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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Independence Day!

In the spirit of Independence Day, I would like to assert the Filipino-ness of this blog by flinging open the doors of our ancestral home and sharing with you dear readers a glimpse into our town, which is actually one of four National Heritage sites (the others are Vigan, Taal and Silay)! I realized not everyone is familiar with the typical Filipino provincial lifestyle so I've decided to take you on a "tour" of my mom's hometown of Pila, Laguna.

This is our 400 year old church and the town plaza...



Our patron saint is St. Anthony, and my lola would often tell me that if I wanted to find items I have lost, I should pray to St. Anthony! True enough, my prayers seeking help in finding stuff I've misplaced always get answered!

The fountain within the church courtyard...


This is the church altar...


This is our "munisipyo", better known these days as the town hall...


The spring water fountain where Pilenos used to draw drinking water from...



Our ancestral home which was designed by my great great-grandfather and built in the early 1900s...


As with typical urban legends (or shall I say "rural legends") it has been said that the land where our house and where our relatives' homes now stand used to be a graveyard! This claim is highly probable as the the town was relocated to its present site because the original town site was susceptible to extreme flooding.

Our living room...


The silong which in the olden days housed sacks and sacks of palay (unmilled rice) from the farm! I remember during harvest season, the palay would be laid out on the highways and streets to dry, and then stored in the silong prior to milling. Now it houses our excess stuff, exercise equipment and lots of lounging areas. When the weather gets too hot, we retreat to the silong because it is much cooler here!



Our neighbors' homes. The funny thing is, all our neigbors are our relatives as well! Think of the town plaza as the family compound, hehehe! I think one of the main reasons why our town plaza is well preserved is because this has always been a family effort!





Because I took these photos last month, and that month is Flores de Mayo time, a procession was the order of the day! Now a procession wouldn't be complete without...

The altar boys leading the way...


The majorettes in their short skirts and white boots...


The marching band...


The sagalas...




The hermanos and hermanas...


and of course, The Blessed Virgin Mary, to whom the flowers of May are offered to every day for the whole month!


If you'd like to see a National Heritage site, there's no need to travel all the way to Ilocos, Batangas (well, ok that is still quite near too) or Negros! Just hop on your car and drive all the way to Pila, Laguna! It's a mere 1.5 hours away from Makati!

5 comments:

The Knittymommy said...

OMG Tin! I think we might be heading into a "small world" moment. One of my best guy friends is from Pila, Laguna and is in fact a Judge there now. I will e-mail you separately.

I've always liked Pila. Do you remember when they thought there were alien sightings there?

Vanessa said...

What a beautiful home!

raissa said...

wow! what a beautiful home! My mother is actually from Laguna too, San Pablo. But since she spent her growing up years in Tacloban, Leyte (yes, Imelda province LOL), I dont know a lot of people save for my relatives, which is already a lot anyway. I do remember spending summers there - with the flores de mayo, the lanzones and going there during fiestas

*~The World is My Catwalk~* said...

I love your ancestral home!

I remember back when I was a kid, we used to go to San Pablo, Laguna during summer, just to watch the processions and sagala... it's a place rich in heritage and religious culture!

I've been a silent reader of your blog for a long time already and I must say I LOVE your style and posts!!

rz said...

so lovely!! it's looks as though you have had a fantastic time home.

tin, i am in need of more advice. i am currently looking into booking my flight to the philippines and wondered if you could suggest any travel agents? also what airline do you prefer to fly to the philippines. in the past i have booked Korean Air through RTA and have also flown singapore Air as well though another booking agent in chinatown. feedback is greatly appreciated!

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