The Price Mansion
The Price Mansion was used as a temporary seat of Government following the proclamation of the restoration of civil government in the Philippines. It also served as the general headquarters of General Douglas MacArthur during World War II.
Acquired by College Assurance Plan in line with its tradition of preserving our historical landmarks and cultural heritage, The Price Mansion today stands as the CAP Tacloban Office. No major alterations were done in refurbishing the building so that its original architecture would be preserved.
Aside from housing the CAP Family of Companies, the Price Mansion also features a MacArthur Memorabilia, an Art Gallery and a Conference Center. On the right side of the mansion facing Romualdez Street, the statues of MacArthur and Osmeņa - two icons of the Leyte Landings in 1944, stand proud, a fitting remembrance of the Battle of Leyte which liberated the Philippines from the Japanese Imperial Army.
The MacArthur and Osmeņa Statues
The Turnover Ceremony
On October 23, 1944, General Douglas MacArthur re-established the Philippine Commonwealth in Tacloban with Sergio Osmeņa as President.
At that period in history, Tacloban was both the general headquarters of the liberation forces of the United Stated of America and the seat of government of the Philippine commonwealth.
Right now, the MacArthur and Osmeņa statues, standing tall with the grandeur of the CAP Tacloban office (formerly Price Mansion) as backdrop, recaptures a monument in history when Gen. MacArthur proclaimed the resumption of constitutional government in the hands of President Osmeņa. This serves as a remembrance and representation of the adherence to the democratic process and structure.
Who is Walter Scott Price?
Walter Scott Price is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a young man of seventeen years when he joined the U.S. Army and was twenty-one years old when he was assigned to the Philippines at the onset of the Spanish-American War. His last assignment prior to obtaining honorable dismissal from the army after the war ended in 1901 was a Military Provost to Camp Bumpus in Tacloban where he met and eventually married Simeona Kalingag, a Caviteņa, on January 1, 1901. Foreseeing success as a businessman, Price settled in Tacloban, Leyte where he founded the Leyte Transportation Company, Limited (Letranco) and the Bazar Gran Capitan, among other businesses.
In no time, Walter Scott Price indeed became an immensely wealthy man. He enjoyed being wealthy and was not shy about his hard-earned wealth. Price built a palatial home in Tacloban and in the upscale district of Paco in Manila for his wife and eleven growing children (Mrs. Price actually gave to eighteen although only 11 survived childbirth!). His "mansions" actually made him quite popular because these always seemed busy all the time with parties for the social and political elites, and even for the town's ordinary folks!
Walter Scott Price even gained the moniker "King of Leyte". Fair-haired, six feet tall, all 225 pounds and always impeccably dressed, he indeed looked and even moved every inch like a king, and he actually lived like a king! But for all his wealth, social and political power, Walter Scott Price is best remembered as the ever hospitable, fun loving man. He is so loved by the people because he was always full of life, always ready to smile and knew how to share his blessings to the less fortunate.
When the Japanese invaded Tacloban, Walter Scott Price was brought with the other American internees to Santo Tomas Prison Camp. He was supposed to join the "second escape" but he deemed it better than an older and sick man take his place. It was extremely difficult in the new camp and he became extremely sick with beri-beri and dysentery. When finally freed by the American forces, the once heavyweight Walter was a skeleton of ninety-five pounds. He was immediately brought to the hospital but the years of harsh treatment in the camp were too much and a few weeks later, Walter died on March 18, 1945. He was sixty-eight. Simeona, the wife of Walter, survived him by twenty-eight years and died on August 30, 1973, four and a half months past her one hundredth birthday.