Car horns blare out a cacophony as traffic jams clog up today’s Pasay City. But turning off the busy main thoroughfare, and into the compound on 2680 FB Harrison Street, the city goes on mute. I’m met with the quiet crunch of car tires against a gravel driveway, and a wide expanse of manicured lawn that sprawls underneath the shade of an ancient acacia tree.
The compound is an enclave of old-world gentility, where elegant postwar houses are fringed with graceful verandas that hark to a bygone era – when life moved at a more tempered cadence, and when sipping iced tea in the lazy afternoons, or going for a stroll in the garden, was the norm. It feels almost as if I’m being welcomed into a refined great-aunt’s gracious home, in a place where time seems to stand still.
“I discovered the property when I drove in with my wife to visit the atelier of furniture and interior designer Eric Paras,” recalls hotelier Hanky Lee recalls the first time he set eyes on the property in 2013. “I marveled at the architecture, the charm, the artist vibe and the character of the compound.”