Did you know that there is a recreated Ilocos Norte heritage house which boasts a room named after pianist Cecile Licad?
Place is Sitio Remedios in Currimao, Ilocos Norte, owned by neurologist Joven Cuanang.
The youngest of three children born in Batac town from a couple named Remedios (from whom the resort was named) and Mariano Cuanang who were public school teachers, Cuanang said his parents and their lifestyle were largely influenced by the first batch of Thomasites.
The entrance to Sitio Remedios begins on a 70-meter long Avenida de Azucao dotted with stones and boulders that came all the way from Pasuquin town.
Just after the chapel, you see rows of Ilocano houses with their original look and named after several Ilocos towns.
A room in Balay Piddig is named after pianist Cecile Licad who inaugurated the place in May 2006.
Old piano, picture
Balay Piddig also has the upright piano that used to occupy the doctor’s ancestral house in Batac. He made a replica of that Batac house in other Ilocos Norte-inspired houses in the resort complete with his parents’ wedding picture retouched and given a new look by BenCab.
The idea for a heritage resort started on Dec. 31, 2005, when, on his birthday, Cuanang started fantasizing about a place where he could nurture and preserve Ilocos heritage while reliving landmarks of his Batac childhood. Intently listening was architect Rex Hofileña who gave Cuanang a sketch of his idea for the place. When the various houses were done, Cuanang used his prized collection of family heirloom, antique furniture, locally woven white cotton linens and paintings from his Manila galleries as materials for interior décor.
What came out is complete replica of a quaint Ilocos community in the 1950s. “What I have done is actually just to preserve my Ilocano heritage for all the world to see,” he said.
As we get to the end of his story, we see a good portrait of the Filipino artisan as Ilocano.
After Licad opened it with a recital in 2006, Raul Sunico followed and later violinist Coke Bolipata who played at Teatro Ilocos. Historical lectures are conducted in a hall called Centro Ilocos de Juan Luna—all within Sitio Remedios.
Everything you encountered in Sitio Remedios is part and parcel of memory of Cuanang’s parents who lived in that genteel era of an Ilocano past.
My own recent memory was hiring a truck and a piano tuner that travelled 465 kilometers from Manila to get to this town. To date, I still can’t forget the sight of Cecile Licad playing a Mozart Fantasy with a view of a tranquil Currimao Sea in the background. —CONTRIBUTED