Coconut Palace, Manila, Philippines

Of all of Imelda’s wacky schemes, this one may be the wackiest. Hearing that Pope John Paul II was planning a visit to his flock in the Philippines, Imelda ordered that a grand palace be built. Huge teams of craftsmen laboured overtime to complete this edifice in time for the pontiff’s arrival.

As Imelda readied herself to throw open the door to welcome the pope, she got stiffed. After sternly chastising that the US$37 million cost could have gone to better uses, such as clean water for the people, the pope went elsewhere. Today the palace is rented for wedding parties, but you needn’t get hitched to enjoy the place; tours of the palace are available. Among other details, reverential attendants explain that on opening night, Brooke got pineapple-fibre sheets for her room while the ever-tanned George snuggled into banana-fibre sheets.

Visit Philippines. Epic Philippines Adventure Route © All Rights Reserved | Monika & Simon Newbound 2017

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