A beautiful prewar residence

As a child in the early 1970s, I used to admire a French Mediterranean-style mansion along Roxas Boulevard.  It was a bank then [ “Bank of Asia”? ].  My Daddy and I would drive by in the afternoons and I would glimpse a big chandelier lit inside.  For eight year old me, that was elegance!

In the 1980s…

By that time, I already knew that the mansion had been designed by the prominent architect Andres Luna San Pedro, who was trained in Paris.  He was the son of the nationalist painter Juan Luna y Novicio and his heiress wife Paz Pardo de Tavera y Gorricho.

The mansion had been built for Alfonso Zobel y Roxas, his wife Carmen Pfitz y Herrero, and their children Jaime, Victoria, and Alfonsito.  Jaime Zobel married Beatriz Miranda and they are the parents of Jaime Augusto and Fernando Zobel, the current chief executives of the Ayala conglomerate.




  1. violet said,

    January 20, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    I will come clean and refrain from pretending that I know my Art History well (oh the tragedy!! :)), but the place that I speak of looks BIG (gasps) and PINK (chokes) and prior to your January 19, 2007 at 12:46 pm reply, I was under the impression that balconies are a good thing, although I will say that ‘balustrades purchased from stalls along the highways’ do not and probably never will sound very appealing. Especially the ones that come in shiny blue and green.

    I do remember seeing a balcony and this huge space in front of the mansion (no idea what was there–perhaps a well-manicured ‘insert Proper Noun here’ Garden during its heyday), which keeps the mansion–or rather, The Mansion, a good distance from Roxas Boulevard itself.

    It seems someone regularly (perhaps once a year) goes there now to rid The Place of vines. During its vine-filled state, the place brought to mind Great Expectations’ ‘Paradiso Perduto.’ But only because both residences were palatial and vine-filled. lol.

    With that said, I have no idea (but am determined to find out!) what Palm Beach residences looked like in the 50s, but the place that I speak of is most probably the one near the Bayview Village entrance.

  2. January 19, 2007 at 12:46 pm


    Two manses come to mind. The one very near the Bayview Village entrance used to be a beautiful 1950s Beaux-Arts style residence but the owners destroyed its integrity of design by adding a balcony, with concrete balustrades purchased from one of those stalls along the highways, ostensibly for the sunset view. The other one, which resembles a 1950s Palm Beach residence, complete with swaying coconut palms, is the Vil*aroman Estate. It is truly a palatial residence. However, The Family does not seem to live there anymore. A few years ago, Word had it that it was for sale at Php 800 million.

    Toto Gonzalez

  3. violet said,

    January 19, 2007 at 10:35 am

    Not sure which ‘mansion’ this is, but there is this big place that–or so it seemed at some point, had vines growing ‘out’ from inside the house. I couldn’t help but notice this ‘mansion’ everytime I drove home from school (La Salle). It’s next I think to Bayview(?) and these rows of townhouses and what used to be “Wild Duck” (which a friend has noted is now called ‘Funtastic’ but still has the cement duck atop the entrance).

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