The highlight of travelling and exploring the City of Vigan is not just its iconic Calle Crisologo. This is because a stone throw away from this emblematic street is the Syquia Mansion.
mirror mirror on the wall! who’s the richest of them all?
Well-preserved Syquia Mansion will give you an interesting glimpse of the lifestyle of a wealthy family during the Spanish colonial times. The majestic furniture will provide you hints on how prominent people in the past would conduct their lives.
They have an ante-living-room and a main living room! You would wonder how many living rooms do rich people need to live a full life. It is also amazing to know that affluent human beings in the past actually have a prayer room where they gather to pray the Angelus.
Paintings and sculptures scattered around the mansion were no doubt masterpieces! Skillful craftsmen were obviously commissioned to build the comfy beds, dressers and sofas!
bed inside the principal bedroom
Also, monied folks during those times though prayerful and have lavish chambers for prayers actually have slaves (known as Aliping Saguiguilid). And these slave-servants – who cannot marry without their master’s consent – only has limited access in the house which usually is the narrow hallway borders of the building!
so at home… one of the massive bedrooms…
at the dining hall
Contents of the super house no doubt is indeed for the rich! And while breathing and walking within the confines of the house, the social climber in me whispers that I am so at home inside the Syquia Mansion!
It is so far the most magnificent and most historically significant “jigsaw puzzle” I have ever seen in my life! Who on earth would have the idea of putting together parts of very old, decaying and abandoned heritage houses in one place and create a magnificently beautiful nostalgic paradise? I guess it is in the person of Jerry Acuzar, a rare soul with lofty ambition, who owns Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar.
My Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar adventure, located in Bagac Bataan was like travelling through a time capsule bringing its visitors back to the glorious 18th and 19th century Philippines!!!
At the outset of our visit, I was a skeptic. I did not believe on the resort’s claim that the buildings were the actual and authentic parts of Filipino Principalia Mansions. Initially, the “illustrado” fragment of my soul was screaming “Cinverguenza! Punyatera! No way will Jerry Acuzar be able to transfer, rebuild and restore such old houses?!”
But when I and Karen went out of the resort to buy a pack of cigarette from a nearby construction workers’ carinderia (eatery and mini-store), we passed-by multiple decks of old stone bricks, voluminous timeworn planks of wood as well as various antiquated hard-wood house-posts lying on the ground. Those materials were obviously salvaged from an old house somewhere in this country. That was the moment I believed and confirmed that those massive mansions inside the resort were no-doubt authentic.
Let me then offer an honorable salute and a big standing ovation to Mr. Acuzar for such a rare feat, ingenuity and craftsmanship!
Kakaiba! Cinverguenza sa ganda!