KKFI GUEST HOUSE: BEFORE AND AFTER

By Nitz E. Nicolas

I started to work for the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) in January 2012 as an Administrative Assistant.  Part of my job was to check the upkeep of the compound and what building repairs should be done.

This means I have to walk around the more than 6,000-square-meter property on P. Paredes Street in Sampaloc, Manila every day. Now you know why I’m skinny.

One day while doing my rounds and visiting the dormitories, my eyes wandered toward the mezzanine of the old KKFI building called the “Gentleman’s Dorm” or GD II.

“This place is a mess!” I thought. “Whatever happened to it?”

Due to years of neglect, termites and other insects had obviously invaded the place. In fairness, the area was being cleaned every now and then, but the wear and tear of the physical structure was so much that the effort was not that successful in making it attractive.

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WHAT A MESS. The Gentlemen’s Dorm I’s facade before the renovation.

“Woe is he or she who has the stomach to stay here?” I told to myself.

The GD II building had two floors with single unventilated room in each floor.  Even if you are inside a room, you can still feel the heat of the sun that envelopes your whole body.  The electric fan was of no use.

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Inside the GDII before the renovation.

It was beyond me how transients (most of them were seamen reviewing for exams) could stand the heat.  Maybe they were just simply bearing with it because they wanted to avail of the cheap rate.

This was how it was for a couple of decades.  But thanks to the United Methodist Women, through its charity program Call to Prayer and Self-Denial, the KKFI was given a grant that funded the renovation of the old building.

It was the KKFI Executive Director, Ms Nancy Caluya-Nicolas, who initiated everything when she submitted a project proposal to UMW.

Last January 2016, the renovation of the new guest house was finished. Now, it has become a comfortable and (if I may say so) luxurious facility of the Foundation. A real pride and joy of Kapatiran.

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The new guest house’s stairway.

Last January, the students from the LaGrange College of Georgia, USA, arrived days after the new guesthouse was inaugurated on the 8th of that same month. It was perfect time since the LaGrange students the first crack at enjoying the new KKFI offering.

And how they appreciated it! Since then, the guesthouse has had other occupants like church workers of Sta. Mesa Heights UMC and institutions like Lingap Pangkabataan Inc. (LPI). They said they found the place cozy and vowed to stay there again.

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Sample of a couple’s room

It has 11 fully air-conditioned rooms.  There are three couple’s rooms with hot and cold showers.  Some rooms are good for two, while others can accommodate three and four persons with common comfort and bath room.  It has also a lanai and coffee tables, perfect for group talks, especially during night time.

If you are tired, you can watch small fishes swim about in a small aquarium. Truly relaxing, indeed.

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You can hang out at the beautiful lanai.

If you are tired, you can watch small fishes swim about in a small aquarium. Truly relaxing, indeed.

Those who had seen the old Gentleman’s dorm could never think that and the new Guest House are one and the same.  But then, it’s for you to judge. So come and visit us one of these days to find out.

Staying at the guesthouse and other Kapatiran facilities not only relaxes you physically. It will also warm your heart and stirs the spirit positively. This comes with the knowledge that the income generated from these facilities goes to the development programs and services of Kapatiran.

For reservations, please email kkfi1950@yahoo.com or call +63-2-7354153.

(Ms Nicolas, or Ate Nitz to many, is in charge of the KKFI Director for Administration and Resource Development. She is fond of turning old and not-so-aesthetically-pleasing stuff, like a guesthouse, into beautiful and useful things.)

 

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