Bustos , Bulacan province – Philippines
The group then toured some of the most historical and oldest still existing houses in Bustos .
facade of the house ( Avelina Perez Ancestral House )
This house is a favorite shooting place among local films and television. Among the films that were shot at the house were Ibulong Mo sa Hangin ( Whispher to the Wind ) by Gerardo de Leon in 1966 . Nasaan ka Maruja 1978 , Agua Bendita ( Television series Feb. 2010 to September 2010 ), Villa Quintana (November 2013 to June 2014 series) , Ang Biyahe ni Drew and I Juander QTV channel 11 .
Aside from the films and television series , There are some instances that pre-nuptial photo sessions are also held at the sprawling garden.
Plateria is a furniture cabinet which is popular among jewelry / silversmith maker and rich families . Some of the compartments are used for storing materials that are used for making jewelry . They are made using the best hardwood tree species and are ornately carved.
minasa wooden mold with 1874 date
What makes this furniture cabinet so special to the family is that this was one of the only 2 plateria that the Rizal family owns . And one of them is given to the family . They say that it might date backs to the late 19th century .
Sometimes, heritage and travelers would also tour the place upon coordination with the owners or tourism office.
Parts of the house was renovated , thus the facade of this ancestral house does not look old .
family tree ( courtesy of the family )
According to the current owner of the house, They are distantly related to Reyes clan ( Nicanor Reyes Sr. of Far Eastern University – who’s family hails from neighboring town of Baliwag ) They are also distantly related to Rizal’s -Lopez family clan, Mercado family and some prominent families in Baliwag and Bustos.
tables and chairs
There is also a book that was printed several years ago commissioned by one of the family member and written by Ms. Lourdes L. Mercado .
group photo together with Ms. Avelina Baby- Perez
We finally bid farewell to the owner of the house and the group went to the adjacent Perez Ancestral house – They owners of these houses are relatives .
Perez House as viewed along the highway
The Perez Ancestral House was built around 1858, It is considered as one of the most important ancestral house both architecturally and historically .
The house had intricate stone hand-made carvings located at the sides of the house. Historians and architects are puzzled with the intricate stones carvings with two double headed eagle like creature with crown.
Habsburg -Lorraine royal seal -courtesy of Wikipedia
This is like Habsburg–Lorraine ( Austrian- Hungarian ) or Augustinian in origin.
There are several theories:
1.) The family might have a royal lineage from Europe , hence they were able to have the stone carvings at their house.
2.) The family origins might be of Mexican royalty or nobles and was incorporated to the house design.
3.) Agustinian order – There are high priests and bishops who might once lived at their house.
4.) Royal merit from Spanish government for their family meritorious act or services .
Website link: http://www.habsburger.net/en
intricate stone carvings
Fray Luna is also called Versoza chairs which is popular during the late Spanish colonial furniture.
living room area
The living rooms of both houses looks quite similar except that this house got more crochet works and more simple.
The house and compound is a good example of re-adaptive reuse by the present owner.
Dendrobium anosmum aka sanggumay
There are pocket garden and native orchids like Dendrobium anosmum ( sanggumays ) were mounted on living trees. It seems that this is the most popular orchid species being grown by the people in this town.
They opened a cafe and restaurant located at the ground floor of the ancestral house with a garden area good for 50 to 60 people . Inside , The restaurant cafe area can host of around 20 to 30 people at any given day .
There is a patio area which can accommodate 4 to 6 people.
Ms. Ofelia Perez- Genabe together with some participants of the tour
We were met by the owner by Ms. Ofelia Perez-Genabe and she showed us the living room and parts of the colonial house. The old ancestral house was built around 1858.
M-TH: 11:00am to 10:00pm, F-S : 11:00am to 12mn
Mercado House is another ancestral house which is located near the Perez Ancestral Ancestral Houses . This was built around mid- 19th century and is another sample of a house with Baroque-style carved stone corner pilasters, carved stone garland and crucifix motifs in the entrance, chrysanthemum designs, decorative reliefs, molave planks with narra sidings, capiz windows, moveable panels, graceful grilles.and baroque style.
Mercado House ( closer view of the stone carvings and pillars)
Unfortunately, it was sold to an unnamed doctor just a few years ago and the new owners which are private people is not keen to open the house to heritage tours from outsiders. Based from the personal stories from the adjacent houses. The former owner is also a distant relative of the Perez. ( Conrado Mercado ).
Some of the group took photos of the exterior of the house from the street.
Bustos Dam :
Brief History : Built in 1926, 50 kilometers upstream from the Bustos Dam as a fixed type river weir without gates, the AARD, Angat Afterbay Regulator Dam (commonly known as Bustos Dam) is the longest rubber dam in Asia at 79 meters and the second largest in the world.
The present dam was rehabilitated by Kurimoto, LTD., Osaka, Japan , manufacturing date, as of May, 1997.
It has Washed Out, Intake, Sluice and Roller Gates sets. Its clear spans are 4.6% 1.53 meters. Its gate (opening) heights are 4.5 and 1.0 meters. The weights of the leaves are 5.4 and 1.0 tons. The operating speed is 0.3 m./ min.
Mr. Conrado Garcia Mercado statue
He is known as “Mr. Irrigation” or Mr. NIA . He was the first National Irrigation Administration (NIA) Assistant Administrator; Original owner of the Mercado Ancestral House in Brgy. Bonga Menor; the government created a statue for him to serve as a memorabilia for him and his contributions. The statue is located within the park near the entrance.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency in 2001 , (JICA) has approved a P500-million grant-in aid to the government for the repair and improvement of the Angat Afterbay Regulatory Dam (AARD) in Bustos, Bulacan, the National Irrigation Administration (NIA) .
six-span dam’s main features are easily deflatable and inflatable rubber body.
intake gate with irrigation canal
a boat made from cement
mermaid riding a large fish
The park and the vicinity area is a favorite shooting place for films and television shows .
We were given a snack which consists of puto bumbong , suman and avocado tea made from the fruit .
dog sleeping in one of the picnic table
There is a small entrance fees of Php 5.00 for tricycle , Php 10 for jeep , Php 20 for car , Php 50 vans and Php 100 truck.
My only concern is that the place had a lot of graffiti and some areas needed some rehabilitation . The authorities must try to reforest the surrounding areas with native trees to improve the water holding capacity of the place.
Cunanan Ancestral House
Cunanan Ancestral House had some similarities in terms of stone carvings with the Mercado House , although the house looks like there were some expansion done maybe during the early or mid 20th century .
The house looks smaller compared to the Mercado house . The house had capiz windows and adobe stone walls hand carving in floral details .
details of the stone crucifix carving
We manage to take some photos of the exterior parts and adobe walls and its details . Unfortunately , The current owner of the house ( around 92 years-old might not be around ) .
carved stone corner pilasters
A visit to these ancestral houses must be properly coordinated with the local tourism office set several days or even weeks in advance.
Special Mention to Mr. Edwin Del Rosario of Bustos Tourism office , Office of the Mayor and Sir Gilbert . Maraming Salamat Po !
Please visit the links:
Lakad Pamana of Bustos, Bulacan part 1: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2016/01/18/lakad-pamana-of-bustos-bulacan/
Lakad Pamana of Bustos, Bulacan part 2: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2016/01/19/lakad-pamana-of-bustos-bulacan-part-2/
Lakad Pamana of Bustos , Bulacan part 3: https://renz15.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/lakad-pamana-of-bustos-bulacan-part-3/