The author considers himself a lover of old houses. The older, the more attractive. Though, he doesn’t claim that he would love to stay on such places as well. He did try, but this is another story for another time.
De Vera family’s ancestral house always come into the author’s mind. It’s located just beside Sorsogon Pilot Elementary School (SPES), along (of course) De Vera street, Brgy. Talisay. Based on some stories, it’s the old house of the family of the late Senator De Vera (elected during the Commonwealth time).
It was last seen fully renovated when it became the Bayview Hotel, perhaps in the 80s. Previously, it was a hospital – thus, SPES teachers would try scaring their pupils about ghosts (of those who died in the hospital) to prevent them from playing inside the compound.
Some also remember it as a warehouse for Coca-Cola products.
When the author was still attending classes in SPES, there were informal settlers living behind the old house. One time, there was a cholera outbreak coming from these informal settlers, and I think 1 child died.
But in the last twenty years, the house turned from worse to worst since nobody was maintaining it. Before Sisang in 1987, one could still remember it’s a 2-story house painted in white (sometimes, it’s called “white house” referring to its paint)
De Vera Family
There’s no available information what really happened to the De Vera family, except that most migrated to Manila. The author did encounter an nformation with a topic about this house; one user, claiming to be a De Vera, asked for any details about his family.
One can find families with such surnames, but the author is not sure if they are related to the family of the late senator.
The author’s parents are a bit familiar with a couple of children of the late senator, but don’t know where they are now or what happened to them.
Based on the recent information (to be confirmed) is that the place was sold to the owner of the Robertson’s Deparment Store and will be demolished soon.
The author took the opportunity to take pictures, inspite of the low quality of his mobile camera, just to ensure that he captures the house before it completely disappears.
Other Old Houses in the City
The city of Sorsogon has very few remaining old houses – one behind the Petron station in Brgy. Cogon-Almendras, near the public cemetary; there’s the old pension house of the Diňo family along Peralta St.; there’s an old house in Brgy. Burabod (taas) in the corner of Burgos St. and Alegre St., which is currently being restored (or renovated).
There’s another old Castillian house in downtown Sorsogon, just behind the Gabarda building, along Rizal street. It’s not obvious to the people passing by since it’s a bit hidden; one can observe it if you are looking from the 2nd floor of Chowking in Plaza Bonifacio.
In downtown Bacon District, there’s this old house that was turned into a funeral home, beside it also an old house. And just another block away, there’s this 2-story hold house also owned by the family a family friend. These, in the author’s observation, are old Castillan houses, perhaps on the turn of the 20th century.
Another old structure is the old post office, now owned by the Go family. From the looks of it, it was built during the American time.
Author’s Point of View
The author dreams of buying the ancestral house of the De Vera family, perhaps, rebuild it to its old grandeur or turn it into a museum or a bed-and-breakfast hotel. The author is aware it will always remain as a dream, but now with Robertson’s (if it’s really true) buying it, those with the same dream and can afford it, will not be able to fulfill their dreams at all.
By writing this article, the author hopes that it can contribute to the awareness of the Sorsoganons and Baconons of the city’s old memories. He’s also hoping that such awareness can be turned into consciousness that will preserve these old structures (just like Juban’s) to be shared with the new generations.