Thursday, July 23, 2015

ANCESTRAL HOUSES OF GAPAN CITY


The oldest town in Nueva Ecija is Gapan and likewise one of the oldest in the Philippines.  The ancestral houses aligned are the living testament of its preserved cultural heritage.  Known as the “Footwear Capital of the North”, it is unfortunate that we were unable to visit the manufacturers for time constraints but the short stint made us discover the town on foot.



Our shuttle van provided by Microtel Cabanatuan was parked at the biggest and oldest church of the province of Nueva Ecija.  The Parish of Three Kings was built in the 1800s by the Augustinian Friars under forced labor, said to have withstood major natural and man-made calamities including the 1896 Philippine revolution, World War II and the 1990 earthquake.  For a few minutes, we were at the church marveling at its façade and interiors.  A mass was about to start during that time.

THE FACADE OF THE PARISH OF THREE KINGS
The church’ façade include a belfry with four huge bells casted as early as the 1800s summoning its patrons from a distance.  The church was indeed familiar as I recall a Filipino top-grossing horror film engaging the church and belfry in an important scene.  The movie centers on a Filipino superstitious belief regarding marriage.  The Taong-Putik Festival, an important festival in Nueva Ecija was likewise featured in that film.  We came a week earlier for the festival.  We have always planned to attend the same but to no avail due to work commitments.

THE BELFRY
Then we walked towards a street adjacent to the church.  Spanish colonial houses of capiz-shell windows came into view.  Locals and tricycle drivers loitering outside the church were proud to declare that from the aligned houses were ancestral houses of notable Filipino personalities like Eula Valdez, Nida Blanca and Jay Taruc.

THE ANCESTRAL HOME OF EULA VALDEZ

THE CORNER LOT

JAY TARUC'S HOME



INTRICATE CARVINGS
As we pass by one house to another, the architectural details were indeed intricate.  The wooden materials of these Spanish-inspired residential houses stood witness to the history of the province.  Some of the houses are already abandoned, others are manned by caretakers whose owners left the province for abroad while a few are still occupied by local residents in search for a tranquil surroundings of a provincial set-up.  Many of the ancestral houses are well-maintained with well-manicured gardens and statues fronting the yards.


ANCESTRAL HOUSE OF NIDA BLANCA


Gapan, being an inseparable part of the Rice Granary of the Philippines, walking through the home of the hacienderos, is inevitable in getting to know the city.


1 comments :

  1. Very rustic and charming houses. We fervently hope they will be preserved for years to come.

    ReplyDelete

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