At high noon, I was sitting in an over a hundred year-old furniture watching a 12-minute film directed by Peque Gallaga. The narrator says something about what your house is made of. While so many people are busy outside perhaps haggling for some bargains around Quiapo area and many churchgoers attending holy mass at the Quiapo Church; I was being ushered by a Bonifacio Visual Artist inside a nearby historical house, the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista.
|The Bahay is a masterpiece of traditional Filipino architecture.
The Bahay Nakpil-Bautista, referred to as Bahay, was built in 1914 by the famous architect, Arcadio Arellano, for Dr. Ariston Bautista and his wife, Petrona Nakpil, on the site of a previous Nakpil house.
The Bahay is a masterpiece of traditional Filipino architecture: a wood and stone style house (bahay na bato at kahoy). To resist earthquakes, the upper storey is made of wood, its foundation is made of stone. It has large windows, high ceilings, sliding window panels. Its geometric grillwork and cut-outs were inspired by the Viennese art movement in the 1900s, the Secession.
|Geometric grill work and cut-outs were inspired by the Viennese art movement, Secession.
In the Bahay, there once lived people who were active in the Filipino struggle for freedom, in the Propaganda Movement and in the Katipunan: Dr. Ariston Bautista, who distributed the writings of his friend, Jose Rizal, and was arrested; his brother-in-law Julio Nakpil who was one of Andres Bonifacio's most trusted soldiers; Gregoria de Jesus, Julio's wife, whose first husband was Andres Bonifacio. Gregoria, also nicknamed Oriang, organized the women of the Katipunan, and was known as the "Lakambini" (princess).
|Sala that served as home for the original Parisian painting, now in the National Museum.
| (Left, bigger tiles) Piedra china, used for balancing galleon.
(Right, smaller tiles) Machuka tiles from Mexico
Today, the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista still stands. It has evolved into a historical house and a cultural center of Quiapo.
The Bahay Nakpil-Bautista is located at 432A Bautista Street, Quiapo, Manila. Entrance fees are 80 pesos for adults, college and university students; 50 pesos for senior citizens, groups of 10 or more and grade school or high school students while free for infants and children from one to five years of age. For online references, please visit bahaynakpil.org
Text credits: Bahay Nakpil-Bautista