Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Casa de Don Emilio and how we were


Once upon an era in Boac, when the women were still clad in elegant sinamay na pinokpok and some men tried to wear the smooth, silky tinodtod; when the harvest of palay and lukad, copra, sustained the people; when they had time to engage in the production of anizado, gin, coconut oil and ilang-ilang scent extraction for the senses and for export, they also had significant time for dancing, singing and playing musical instruments.




Boac even had a music school then, producing pianists, violinists, other instrumentalists, composers, music teachers and classical soloists. This eventually led to the formation of several comparsas, groups in costume, of string ensembles (foremost of which were those organized by the Hidalgos, Madrigals, Allenegues and Riveras), and music bands such as one organized by Emilio Lardizabal, playing marchas and music popular at the time.

Lardizabal’s ancestral house that was the official home of the band – he was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1901 – was located in front of the Boac Plaza. It is where Kusina sa Plaza has been housed, and permanently now, for more than a couple of decades.

Restaurateur Aurora Pitero of Kusina sa Plaza, that popular eating place in this town, has purchased the said property lock, stock and barrel, and has decided to preserve, restore and refurbish the Don Emilio house as a tribute to the glory days of that bygone era.

The second floor, with its original furniture pieces, chandeliers and antique objects has been transformed into an elegant dining room aptly named ‘Casa de Don Emilio’.

Hanging on its walls are these antiquated band instruments, decidedly mute, dented and unpolished now, but were certainly among those that brought happiness and harmony to the Boac townfolks as they once whirled in to the anthems of that era.








More Casa de Don Emilio photos courtesy of Toby Jamilla/Casa de Don Emilio




"Can it be that it was all so simple then?
Or has time re-written every line?
But if we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me, would we? could we?"

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