Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Jose Gaston Mansion

Part 3 of Our Negros Occidental Tour

One of the highlights of our trip was lunch at the Jose Gaston Mansion. Think Gone With The Wind, the mansion stands in the middle of a huge sugar plantation, Hacienda Sta. Rosalia in Manapla, north of Victorias.
Jose Gaston was one of the grandsons of Yves Leopold Germain Gaston, a Frenchman who settled in Negros Occidental with his wife, Prudencia Fernandez of Balayan, Batangas. Yves was instrumental in modernizing the sugar industry by bringing in the iron mill or horno economico.
Built in the 1930s, the mansion served as refuge for the Gaston clan during the Japanese occupation, much like in the epic film Oro, Plata, Mata which was shot in the very same estate.

Visiting the Gaston mansion was such a thrill, like a time machine ride. For a few hours, you are brought back to the golden age of hacienda life. Our friend Maryann Galeno arranged the visit with the current master of the house, Monsignor GG Gaston. A hearty lunch of generations old recipes were served to us using their heirloom china and crystal in the main dining room while Vivaldi played in the background.
After our sumptuous repast, we lounged at the balcony, feeling the afternoon breeze and looking at the lush greenery. It is no wonder a Frenchman fell in love with this place and decided to call it home.



The Jose Gaston Mansion




The mansion's famous staircase.

Some of the photos of Jose Gaston's family on display.

Our "formal" group photo (from left) Tracy Poblete, JC Buendia, Bia Ruiz, Gwen Tangcueco, Maryann Galeno
Beth de la Rosa and Dinny Lazo
.



From the tower, you can get a 360 degree view of the hacienda. (Notice the Chapel of Cartwheels at the back)





Starting our lunch healthy.

Pochero a la Rosalia

Garlic Butter Prawns

Monsignor GG Gaston's Adobong Milyonaryo

Turon (Sweet Banana Spring Roll)



The Jose Gaston Mansion was the famous setting of the epic Peque Gallaga film Oro, Plata, Mata.
Video clip from ABS CBN Entertainment Channel, You Tube.

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