Heritage Sites

Historic Cebu Mansion Demolished Two Years Shy Of Its Centennial Anniversary


Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Jun 22, 2017

Oslob has been quite the tourist attraction as of late, with the whale shark-watching being one of the most popular destinations. However, as with many tourist attractions in the Philippines, it is not without controversy: many animal rights activists say that keeping the whales away from their natural environment may cause them harm

Recently, however, more news have come to light, this time regarding one of Oslob’s oldest mansions.

The Bonpua Mansion was first built in 1919 by Don José Tio Bonpua Sr., a migrant from Fujian who had attended the Ateneo de Manila, had married a woman by the name of Doña Gregoria Lucero y Sabandal, and decided to settled down in Oslob, Cebu. Don José was a successful copra trader, and his flourishing business allowed him to build such an impressive abode. The house has been passed down to successive generations within the Bonpua clan, but due to unknown circumstances, was sold to a private corporation, and was eventually demolished to make use of the land it stood on.

The home's beautiful facade.

Below is a partial statement of Christian J. Bonpua, curator of Cebu’s Jesuit House Museum, as well as a direct descendant of the house’s original founder, Don José Tio Bonpua Sr.:

"...The house was turned into The Museum of the Sacred Art by Dr José Bonpua, Jr., son of Jose, Sr., and Gregoria. The house was sold under questionable circumstances and is now under the hands of the new owner who commenced with the demolition. Oslob Mayor José D. Tumulak halted the demolition citing [municipal] resolution NO108-S14 but then the demolition proceeded. The resolution clearly states that 'one of the primary duties of the Local Government of Oslob is [to] declare heritage sites and to protect, maintain, and preserve the same.'"
The house is a witness to the growth of Philippine nationalism having hosted several nationalists (Sen MJ Cuenco; Sergio Osmeña Jr., VP Pelaez) and three presidents (Magsaysay, VP Garcia, Macapagal)."

The many prominent individuals who have graced the home.

The demolition of such a historic landmark is truly unfortunate, but is also a stark reminder that a developing country like the Philippines should not forego its rich culture and heritage all for the sake of “commercialization.”

What are your thoughts regarding the demolition of this historic Cebuano landmark? Share it down in the comments below, or write about your opinions here on www.ChoosePhilippines.com!

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