The Bayanihan Hotel that once became the headquarters of the horrendous Kempeitai during World War II in Baguio has been declared hazardous to still hold the famous ukay-ukay in the city.
The place became popular to residents and tourists for its ukay-ukay and wag-wag destinations, where sellers offer cheaper branded clothes, shoes, and bags.
On September 27, the 160 tenants have already received the eviction notices. Architect Johnny Degay, who is also the building officer, said it is no longer stable for occupancy.
Government engineers even added that its interior is fragile and the wooden floors have started collapsing.
The historic building
Bayanihan hotel was a cold storage or a refrigerated warehouse of the Aussies before it became the headquarters of the Japanese military police Kempeitai, who were targeting suspected Filipino guerillas.
It was rebuilt in the 1950s and then served as a hotel. However, according to Degay, the structure is still considered to be one of heritage monuments of Baguio, hence even the government wants to preserve it.
On the other hand, there have been some ownership disputes happening, thus there were some issues in rebuilding the structure.
Lawyer Marisa Dacayanan, the building administrator, mentioned that the ownership dispute is the reason why the management fails to have the required permits to fulfill Baguio’s requirements for the building.
Although, Degay said the owners could demolish and then restore Bayanihan Hotel without destroying its facade, which is still in good condition.
In 2011, the building was already closed since there were fire code violations, however Degay added that its owners seemed not have done anything to secure the building.