Vigan Living: Casa Caridad

Garden

Renowned for its old world charm, Vigan (a designated UNESCO world heritage site), in the new millennium, has multiplied its efforts to preserve the historic town. It also recently made the New7Wonder Cities.

One of Vigan’s sons, tycoon Jose “Bonito” Singson, is so passionate about heritage preservation. He welcomed his longtime friend and FoodPrints host, Sandy Daza, and the team into his nest. A Vigan house so splendidly restored — a mix of Spanish Colonial, Chinese and Ilocano influences, the details very quiet, making personal memoirs and portraits and his daughter’s artworks stand out.

The Resident of Casa CaridadPias (Kamias)

The first time we were at Casa Caridad,  his house named after his late mother, he treated us to cocktails – the finest Ilocano nosh of “bogi ti Semana Santa”, ipon with capers, fresh oysters in the shell, fine wine and pias with salt to keep us up.

The next day, at the actual shoot of Sandy and Bonito’s trusted cook, manang Tita Mendoza, a historical spread unfolded. As a blogger, I’ve always aimed to experience Ilocano food from a different perspective. Hoping to blog about the food of Vigan separately and completely soon. Meanwhile you should watch the FoodPrints Vigan and Ilocos Sur episodes to see what I mean.

With so much thanks to Bonito Singson.

Sabong ti KarabasaFoodPrints Ilocos Sur BTSChef Sandy Daza in ViganBaldoza-TiledStained GlassA Vigan HouseVigan SweetsSampling Vigan’s Spanish influenced canatillo, turones de mani and balicucha.MaseteriaPiedra ChinaPiedra ChinaVintage Moviehouse SeatsIf you will notice, we were actually seating on vintage moviehouse chairs.AtriumA Vigan house like no otherIndayonPink Garden

Stained glass photo by Nikki Alfonso, hammock and door photos by Christine Rae de Leon and movie, Vigan sweets and second photo by Melanie de Leon.
Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2015

Time stands still at the Don Antonio Bautista Mansion in Malolos

Guardian

The Bautista-Uytangcoy Mansion on Sto. Niño in The Camestisuhan District (the old enclave of rich Sangleys and Ilustrados) in Malolos is a beautiful oddity in this day and age when bygone residences and buildings are one by one being torn down, letting remnants of the past vanish into thin air. This 1850s neoclassical mansion, redecorated in 1877 in French Art Nouveau style was witness to multifarious conversations, including classified, for the most part near the turn of the century after Jose Rizal returned to Manila to form La Liga Filipina and before his exile to Dapitan (when he met the 21 women of Malolos), and the different periods when the house was converted as a municipio, and then as a Japanese barracks, until current resident, famous film set designer Dez Bautista (filmography includes Katorse, Nympha, Diosa, Stepsisters, Tatarin, etc.), restored his ancestral home and added touches of Chinoiserie, blending gracefully with Filipiniana and colonial-style decor, and his vast collection of antiquities, among them artworks from the masters like Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo and Hidalgo.

The Bautista MansionA Maloleño MansionFilipinianaChinoiserieOriginal Fernando Amorsolo Sketch

An original sketch by Fernando Amorsolo from his younger days as artist.

Touches of ChinoiserieMemorabiliaVerandahGramophoneDEZ with FVR

Dez Bautista founded the Production Designers Guild of the Philippines (PDGP). He is also a food historian and a professor.

Remembering History

An original Juan Luna sketch hangs on the wall. The Ilocano in me got wild a little inside:)

Original Juan Luna SketchColonial CeilingEmpanada de KaliskisHamon BulakeñaHeritage Bulacan Dishes

The most bracing atsara (atchara) ever! Made with dampalit, indigenous to Bulacan, usually found in fish ponds. Awesome with Dez’s yummy sweet and saltish Hamon Bulakeña!

Meeting Dez Bautista

My brief convesation with Dez Bautista

Do you cook yourself?

I tell my cusinera… I direct.

How would you describe Filipino food in 3 words?

Varied, original, fresh. When I say fresh, it needs to be cooked agad.

If you were gone tomorrow, what would you have for dinner?

We’re having crabs tonight. Whatever comes.

VintageTime Stands Still

Thanking the FoodPrints hookup for making this post possible. Did you watch FoodPrints on the Lifestyle Network last night? How was it? Make it a habit every Saturday, 8:30 PM.

Photographed by Melanie de Leon and Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2013