The historic Casa Real de Iloilo will be have a soft opening today in preparation for major events in the days ahead.
|Image Credits: Cindy Darling Ferrer|
Also known as the original Provincial Capitol of Iloilo, Casa Real went into major restoration which started in 2012 as initiated by Iloilo provincial government led by Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.
The restoration was undertaken in three phases, with a total project cost of P51 million.
The old seat of provincial government will host the traditional June 12 vin d’honneur, the first time in Aquino’s administration for the celebration to be held outside Malacañang. President Aquino will welcome and greet the members of the diplomatic corps after the Independence day rites in Sta. Barbara.
The President will also lead the unveiling of the marker of the Casa Real during the vin d’ honneur celebration.
Aside from the vin d’honneur, Girl Scouts of the Philippines will be holding its 23rd National Council Convention in the Casa Real.
Provincial Administrator Raul Banias said that after the inauguration on June 12, the old capitol will be open to the public for social functions, special events, with users’ fee, as a revenue generating facility for the provincial government.
The old capitol became the seat of the civil government of Iloilo in 1901 led by Gen. Martin Delgado, revolutionary hero and Iloilo’s first Filipino governor.
During World War II, it was used as a garrison by the Japanese forces. In November 1998, fire gutted more than half of the old capitol which led to the construction of the new capitol behind it.
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines declared the old capitol a National Historical Site in April 2010.