Saturday, 21 September 2013

Demolition of the Lavezares House

By: Paolo M. Bustamante

Before going to school, hurriedly went to Manila because Mr. Ivan Dy posted a photo in our Facebook groups of a bahay-na-bato house that being demolished somewhere in San Nicolas-Binodo area. It is located at Lavesarez St. Cor. Barcelona. Anyway, I went straight to San Nicolas, but thanks to my dyslexia I got lost. I kept on asking people where the Leveriza St. is. No one knew what I was talking about and for an hour, I was just circling the area of Recto.

After an hour of searching, I finally found the house. I was in shock of what I saw. I immediately grabbed my camera and started taking pictures of the house. I also asked permission if I could also go inside the house and take some pictures of the interior. Thankfully, the construction workers were so nice to let me in. They toured me around the house, but honestly, there was nothing left to see. The inside was torn down.

I don't know this house was built, but they said that this house was built in the late 19th century. (I'm not sure though.) I also noticed that there is a historical marker at the side of the house.

Anyway, I talked to Mang Magdaleno. He is part of the demolition team. He told me that the demolition started two weeks ago and what I saw is all that is left. He told me that the owners are planning to convert the lot into a parking lot. UGH!  He also said that they are starting to demolish the back part of the house.

Since they have no clue on who the owners are, I'll dub this house, the  Lavesarez House because it is in Lavesarez St. DUH! Anyway, going back... Mang Magdaleno told me to visit again tomorrow because that is where the actual demolition begins.

After asking him questions, I had a "selfie" with him. Afterwards, I started voguing inside the house because that might be the last time I will be seeing the Lavesares House. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the National Historic Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) will put a stop to this madness.

According to the Heritage Conservation Society, the NHCP knows that this house is being demolished and the new owner of the lot is W.Cham, a Project Director of a certain company. I doubt that this house will still be saved even if it survived the WW2.

I see a lot of problems in Manila everyday, and this is one of them. Manila has lost a huge number of heritage houses and buildings since 2001 and I think someone has to speak up about that. But right now in my own little way, through my blog, I am trying to do my part in saving what is left of this house.


  1. Personally, people are quite ignorant these days thinking about prime lots, nonsense edifices, and disregarding heritage in midst of modernity. Worse, they reduce heritage into old churches, intramuros, and old structures in the provinces; or perhaps letting it rot and eventually be demolished in pursuit of bragging to the world that the Philippines is developing, growing, or any other shit guised as gold statements to brag on.

  2. Well done. Maybe one day, when Manileños are more responsible, the building can be restored using these photos you've captured.

  3. Sad they have to do that. In San Francisco I was surprised that a turn of the century building is actually a parking lot. They retained the shell and made use of it. Sad they've done that but better than to be demolished I say.