Returning to its former glory.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas announced on his official Facebook page that the old Casino Español will be reconstructed as proposed by its owners. The announcement was made last December 2020.
The current owners, which are related to Jose Mari Chan, expressed their desire to restore and re-develop the heritage site into a mixed-used social club.
But worry not, the Casino Español will still maintain its rustic beauty as per the Iloilo City Heritage Council.
The groundbreaking ceremony was held last December 3, 2022, to commemorate the start of the restoration project.
The project’s completion date and other details have not yet been disclosed.
A Glimpse through time
Casino Español de Iloilo is a heritage site in the Philippines. It is one of the three (3) Casino Español located in the country. The other two are found in Cebu and Manila.
According to Demy Sonza, the author of the book ‘A hero in war and peace, Adriano Hernandez’, the Casino Español was originally located at Calle Real, Iloilo City before it relocated to Calle Rosario (renamed Calle Hervas).
But before the Casino de Español was officially established, it first started out as a Spanish club where Spanish residents living in Iloilo and Negros Occidental could socialize. In the 1920s, the members of the club wanted to build a clubhouse which is why they raised money.
After raising enough funds, the club was built and completed in 1926 and was situated at the corner of Santo Rosario and Duran streets. The brains behind Casino de Español were engineers Mariano Cacho, Lucio Bernasconi, and Mariano Salas.
Casino Español thrived and elites gathered to dance and socialize. However, its lights dimmed after it was damaged during World War II.