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Guidebook to heritage homes launched

/ 07:13 AM July 13, 2014

THE COVER of Philippine Heritage Homes features the Alberto house in Biñan, Laguna that was razed by a fire in the ’70s but has been restored and transferred to Bagac, Bataan.

Score one for heritage conservationists with the coming release of “Philippine Heritage Homes: A Guidebook,” a team effort of Jaime C. Laya, Ph.D., architect Cristina V. Turalba and Martin I. Tinio, Jr.

Meant for “individuals, tourists and locals… interested in old houses,” the guidebook features 20 of such houses scattered all over Luzon and describes the history and the particular attractions specific to each.

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Among the homes featured are the Padre Burgos and Syquia houses in Vigan; Casa Manila in Intramuros; Museo de la Salle in Cavite; the Agoncillo and Villavicencio homes in Taal, Batangas; and seven old houses that were relocated, restored and are now on exhibit in Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar in Bagac, Bataan.

All houses featured are either open to the public or could be viewed by visitors who make prior arrangements. There are also “recreated house museums.”

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Laya told Inquirer Lifestyle in an e-mail that the guidebook is “the first of hopefully several books.”

In his introduction, Laya said the book aims to recognize “generous and farsighted persons” who shared their expertise to ensure that future generations would appreciate the beauty and history of these houses.

He added that the guidebook also wants to guide architects and practitioners in the allied arts, inspire authorities and property owners to “better conserve heritage properties.”

Featured in the front and back covers of the guidebook is the reconstructed Alberto House, originally constructed in Biñan, Laguna, and which has been transferred to Bagac, Bataan.

Laya noted that half of the original houses burned down in the 1970s “and none of the interior woodwork remains.”

“The burned half and the exterior have been reconstructed (in Bagac),” he said. Meanwhile, the floors, stairs and walls that survived the fire have been preserved.

The 130-plus-page tome is rich in color photos, guide maps leading to the old houses, history and architectural lessons and vignettes about owners. In short, this is not to be missed.

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Formal launch will be on July 26, Saturday, at Casa Manila in Intramuros.  CCY

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TAGS: Casa Manila, Conservationist, Cristina V. Turalba, Heritage, Jaime C. Laya, Martin I. Tinio Jr., Padre Burgos, Philippine Heritage, Syquia houses, Vigan
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