Monday, May 5, 2014

The Cojuangco Ancestral House

Our next journey takes us to a historic town in Bulacan, thirty minutes north of Manila. My road trip buddies, my college friends who all share with me the same fascination for heritage houses were privileged by an invitation from Melecio Cojuangco to visit their ancestral house in Malolos. Mel, his cousin in law Marissa Lopa, Rima Datuin and Evelyn Bautista and I discovered each other's funny bone because of our love for the ice cream served in a huge bowl at Peninsula Manila's lobby. One evening, to justify our appetite, we pretended it was my birthday and we had the string quartet play happy birthday for me, from then on, we became good friends.
Mel's grandfather, Jose Cojuangco was born at the Malolos house, very near the Barasoain Church. Jose's mother traded rice from Nueva Ecija, sacks transported by boat via the river at the back of the kamalig to Binondo, Manila.
Like most turn of the century houses, the Cojuangco house uses piedra china stones for the ground floor and wood for the second level. It has only one bedroom with an adjacent 'baby' room for the newborn Jose. This was home to the young Cojuangco couple, Melecio (Mel's great grandfather) and Tecla before they moved to Tarlac.
The ground floor or Silong which was used as storage in the past, was converted into a mini museum where enlarged old photos tell the story of the Cojuangcos. There is so much history about the house and Malolos, a history of heroes and our great nation.

The Cojuangco Ancestral House in Malolos, Bulacan

Now filled with historical photographs, the Silong (ground floor) of the house was used as a storage room in the past.

Jose Cojuangco and Demetria Sumulong on their wedding day, 11 October 1924

Don Pepe with wife Metring in New York, together with (from left) Jose Jr., Corazon, niece Lulu, Pedro,
Teresita and Paz (foreground)

With our gracious host Melecio Cojuangco, and good friend Rima Datuin

The house has only one bedroom with an adjoining 'baby' room.

We had Filipino comfort food for lunch - Pakbet, Adobong Pusit and Halabos na Hipon

On the side was home made Pancit Malabon, I had to have seconds!

The best home made Leche Flan I've tasted!

Pastillas de Leche, a Bulacan delicacy.

The Kamalig, equivalent of a barn where rice is stored.

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