Im arcie from lingayen, the last time i saw the casa real it was really flooded, the municipal govt should plan on restoring this historical edifice. the building, as i my grandparents told me, was the home of the governor or the alcalde mayor of the encomienda of lingayen during the spanish regime. there is this ruin situated along avenida rizal west at the corner of Pangapisan sur, folks told me it was the Colegio del Sanctissimo Rosario that was run by the dominicans before the war and was leased by the columban sisters before the archbishop of lingayen donated the ruins of his former palacio?, and also i would like to request if there are any available pictures of the Lingayen Cathedral and Palacio de Arzopisbo circa 1900. i think the church need to restore the antiquity of the cathedral. i disagree with the idea of building a shopping center replacing the walls of the old archbishop’s palace now housing the st columbans college.also should the municipal govt restore these historical sites, they should include the old houses along avenida rizal west.thanks and more historical sites to preserve.
Hi Arcie! Pangasinan Heritage Society, Inc. has been working on the restoration of the Casa Real since Yr2000. We’re about to get our wish cuz Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr would soon restore it. He’s one rare gov’t official who loves our heritage and history. We have also the history of the Colegio del Santissimo Rosario and other old buildings and houses in Lingayen. May we invite you to be a member of our org?
from the cast chronicle, the official student publication of pangasinan state university. we would like to feature the history and restoration of casa real. could we get the brief history of this heritage building and data of its restoration. thank you.
In the 1840s, during the Spanish colonial period, a building that served as the provincial seat of government was constructed in Lingayen, the capital town of Pangasinan. It was called CASA REAL. It literally means a royal house where the “Alcalde Mayor” resided and held office as the Provincial Governor and the Judge of the Court of First Instance.
CASA REAL was one of the early public edifices in the country to be constructed of brick or stone masonry. Built next to the Carcel or the provincial jail, it is located near the Agno River, the biggest river in Pangasinan. It is a two-story structure with a floor area of 1,728 sqm. The still intact (as of 2008) adobe walls, ornate ceilings, the staircase of piedra china steps and wooden balustrades that lead up to the hardwood planks of the second floor are all mute witnesses to the history of the town as well as of the province from the Spanish times to the present.
It was later referred to as Gobierno in 1886 because the position of Gobernador Civil was created to perform the executive function of the Alcalde Mayor and the latter went on to retain his judicial function only, henceforth being the Judge of the Court of First Instance.
During the revolutionary war against Spanish rule, the Spanish soldiers and the Voluntarios Locales (native recruits of the Spaniards who fought the Katipuneros) holed out at the CASA REAL. On June 29, 1898, the Pangasinan Katipuneros from Alaminos, Sual, Labrador, Lingayen, Aguilar, Binmaley and Bugallon planned to capture Lingayen by taking CASA REAL. They stealthily converged under cover of darkness in Brgy. Domalandan and crossed the river close to the back of the building to the Baraca St. nearby but were detected prematurely and got massacred. This street is now named Heroes St.
On February 16, 1901 Judge William Howard Taft and his three commissioners formally organized Pangasinan as a civil province in a national assembly held in Dagupan that drew 367 delegates from all over the province. One of the issues discussed was the capital town, whether to retain Lingayen as such or move it to Dagupan, a fast-budding commercial center. The delegates chose Lingayen because of the existence of provincial buildings there, foremost of which is CASA REAL that can continue to be used as the provincial seat of government.
The following day, Judge Taft and Commissioners Dean Worcester, Luke Wright and Bernard Moses went to Lingayen and were feted with a grand reception in CASA REAL. Henceforth, the building was referred to as the CAPITOL, the same name for the building in Washington, D.C.
This Capitol building was the venue of an Exposition in February 1910. It was a very big occasion in Lingayen that attracted many people in Pangasinan and other provinces. Some old people now think it was a carnival because their parents regaled them with stories of seeing wild animals like lions, tigers and elephants for the first time.
In 1918, the present Capitol building was constructed under the administration of Gov. Daniel Maramba at the famous Lingayen beach. The provincial offices moved there in 1919 and the vacated CASA REAL was used as a public elementary school for about three to four years before it became the JUZGADO that housed the only Regional Trial Court in the whole province of Pangasinan. (It was only in the 1960s that other RTC branches set up branches in other towns.)
During the Japanese occupation the Japanese used the CASA REAL building as their office. After the war, when the new Capitol building needed extensive repair because of damage inflicted by the American naval bombardment, the provincial offices had to move back to the Juzgado until the repair work was done.
The old building – the Casa Real, Gobierno, Capitol, Juzgado – survived several earthquakes and the bombings of WWII. It was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute in 2002, with 95% of its original materials then intact. But in 2008 super typhoon Cosme ripped off a part of its roof and the open structure allowed thieves to steal the ballustrades, some wooden floor planks, doors and windows. The municipal government offices that occupied it, like the Sangguniang Bayan, DSWD, and DARAB, vacated the place and it became an empty shell in dire need of restoration, a historic built heritage in a sorry state.
The Pangasinan Heritage Society, Inc. was granted permission from Governor Espino to clean up the building and protect it from further vandalism while waiting for its restoration to come. The officers and members also held meetings with the informal settlers/residents at the back premises of this provincial property to enlighten them about built heritage, tourism and the livelihood benefits that will go to them when these would be fully developed.
But alas! After one year PHSI ran out of funds to sustain the protection of the building and it was again vandalized by thieves who yanked out the remaining doors, windows and iron grills. PHSI made more appeals to the Governor and they were able to finally convince him to make the necessary restoration soon. He announced this in his latest State of the Province Address (SOPA) early this year and when he created the Pangasinan Historical and Cultural Commission, it was listed as one of the three important projects to be undertaken by the new Commission.
In the meantime PHSI and the Provincial Engineering Office took away the wooden materials that were not carted away by the thieves and these were hauled somewhere for safekeeping. These will be used in the restoration of the building for it is important to retain as much original materials as possible to keep its heritage value. Governor Espino also provided security guards to watch it day and night.
PHSI is now coordinating with the National Historical Commission to come up with an estimate of the restoration cost. NHC will also provide free technical assistance thru their expert restoration architects. With the help of the original 19thC plan of the building which is being sold to PHSI, Casa Real will soon rise from the ashes!
Arabela V. Arcinue
President, Pangasinan Heritage Society, Inc.
Fergusson, A. W., “Report of the United States Philippine Commission to the Secretary of War for the Period December 1, 1900 to October 15, 1901,” Washington D.C, USA: Government Printing Office, Division of Insular Affairs, War Department, 1901.
Williams, Daniel, “Odyssey of the Philippine Commission,” Chicago, USA: A.C. McClurg & Co., 1913.
Cortez, Rosario Mendoza, “Pangasinan 1801- 1900: The Beginnings of Modernization.,” Quezon City: New Day Publishers, 1990.
We have been tasked to research about our own local heritage and I would just want to ask for a brief history of the carcel or the Lingayen Provincial Jail. It would surely help us in finding a suitable topic of research, especially if primary sources are available.
For now Casa Real still remain unrestored,some people who lives nearby use the place as a comfort room,the smell of urine and excrement scattered around the area,as it was just beside the municipal building of Lingayen,the new breed of lingayen townfolks doesnt really know how to respect and love the past,they dont even know the importance of history in their province….
Yes it was abandoned,by the people who lives in that province,and even there own history were left behind,forget their past and never look back..Those things were controlled by the humans not by God,so don’t include the almighty name in this kind of material issues!!repent and pray for forgiveness!
I am from Lingayen and my late Francisco R Navarro , he retired in 1962 , worked on this Building as a clerk and responsible opening and closing on this site
Also we had small canteen on the first floor and I would like to restore the bldg.