By JUNAVIC OBISPO
Baguio City — Reinaldo Bautista Jr. confirmed during the weekly Ugnayang Panlungsod last April 16, 2009 that they will not change the original style of the Casa Vallejo which is located at the Upper Session Road.
HEAR! HEAR! If Casa Vallejo (built in 1910) can only speak, it will definitely speak for its restoration, continued life, service to the community as a historical land mark. Photo by Junavic L. Obispo/nordis.net
Bautista believes that the Casa Vallejo should be preserved because it is one of the historical sites in Baguio and it has a high sentimental value to the people. “We will just restore it for the people of Baguio,” said Mayor Bautista.
Casa Vallejo was built before 1910. It served as a German prisoners of war (POW) detention center in 1917; a hotel in 1923; and a British and Indian refugee center in the 1940s.
It is not only one of the favorite destination of ghost hunters but it was also one of the structures that survived the American carpet bombing during World War II in 1941.
The left wing is now being used by Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) regional office, the present owner of the property, but the rest of the former hotel building is abandoned.
One of the security guards of Casa Vallejo said during an interview that last week DENR officials and Ramon Bagatsing went there and talked about the bidding. “Oo, irerestore ito (Casa Vallejo). Pinag-usapan na nila ang bidding last week. Pero di ako sigurado kung kailan sisimulan ang restoration, (Yes, they will restore it. They came here last week to talk about the bidding. But, I’m not sure when will they start the restoration),” said the guard.
Many people of Baguio believe that the Casa Vallejo should be preserved because it is part of the artifacts of the rich history of the city. # nordis.net