By: Paolo M. Bustamante
Whenever I go to school I always make sure that I never go to class late, good thing I have a skilled driver who has a wide knowledge about the streets of Manila. When we go to school we always pass by the streets of Leon Guinto, Arellano and Pablo Ocampo (formerly known as Vito Cruz) and as we pass by these streets, I see old beautiful houses that are well maintained and still in good shape.
Yesterday, I visited that area and I covered 4 beautiful houses. The first one was the Becky's Kitchen near the De La Salle- College of St. Benilde School of Design and Arts Building along Pablo Ocampo.
I talked to the shopkeeper of Becky's Kitchen said that the place used to be a house. Kudos to the owners of Becky's Kitchen for not demolishing the house. Becky's Kitchen is a prime example of adaptive reuse wherein instead of demolishing the heritage building you re-use it.
Adjacent to Becky's Kitchen is a beautiful pinkish house with perfectly detailed metal embroidery. The roof of the house reminded me of the house of Emilio Aguinaldo in Cavite the one with the spiky roof… too bad the only thing that is unsightly about the house was the air-con. I am not that sure what decade or era this house was built, but I am guessing the house was built during the 40's. Totally not sure.
Few meters away from the pink house is the Cabadillo house. I swear whenever I am near that house my aura has never been greener. I always pass by that house whenever I go to the Solomon Guest house to eat my lunch.
The Cabadillo house is quite big compared to the other houses around that area. My friend told me that the house is now a dormitory -- another example of adaptive reuse.
The last house that I visited near the De La Salle- Collge of St. Benilde, ACKICK hotel is another spectacular place.
As you can see by the details of the house -- from the grillwork on the windows to the details on its shed and its overall facade --- that it is truly antique. It is the type of structure that has aged gracefully over the years.