Corporate takeover and the case of Casa Vallejo

Over at Casa Vallejo in Baguio City, there is an ongoing fight for preservation of the current site after sudden notice of eviction from the National Resources Development Corporation (turns out DENR has a corporate arm) was served to the tenants.  The fear is there is a third party developer waiting invisibly on the sideline, apparently supported by NDRC, which complicates the matter.

Official statements surrounding the issue has been covered by Rappler and also at the site where a petition to preserve the place was launched.

It reminds me of the corporate takeover (by Joe Fox, played by Tom Hanks) of the landmark corner bookshop (owned by Kathleen Kelly, played by Meg Ryan) in the hugely loved movie, You’ve Got Mail. 

Later, Joe, after getting to know Kathleen and her bookstore a bit more, admits

In the meantime we’ll just put up a big sign, ‘Coming soon Fox Book Superstore, the end of civilization as you know it.’

The movie was in the late 80s and corporate takeover has since become the new face of civilization; unless locals, like Kathleen, rally in the little forces to save what remains of local landmarks.  Mt. Cloud Bookshop, tenant at Casa, very popular among locals and nonlocals alike, and similar to Kathleen’s cozy corner shop, led locals into supporting the preservation of the place.  Like the story of You’ve Got Mail, the rally may seem as if the tenants of Casa are fighting for their businesses, well, maybe partly, but it is more about being against the wiping out of significant cultural places in a community as a result of corporate takeover; being against the insensate power of the corporate machine.


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