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.
An original sketch by Fernando Amorsolo from his younger days as artist.
Dez Bautista founded the Production Designers Guild of the Philippines (PDGP). He is also a food historian and a professor.
An original Juan Luna sketch hangs on the wall. The Ilocano in me got wild a little inside:)
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.
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
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