Tag Archives: Philippine-Spanish colonial houses

#314 Padre Burgos Museum

Interior and upper floor entree to the Padre Burgos Museum

The Padre Burgos Museum is the ancestral house and birthplace of priest patriot Fr. Jose Burgos, one of the three martyr priests who became immortalised in Philippine History as GOM-BUR-ZA after their execution by the Spanish Guardia Civil in 1872.

Known as Padre Burgos House, it is one of the notable historic structures of Vigan, the capital city of  Ilocos Sur province. Built in 1788, the house is now a national museum and has an extensive collection of Ilocano historical and cultural artefacts, including farming and fishing tools, weavings, jewellery, pottery and musical instruments, dioramas and vintage photographs. Also housed in the museum are the 14 paintings by the famed local painter, Don Esteban Villanueva.  The Villanueva paintings depict scenes from the 1807 Basi Revolt.

The house is a two-story structure located near the Provincial Capitol and close to St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral. It was renovated by the Filipinas Foundation and inaugurated on May 3, 1975. In January 1989 the memorabilia was turned over to the administration of the National Museum.

Mabuhay ang Padre Burgos Museum!

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#287 Casa Manila

Casa Manila (circa 1850) one of the grand houses in Barrio San Luis (one of the four original villages) of Intramuros and is located across historic San Agustin church and bounded by Calle Real, General Luna, Cabildo and Urdaneta streets.

The other two houses are the Los Hidalgos, circa 1650 and Cuyugan Mansion (circa 1890). Unlike in other countries, where after World War II, restoration work was done in earnest to preserve the national heritage, in the Philippines various efforts followed different directions.

After intensive research, Intramuros Administration (IA) in 1980, began  constructing Casa Manila complex following what it calls the Intramuros  historic architecture. Casa Manila is one of the grand houses that were restored to provide Intramuros visitors an idea or glimpse of the lifestyle of the Spanish elite living in Intramuros.

Casa Manila typifies the house of the Filipino “ilustrado,” an affluent class bred by the opening of Manila to world trade in the late 19th century. Original and authentic furniture are displayed in Casa Manila including  period costumes, musical instruments and other accessories to recreate the genteel life of the ‘illustrado.

Long live Intramuros!

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#101 Capiz windows

Capiz window and panelling

Known outside the Philippines as ‘exotic windowpane oyster panels,’ the Capiz window is an all-time classic in Philippine colonial architecture.

Mostly found in Spanish-Filipino colonial houses in northern Philippines, Capiz window panels combine the beauty of cut and polished oyster shells with Philippine hardwood. A work of craftsmanship, Capiz windows are held together by pegs or dowels, with the Capiz shells cut and polished by hand. Capiz panels, windows or screen dividers provide diffused natural interior lighting, lending the classic colonial look.

Today modern air-conditioning and window styles have replaced Capiz windows and Capiz-styled screens are seldom seen except in ancestral houses built before World War 2. Artisans are also hard to find since Capiz window and panelling are labor intensive and are relatively expensive compared with modern window constructions.

Long live Philippine furniture-making!

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