Casa Real de Iloilo . IN CELEBRATION OF THE FORTH COMING Philippine Independence Day. The last independence day was celebrated in the historic town of Sta. Barbara and Iloilo City for the first time outside Manila.The building served as the first Philippine Independence Day vin d’ honneur outside of Malacañang Palace. I feature the photos of the building I took when it was opened to the public for the first time after restoration.
Known to Ilonggos in its Spanish name Casa Real, it was a structure made of wood and stone during the Spanish period. On April 11, 1901, it became the Capitolyo de Iloilo, the most important city outside of Manila at that time.
Iloilo known as the last bastion of the Spanish empire in Asia, the revolutionary Martin Delgado was the first governor in 1901 to 1904. By which time the Americans already occupied Iloilo. The
Japanese took over the building from 1942 to 1945 during world War II. It was repaired in 1960’s after it was burned down. It became the center of governance from 1901 to 2010 until the province build behind it a modern and state-of-an-art-building as the new capitol.
Casa Real is a heritage structure as a witness to the glorious past of the Province of Ioilo. It is a symbol of its vibrant present, fortified unity and cooperation for the common good. It was restored under the National Historical Commission of the Philippines by the
Provincial Government of Iloilo as inaugurated on June 12, 2015 by His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Republic of the Philippines along with Hon. Arthur Defensor, Sr., Governor of Iloilo.
As written in Business World July 15. 2014
The restoration of Casa Real, declared as a heritage structure by the National Historical Commission in 2010, cost P51 million. The building had its soft opening on May 29, and the Girl Scout of the Philippines was the first to use it during its National Convention on May 30.
The building also served as the venue for this year’s June 12 Philippine Independence Day vin d’ honneur led by Pres. Benigno S. C. Aquino III.
Dr. Raul N. Banias, provincial administrator, said the recommendation for the structure’s use as an income-generating facility will soon be presented to Governor Arthur D. Defensor, Sr. and submitted for approval to the provincial board.
“Many are already applying to use the building. Several private organizations, medical organizations and local government units have eyed the building as venue for their events,” said Mr. Banias.
“Upon the turnover by the contractor to the Provincial Engineer’s Office, we will then define the user’s fee for function halls as well as the whole building,” he added.
The ground floor is being eyed for a library and tourism offices while the second floor will house function halls for seminars, meetings, conferences and formal events.
The biggest function room can accommodate 200 people while a small room can accommodate up to 100.
Casa Real was constructed in the mid-1800s and was used as the seat of the provincial government beginning 1901.
During the Second World War, it served as a garrison for the Japanese.
Parts of the building were destroyed in a fire in 1998.
Architect Guillermo H. Hisancha, who led the restoration work, said the historical building was brought back “to its old form with a touch of new technology.”
“We removed the elements and moldings that do not conform to the character of the building. We also injected the new technology by putting air conditioning,” he said.