Padre Burgos' House

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

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Padre Burgos House (National Museum)
Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
31 July 2009

Two months prior to this visit, I took on a personal project of capturing Vigan City in sepia, because this city is just so rich in culture and history, I just wanted to see the city how it was back in the Spanish era. At that time I hoped to visit this museum, but it was closed at that time, so for this trip, I seriously don't want to miss it. After visiting the Cathedral (see previous post), I walked to the museum, and although it was closed, I was told the staff were just having a lunch break, and the museum will be opened in a few minutes.

This museum is the ancestral house and birthplace of priest patriot Fr. Jose Burgos. Known as Padre Burgos House, it is one of the notable historic structures of Vigan, the capital of the province of Ilocos Sur. It is a two-story structure located near the Provincial Capitol and close to St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral. It was renovated by the Filipinas Foundation, Inc. and inaugurated on May 3, 1975. In January 1989, a Contract of Lease was executed by the Ilocos Sur Historical and Cultural Foundation, Inc. leasing the memorabilia for 50 years, and turning over the administration to the National Museum. (source HERE)

I find it quite interesting that as I signed up my name on the guest list, the man on the desk seemed to have recognized me and told me that I knew my way through the house and that I don't need a tour guide anymore. Well, I have visited this museum quite a few times over the years, but I seriously wouldn't realize that they would recognize me. Anyway, here are just some of the pictures I took from the museum:

Ancient Casket. Back in the olden days, they use a trunk of the tree to serve as the casket for the departed loved one. I am not sure though, if that was a real human bone in there, or just a representation - I didn't dare touch it because it was kinda creepy.

Livelihood. Some of the materials people used back then.

Diorama. Part of the museum was the diorama depicting scenes of how the people in Vigan lived during the Spanish era. One of those dioramas was this one - a tobacco farmer carrying some of his produce and showing it to the boss for inspection.

Living Room. The museum is located in Father Burgos' house, so the second floor of the museum showcased the memorabilia of the Burgos Family. This was the living room.

Noli Me Tangere. Meaning "Touch Me Not" in Latin, this was one of Dr. Jose Rizal's novel that ignited the emotions of the Filipinos against the Spaniards. This copy of the book was located in one the house's room.

What links Dr. Jose Rizal with Padre Burgos? Both of them were executed in Bagumbayan, now known as the Luneta or the Rizal Park. Padre Burgos was hanged together with the other priests Mariano Gomez and Jacinto Zamora in 1872, while Dr. Jose Rizal (the country's National Hero) was executed by a firing squad in 1896.

Dining Area. The only "restricted" room in the whole house to protect the dinner wares, this was the family's dining area.

Kitchen. From the lavish dining area of the family, it was a total opposite in the kitchen. This is where the servants prepare food for the family, and they also have a table on the floor where they eat their food (servants sit on the floor with a wood plank as their chair). If the family uses China wares, servants use metal plates and wooden bowls.

From the kitchen, there was a stairwell leading to the back yard. They had a table there (probably where the staff eats their lunch), which guests can use to relax a bit. I took my time to rest for a while - have a little chit chat to one of the staffs about the place, and from there, I was off to my next destination.

*** Jenn ***

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