By: Paolo M. Bustamante
Along the streets of Sampaloc lies numerous pre-war ancestral houses and one of them is the Reyes House. It was a regular day for me. I was listening to my ipod until i saw a house that is up for sale. Good thing I had my camera with me so I made a quick stop at the Reyes House. When I went there I pretended to be an interested buyer and I am planning to buy the house for my mom, well as if! I'm only 18. Who will ever believe that I have 10 million in my bank account. I told my driver to just ride along with me. Good thing my driver goes to sampaloc every time there is a fiesta that's why he knows everyone in Sampaloc including the owner of the Tuazon Compound and the caretaker of the Reyes Mansion. Because of my driver I was allowed to take pictures and to roam around inside the Mansion. Ill be saving my con-artistry some other time.
The Reyes Mansion was untouched by WWII and was built during the 1930's same decade when the Ocampo Pagoda Mansion was built. It is located in Dr. Aguila St. close to San Sebastian Church and National Teachers College. It's original proprietor was Mr. Narcisco Reyes. They Reyes' were one of the richest families in Sampaloc, Manila next to the Tuasons but as decades pass, the Reyes' went abroad but some stayed in the metropolis in search for a better living leaving the house to the caretakers. His children cannot maintain the house anymore that's why they agreed on selling it. It is a mix of Mexican and Spanish-Filipino style.
There are five caretakers who lives here and they really make sure that this house is safe from unwanted people such as informal settlers. Just to make sure, they each have five very wild and rabid dogs, four in front and one at the back of the house. They told me that there is already a buyer but i was relieved when they told me that buyers will still recognize it as the Reyes Mansion and that they wont demolish the place, just refurnish it.