June 24, 2024

Architect Rolando “Rolly” Bautista is a childhood friend – from elementary at the Holy Family Academy and the Saint Louis University Boys High School Batch ‘75.
Together with now New Yorkers Milo Garcia, Efren Rulloda and the other batchmates, we were the silent but naughty group who, more often than not, were brought to the principal’s office and later on, to authorities for petty offenses.
As we grew up and “matured”, we followed our own paths and careers and were pretty good at our chosen field.
Rolly is active in construction and the design business and established his own firm.
He also became the leader of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) where he devoted most of his civic responsibilities. He had a large tract of land and complex at Badiwan, Tuba, Benguet where the Dinosaur Island of fellow batchmate Toots Marasigan operated for a while.
Now, it houses his corporate office and a homey coffee shop managed by his children. He had visions of turning it into a campsite where the good old days of boy scouting can be relived around a bonfire.
A few years ago, he entered into the hotel industry and went on a joint venture with Brent International School developing the former residences into what they now call the Brent House, or Residences at Brent, which opened to the public a month or so ago.
Located inside the premises of the sprawling compound of the Brent International School it offers every Juan, local or visitor an opportunity for solitude and tranquility amidst the Baguio feel and scenery of luscious pine trees and flowers and when on work mode, it is an ideal place to do so in silence while the afternoon breeze of clean air provides a calming effect.
They have spacious rooms and soon to be completed function room with an area of 500 square meters, enough to accommodate a huge even crowd and offers a wide selection of drinks.
Of course, when I visited, Rolly he offered me and Antonino “Boy” Navor at his “Buddy-one: Cafe” with a delightful cup of coffee Americano and gourmet burgers and popcorns whose aroma alone would convince you to come back for more. The staff are accommodating and soon they will have family meals which can be enjoyed in the very heart of the city.
The Brent Guest House with its old American architecture is indeed a testament to a 115-year-old legacy and the enduring values of old Baguio. This is a new sanctuary unlike any other and in time would make a mark in what we can offer to Baguio and its guests, an unparalleled experience no other can offer.
As for Rolly, he has made his point and has nothing to prove to the world. He has remained the “simple” guy he was then and now and his most important trait is loyalty to a friend.
Sigh.