It’s a little too late. Casa Alberto has already been gutted from the inside. I’m not surprised that it collapsed. The house that caved in was just the exterior shell. The owner who sold the house, piece by piece, must be welcoming this development.
The heir of the house has expressed willingness to have the house rented out to government in the past. The guy claims that he also sought the assistance of the local government before he entertained the idea of selling it. He got none — of course. He must’ve grown tired waiting for help and just went ahead with his other option.
Casa Alberto’s foundations has been uprooted, along with its floors, beams and other structural components. These were moved to a Bataan resort. It’s strange to think that there’s actually two Casa Alberto today, one in Biñan, the other in Bataan — are we even trying to save the real house here?
I feel it’s meaningless to save it now that it lies in shambles. Even if by some miraculous hand an order to save it comes – how in the world are we going to restore it back to its original? Buy back the pieces that was sold to Acuzar in Bataan?
If money was issue then, just imagine how much we’ll have to raise today to bring the house back.
Biñan’s local government failed to realize the potential of conserving this house. They have decades to figure it out and make their proposals. There’s the question of monetary compensation that was never reached or even substantially discussed between the private owner and the LGU.
Heritage conservation can be very expensive for local governments. Again, not all descendants would be willing to just give their ancestral houses for conservation and educational use, the question is how much are we willing to pay?
There’s also the lack of heritage management planning and promotion. With all the Antillean houses in Biñan and its history, how come no one ever came up with an effective program to promote this historic town’s heritage?
If Biñense’s are aware of Casa Alberto’s historical value, they would all rise and disallow plans to have it taken down. They’ll definitely hold someone accountable. And there’s nothing more frightening to politicians than losing elections – but with the exception of some local heritage groups, clamor to save this house has been relatively quiet.
One thing I know, and this needs no promoting: Biñan’s notoriety for being a political hotspot during local elections.
And, of course, Puto Viñang – baka naman pati ‘eto mawala na din d’yan? ‘wag naman.
Casa Alberto holds the record of having the most artictle in this site. I wrote about it here, here, here and here. How I wish that its still there but that’s not going to happen. In a way it’s there but it’s not. That’s just the skin, the body has long been taken away. It’s just a matter of time before it completely collapse. Nothing makes me sadder than seeing these beautiful houses go.