Ever heard of it? It is right along Shaw Boulevard near Cherry’s Foodarama. A 3-storey 50+ year old Mansion sitting on a 6,000 square meter prime lot in Mandaluyong.  The heritage house used to be the residence of the illustrous Laurel Family, which includes a former President (Jose , 1943-1945) and a former Vice President (Salvador, or “Doy” to many, 1986-1992).

In those days, this palatial house and lawn must have been one of the grandest in the entire metropolis. I’ve seen some in the Malate and Ermita areas, and a number too in the New Manila Area and San Juan. But I like the layout of this white house sitting right in the middle of a very spacious lawn complete with a wooden bridge over a pond, surrounded by old balete and royal palm trees.

For a while,  the house looked destined to ruin as the gardens needed trimming and the house demanded a fresh coat of paint.  It was even reported that the ceiling was about to collapse on the dirty tiles and flooring.  For some 7 years, the house went unoccupied.  Then Senator Manny Villar bought the house from the Laurels and converted it into the Nacionalista Party Headquarters. Some sprucing up here and there, but the architecture, the layout , the garden fountain and pond were all retained by the new owners. Not one tree removed or even moved, thank God! The history and dignity of the house was retained. And that includes the 2 markers found in the house.   The first notes the date when the Laurel patriarch built the property in 1957. The second commemorates the visit of Indonesian President Sukarno, who twice slept at the mansion.

You bet the once-hallowed grounds became real busy back in 2010; but of late, it is almost sad passing by this former residence poorly lighted at night. Not much activity these days, except for a few charity events and political affairs. 

Mea culpa. A Bad Shot, but it's my only night shot of the garden.

No, the property is not open to the public. But who knows, you may get invited to some affairs still held in these grounds.

The house used to be called Villa Paciencia.  And yes, that is how it is spelled, in honor of the late President’s wife, Paciencia Hidalgo. It is one of the three residences that Laurel built. There is  a house in Tanauan, which the Laurels consider their ancestral home, and another in Paco, Manila, called the Villa Peñafrancia.