope it becomes Passed Bill #1 as well.

Your sexuality: Why does everyone ask me this question? Am I the only openly bisexual person in the world? Jeez. Cary Grant, Marlon Brando, David Bowie, Lady Gaga, Drew Barrymore, and [a very popular Filipino matinee idol] are all bisexuals. Wait. Hold off on the last one. Not quite sure about that one actually.

What made you marry your wife? Once you meet her, you would realize why nobody would ever let someone like her get away. It was her decision to marry an idiot like me as well. Perhaps the better question would be: "What the hell made your wife marry someone like you?"


Photos from Carlos Celdran's Facebook.


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22 Comments
  • Michael Bluth
    I pass Intramuros, the National Post Office Building, the Manila City Hall, and Luneta literally every weekday. Pano makasama sa mga tour ni Carlos Celdran?
    Jan 28 2013 @ 06:59pm     Reply  
  • doc pogi 14
    Keep up the good work Carlos. Im one with you with regards to your stance on the RH bill. Melinda Fernandes is spot on on our ignorant CBCP. Very narrow minded. When will they really involve themselves in helping our country. Can't see what they are doing aside from interfering with politics. Idiots.
    Nov 28 2010 @ 04:10pm     Reply  
  • Melinda Fernandez
    I applaud you Carlos Celdran for standing for what you believe in! I don't know why the church insists on having things done their way.... DO THEY PROVIDE HOMES AND DO THEY HAVE FEEDING CENTERS IN ALL THEIR PARISHES TO FEED THE STREET CHILDREN WHO ARE PRODUCTS OF UNWANTED PREGNANCIES? DO THEY PROVIDE SCHOLARSHIPS TO PROPERLY EDUCATE THESE CHILDREN????? ENOUGH OF THIS HYPOCRISY!!! THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS SO MUCH MONEY SO START SPENDING THIS TO BENEFIT MILLIONS OF UNWANTED CHILDREN!
    Oct 01 2010 @ 06:52pm     Reply  
    1
  • carlos celdran
    Jaime.

    Nope. I'm OK with the amount of work I have now.

    We're very OK with each other too, eh? The DOT and I are mutual fans. Really admire what the DOT has done these past years.
    Jun 29 2010 @ 09:54am     Reply  
  • Jaime Blanch
    Did you ever think of hooking up with the ministry of toursim or travel agents that can help promote your tours.
    Break a leg
    Jun 27 2010 @ 10:14pm     Reply  
  • batoush
    Hola igeramos! ditto! how about the antoriums?
    Jun 26 2010 @ 11:51pm     Reply  
  • El Indio
    VIVA CELDRAN!
    Jun 26 2010 @ 02:08pm     Reply  
  • igeramos
    hello batoush. I have very fond memories of Aurora Gardens. This is where I bought my first vanda and catleya.
    Jun 26 2010 @ 08:22am     Reply  
  • batoush
    @carlos i guess i'm one of the lucky ones who dodged the police's stings. you'd probably have a ball (or two) had you ventured that area. sayang!

    @hotdog inggit ka lang, kasi ikaw yata yung nahuli dun.

    hello igeramos
    Jun 25 2010 @ 01:46pm     Reply  
  • carlos
    Ha ha. Thanks. Who knows. I probably already am.

    Second comment above was for Ige Ramos pala. Not for you.

    Oops.
    Jun 25 2010 @ 01:38pm     Reply  
  • PlanetOut
    You should be in Spartacus not in spot.
    Jun 25 2010 @ 01:27pm     Reply  
  • carlos
    Planetout. Really? The only coo guys I knew who sashayed in NY and RI, were sashaying it up in Manila too.

    Unless there are other coo guys out there who were in NY and RI that I haven't heard of yet?

    :o)

    And No. You are not nuts. Unless I'm nuts too.

    Wait. Oh dear.
    Jun 25 2010 @ 01:21am     Reply  
  • igeramos
    Because urban planning is not part of the government's agenda. Manila is really an *gly city. It has no sense of beauty and aesthetics. It's a very aggressive city, unfriendly to pedestrians and the disabled, the traffic is horrendous, and too many informal settlers living in the streets. Not enough public transport. But I still love it. Am I nuts or what?
    Jun 25 2010 @ 12:05am     Reply  
  • barbie
    granted, it's steeped in history. but manila still has to do something about the filth. i've been travelling thru it for almost 40 years and work there now and it's amazing that quiapo and its environs, roxas blvd and malate haven't changed that much. the same dilapidated buildings, filthy streets reeking of urine and dog dump. ugh! and those street lamps! can anybody do something about them? they're so *gly, most of them don't function at all. and why the different *gly designs?
    Jun 24 2010 @ 03:27pm     Reply  
  • igeramos
    A toast to the city we love, no matter how baho, filthy and polluted. But we still love her, we never left and still work and live here. Because our friends are here. We share a collective memory, which we friends can only fathom and understand why we persist living in this city. Manila, our Manila, she's been raped several times by different leaders and mayors. Treated like an ageing prostitute, because she looks better at night than during the day. This is the city where I was born. I will never leave you, Manila. Carlos, the Pan Piper of the indifferent burgis, keep up the good work. Keep converting them on how to see Manila differently.
    Jun 24 2010 @ 11:12am     Reply  
  • maricel
    Bravo, CArlos! YOu are truly one of a kind : )
    Jun 24 2010 @ 10:40am     Reply  
  • PlanetOut
    I also heard of bisexual Conios who can't come out in Manila sashaying in the bars of Rhode Island and New York City.
    Jun 24 2010 @ 10:08am     Reply  
  • Hotdog
    Hahahahaha behbutinga!
    Jun 24 2010 @ 07:42am     Reply  
  • carlos
    Batoush. Nope. Never been to the Chocolate Hills at night but I'll take your word for it that it's fun.

    I have however heard of poor students and other guys becoming victims of stings and raids by police there and getting mulcted for money. Hope you were never one of those guys.
    Jun 24 2010 @ 07:32am     Reply  
  • batoush
    me too, been exploring the walls of intramuros, and the adjacent "chocolate hills" you should have seen what was happening there at night in the old days, may be carlos had fun there too
    Jun 24 2010 @ 02:01am     Reply  
  • Tita Aida
    Bravo Carlos. I asked a lot of my friends to join your tour and they already did. My Mexican friend was amazed with Manila/Mexico historical connection. Next batch will be the Brits and the Dutch. They are coming soon.

    My advice to them is always look for the best that Manila can offer with a sliver of history (like Intramuros and Corregidor). Don't look at the *gly faces of Manila. When you travel to NYC, do you look for Bronx? When you are in the streets of San Francisco, do you walk around the Tenderloin or Oakland areas at night? When you are in LA, do you stroll around South Central?

    More power to you.
    Jun 23 2010 @ 11:24am     Reply  
  • carlos
    Oh really? I wasn't allowed to say Manila Peninsula or Piolo Pascual?

    Just kidding.
    Jun 23 2010 @ 11:19am     Reply  
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