The mansion of Kasuy Street: a tourism attraction

"Uy saan ba yung mga mansion ni Ampatuan? malapit lang ba dito?" (where are the mansions of the Ampatuans, is it near?)

A Manila-visitor once asked me, while I was driving them around. Minutes later I would obliged my visitors by touring them around Kasuy Street, which has gained notoriety as hosting the sprawling properties of the Ampatuans, The family who ruled the province of Maguindanao and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is currently incapacitated as its main patriarch and his sons are currently detained being the main suspects of the infamous Maguindanao Massacre.

In the last decade, the Ampatuans bought properties in Juna Subdivision, Kasuy Street lying at the southern end of Juna, still had those sprawling vacant lots. A scion bought a lot in nearby Kalamansi Street and built a mansion.

Afterwards the buying spree started, the clan bought vacant lots and houses in Kasuy and Kalamansi Streets. Some of these houses would be used for relatives and quarters for bodyguards.

A portion of Kasuy was practically altered when they decided to tear down the houses they bought. The once familiar houses now an almost barren lot.

The biggest lot which formerly hosted a City Engineering Office gravel dump at the edge of Kasuy became the site of a grand mansion supposedly built by the patriarch Andal Ampatuan Sr.

Its grandiosity shocked and scandalized neighbors and Dabawenyos aliked, how could a governor of the country's poorest province build a humongous mansion in an expensive residential subdivision in Davao.

While attending a luncheon presscon hosted by a high official during the time of President Arroyo, a reporter asked me about my "new" neighbors ( we lived in the other side of Kasuy), I told them about the SUV convoys that would pass by our streets, which could rival the Presidential convoy. I told them about the lots being bought left and right in our street. Our conversations would attract some curious ears including the official, who then occupied one of the highest echelons in the land and who is a Dabawenyo.

"Saan yan?" (where is that) the official asked.

"Dun sa kalye nila." (in their street) a media man replied, referring to the street where I lived.

"Sa Kasuy po, dun sa Juna." I told him. Some of the media men then described to the official the breadth and ostentatious grandeur of the Ampatuan mansion.

"Matingnan ko nga, madaanan nga" (I'll take a look) the official said.

We really didn't bother if the official took the time to visit the mansion since nothing was heard from him regarding the Ampatuan's wealth. But it took one horrifying event that will change the mansions' fate.

In November 22, 2009, 58 people including 34 media men that included my good friend Jolito Evardo were killed and mutilated in Maguindanao, in what is known as the Maguindanao Massacre. A grisly crime attributed to the very powerful clan.

The Kasuy mansion was almost completed when the Maguindanao Massacre happened. Construction halted in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

Since the massacre, the street has seen relative quiet, gone are the SUV convoys which indicated that the patriarch is visiting, the houses now eerily quiet perhaps waiting for their owners to return while invasive weeds are creeping up transforming the place back into its former state, a jungle.

A few cars would roll slowly by, Must be dabawenyos taking their visitors on a quick trip to the notorious Ampatuan properties.


  1. This is awesome place to stay and pass holidays there. For the Muslim families i recommend cheap umrah tickets which allows you to stay there for whole month to find peace and faith with cheap cost.


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