Monday, January 14, 2013

The Girls Who Died in the Fire Didn't Register so They Remained Nameless

Interesting analysis from a former guest of Dryden's Hotel Subic regarding the layout and design of the building and his thoughts as to why the girls who died have remained nameless:

dryden hotel final

In the wake of the fatal fire at Dryden Hotel in Barrio Barretto, Olongapo, I’ve decided to post a review on my last 2 night stay in the Dryden Hotel from a year ago.  My review will shed some insight on the layout.
Last year a few friends and I stayed at Dryden Hotel because, well, of me being cheap and I made online reservations.  Of course they pictures looked really good.  For a 1000 pesos a night? You can’t go wrong!  So what the hell, I paid a hundred extra for the room with a balcony and ocean view.  I’ll get to the rooms later.
Upon arriving at the Hotel, you actually enter thru the Rum Jungle Bar front doors.  So the security guards will always stop you and say, “sir we’re close”!
After explaining that you have hotel reservations you’ll be directed to the bar and they will check you in.  They will ask for your passport or ID to check in.  However, they do not ask for your nightly guest IDs.  That’s where they had a hard time finding out the identifications of the Filipinas that were found after the blaze.
Just to get upstairs you need to the left side of the bar and past the Mens CR and thru another set of doorways and finally to the back room where the stairwell is located.  It’s in this back room where they had a lot of shit stored away.  Chairs were stacked up against the wall and on top of one another.  It looked pretty dingy back there.

dryden hotel 3
Picture taken from GMA, showing the padlocked door leading to the girls dormitory what use to be the old Upper lips Bar.
At the top of the stairwell you will see wall to wall carpeting on the second floor hallway, and it was nasty.  On the far left there was a gate that was padlocked. That led to the old upper lips bar which is closed and now serves as a dormitory for the Dryden Group Girls.  Directly to my right was a big black stain on the carpet.  God knows what that was from.  Someone dropped a big black load I suppose.  There were a 3 or 4 rooms on the left and right side of the hallway, and a  dining table set with a window so you can view the traffic below.
Now my room was the best they had, which was is sad because it was bad.  I had the balcony room which is down the hall and last room on the right.  It has a balcony where I could easily jump off from if need be.

dryden hotel
That’s my old room with the balcony.
After looking at my room I had to compare the room my other friends got.  I liked their rooms more than mine.

dryden hotel 2
Arrows from left to right.   1. my room balcony   
2. end of hallway window   3.  fire escape / balcony
After that I checked out the extra balcony that wasn’t locked and served (I guess) as the fire escape.  I opened it up and took a look below.  Not sure if I saw a ladder.  If there was a foldable ladder there is was certainly not fully extended to the ground below.  Some guy would climb up in the middle of the night and rob us blind.
At first when reading the news reports I could not understand how a concrete building can burn.  Well, the supports for the roof is all wood which is flammable.  So that answers that.
Of course this is going to be based on hindsight.  But I just wish there was a higher standard of building codes when it comes to fire safety, and safety in general.  It really doesn’t help when the local Fire Department is ill-equipped.
It is sad what happened.  But I hope everyone can move on and take measures so that this doesn’t happen again.

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