Monday, February 13, 2017

Enriquez Ancestral House: The Kind of Old House I like to See

Image from The Real Act.
I'm always enthralled by old houses that were built way back the Spanish or American occupation of the Philippines. And one of them is the Enriquez, Ancestral House. This kind of surprises me because I never thought there was a place like this in San Jose, Bulacan. I hadn't heard of a tourist destination in that locality until now.

This house I got to see.

The house was said to have been founded in 1850 and is still inhabited to this day. Boyet Enriquez lives there. He is the grandson of the house owner, Col. Vicente Enriquez, the very aide-de-camp of Gen. Gregorio del Pilar.

“Hangga’t maaari pine-preserve namin dahil dito kami nakatira… mine-maintain namin na hanggang ngayon bahay pa rin siya,” [We live here so we try our best to preserve the house. We maintain it so it may remain a house], Boyet Enriquez said in one interview,

“’Yung mga lumang bahay, pangkaraniwan caretaker na lang ‘yung nandoon. E dito hanggang ngayon dito pa rin kami nakatira,” [Other old houses are occupied by caretakers. We, (descendants of the real owner) still live in this house], Boyet proudly added.
The Enriquez family wants to preserve the original look of the house.

“Kahit wala na kaming makukuhang kahoy na ganu’ng klase, ‘yung pinakasimilar na kahoy ang ipinapalit namin du’n sa mga parteng nasisira para ma-preserve ‘yung pagkaluma niya, yung itsura niya,” [Even if no original wood exists to replace rotten ones, we choose what's very similar to it], Boyet explained.

They have replaced the dilapidated kitchen flooring with a floor slab, according to Boyet. But they made sure it still looked like the original floor. The ante-room is now made part of the living room. Boyet, who himself is an architect, added that in old times they made use of different kinds of woods with different natural colors and textures to probably compensate for the lack of paints. This way, the architecture achieved aesthetics.

An interesting thing about the place is that, some of the documents of Marcelo H. Del Pilar were said to have been found here. That's aside from having historical artifacts and rare antiques. Old things have always fascinated me, helping me imagine how people of long ago lived and moved, taking me back to the time when my grand parents were still young.

The Enriquez Ancestral House obviously needs serious repairs, not just to keep it standing, but most importantly to preserve it, especially how it originally looked. But it looks like the Enriquez family does not receive as much support as they need from the local government to preserve the house. I hope the house doesn't end up like the old houses I saw demolished to give way to commercial establishments, like what I heard they plan to do with the Rizal Coliseum in Manila.

If you want to visit Enriquez Ancestral House and other tourist destinations in Bulacan---and are looking for a nice hotel accommodation to stay in---click the image below.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!