There were many beautiful houses in Manila…
In the 1800s:
The Capitan Mariano Zamora and Capitana Martina Molo Agustin Paterno y Yamson residence, # 917 Calle San Sebastian, Quiapo [ now # 968 R. Hidalgo street ]. It devolved to their children Asuncion and Manuel. It later became the Maximino Paterno y Devera Ignacio and Asuncion Zamora y Paterno residence. It is a magnificent example of mid-19th century aristocratic Filipino residential architecture. It was inherited by the descendants of Maximino Paterno y Devera Ignacio and Asuncion Zamora y Paterno. It is still extant although deteriorated with its innumerable “tenants.”
Capitan Mariano Zamora and his first wife Manuela Josefa had a daughter: Regina Zamora married her father’s second wife’s/stepmother’s brother Lucas Molo Agustin Paterno y Yamson.
Capitan Mariano Zamora and his second wife Capitana Martina M. A. Paterno y Yamson had 4 children: Asuncion Zamora y Paterno married her maternal first cousin Maximino Paterno y Devera Ignacio; Manuel Zamora y Paterno married his niece Maria Egypciaca Paterno y Zamora (daughter of his half-sister Regina Zamora and maternal uncle Lucas M. A. Paterno y Yamson), then married Baltazara Mangali; Juana Zamora y Paterno married Pablo Ocampo y de Leon; and Severino Zamora y Paterno married Ana Longos.
According to the memories of Maximino’s and Asuncion’s grandson Roberto “Bobby” Montilla Paterno in the privately-circulated Paterno monograph “The Paternos” by Miguel and Jean Marie Paterno (2005): “I was told that that house used to belong to my Lola Asuncion Zamora and her brother Manuel Zamora. I haven’t been able to find out when it was first built. But when I was born (1936) it already belonged to the children of Asuncion, including my father.”
Apparently, it was originally a Zamora y Paterno residence. It became more associated with the Paterno family when Asuncion Zamora y Paterno married her maternal first cousin Maximino Paterno y Devera Ignacio. The couple had 10 children: Florencio Zamora Paterno; Isabel Zamora Paterno; Maximino Zamora Paterno; Carmen “Mameng” Zamora Paterno married Isaac Lacson; Martina “Tinang” Zamora Paterno; Maximino “Mino” Zamora Paterno married Lelia Toth (Argentinean); Maria “Yang” Zamora Paterno; Jose “Pepe”/”Chenggoy” Zamora Paterno; Dolores “Loling” Zamora Paterno married Angel Tuason; Ramon “Monching” Zamora Paterno married Adelina Inez “Nelly” Montilla, then married Adela Planas.
The Capitan Maximino “Memo” Molo Agustin Paterno y Yamson residence, Santa Cruz, on the narrow, elongated block bordered by no 73 Calle San Roque [ no 453 Padre Gomez street ], corner Calle Noria [ Pedro Paterno street ], corner Calle Quiotan [ Sales street ], corner Calle Francisco Carriedo, midway between the Santa Cruz church and the Quiapo church. The facade/main entrance [ and postal address ] of the house was on Calle San Roque; the “azotea” and the “caballerizas” stables were on Calle Francisco Carriedo. The long sides of the house were along Calle San Roque and Calle Quiotan; the short sides of the house were along Calle Noria and Calle Francisco Carriedo.
It was the legendary residence of the famous “Capitan Memo” Maximino Molo Agustin Paterno of Santa Cruz, Manila, who married three times: the first to Valeria Pineda, the second to Valeria’s cousin Carmen “Carmina” Devera Ignacio y Pineda, and the third to Carmina’s sister, Teodora Devera Ignacio y Pineda. One of Capitan Memo’s sons was the famous “ilustrado” Pedro Alejandro Paterno y Molo [ actually “y Devera Ignacio,” but Pedro preferred to use “y Molo” according to top historian Dr Ambeth Ocampo ]. The opulent European “Belle Epoque” style interiors of Capitan Memo’s magnificent Santa Cruz residence are immortalized in a series of photographs kept by the descendants.
Capitan Maximino M. A. Paterno y Yamson and his first wife Valeria Pineda had one son: Narciso Paterno y Pineda married Lorenza Chuidian, then married Emilia Venegas.
Capitan Maximino M. A. Paterno y Yamson and his second wife Carmen “Carmina” Devera Ignacio y Pineda had 9 children: Agueda “Guiday” Paterno y Devera Ignacio; Maria Dolores “Doleng” Paterno y Devera Ignacio, Jose Timoteo “Pepe” Paterno y Devera Ignacio married his paternal first cousin Maria Patrocinio “Quita” Paterno y Zamora (daughter of his paternal uncle Lucas M. A. Paterno y Yamson and his aunt Capitana Martina’s stepdaughter Regina Zamora), Pedro Alejandro Paterno y Devera Ignacio married Luisa Pineiro y Merino; Maria Jacoba “Cobang” Paterno y Devera Ignacio; Antonio Paterno y Devera Ignacio married Andrea Angeles; Maximino Paterno y Devera Ignacio married his paternal first cousin Asuncion Zamora y Paterno; Maria de la Paz Santa “Paz” Paterno y Devera Ignacio; Trinidad “Trining” Paterno y Devera Ignacio married Claudio Gabriel.
Capitan Maximino M. A. Paterno y Yamson and his third wife Teodora Devera Ignacio y Pineda had 5 children: Mariano “Nano” Paterno y Devera Ignacio, “Concepcion “Concha” Paterno y Devera Ignacio married Narciso Padilla y Bibby, the twins Feliciano “Ciano” Paterno y Devera Ignacio and Rosenda Paterno y Devera Ignacio, and Adelaida “Adela”/”Adeling” Paterno y Devera Ignacio.
The Pinedas, Deveras, and Ignacios were active players in the burgeoning jewelry trade of Santa Cruz district: they were involved in the trade of precious stones and gold, design, goldsmithing, and production of jewelry, both for the local market and for export.
The Ramon Genato residence, Calle San Sebastian, Quiapo. The very elegant mansion of Ramon Genato was renowned in its time from the 1880s-90s as a gathering place of “de alta sociedad de Manila.” The raconteur Felix Roxas y Fernandez waxed nostalgic: “December 31 of every year, or the New Year’s Eve Ball, was traditionally held in the commodious and luxurious house of the Ramon Genatos whose children, out of love for their father, fondly took care of the lavish preparations for the festivity. By entering the portals of this unusual mansion on R. Hidalgo Street, the guests were brought face to face and impressed with the fine taste and artistic traits of the Genato children; and this impression was augmented when one passed through the artistically decorated and elegant rooms and halls of the mansion. The dining room appeared very splendid, not only because of the profusion of decorative plants and flowers and of fountains prepared with blocks of luminous ice, but also because of the regal appearance of the dining table decked with the latest in the decorative art.”
“La Casa Grande,” Calle San Sebastian [later # 964 Calle R Hidalgo], the residence of the Conde de Aviles who built it in the 1850s. It later became the Benito Cosme Legarda y Tuason and Teresa de la Paz [viuda de Jose Severo Tuason] residence in 187_ [after Teresa passed away in 1890, he married Francisca del Rosario of Cavite]. The Palacio de Malacanan was in an embarrassing state of constant disrepair in those days, so the Spanish Governors-General resorted to entertaining at the Conde de Aviles’ “La Casa Grande” along fashionable Calle San Sebastian. The palatial residence was where the Duke of Edinburgh was entertained in Manila during his visit in 1869; it was also where King Norodom I of Cambodia was entertained in Manila during his visit in 1872.
“La Casa Grande,” the beautiful and elegant Legarda-de la Paz residence, was hung with several important oil paintings by Filipino and Spanish masters (among them “La Inocencia” by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo y Padilla, seascapes by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo y Padilla, paintings by Juan Luna y Novicio, “Portrait of Don Benito Cosme Legarda y Tuason” by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, and the “Portrait of Dona Teresa de la Paz de Tuason de Legarda” by Felix Martinez); furnished with luxurious European furniture from Madrid and Barcelona and exquisite Filipino furniture by Ah Tay and Isabelo Tampinco; Eastern rugs, French gilded mirrors, crystal chandeliers, and great Japanese Satsuma and Kutani vases.
Benito Cosme Legarda y Tuason and his first wife Teresa de la Paz viuda de Jose Severo Tuason had three children: Benito III “Bitong” married Filomena “Nena” Gonzalez y Roces; Consuelo “Titang” married Mauro Prieto y Gorricho; Rita “Chata” married 1) L James Donaldson-Sim 2) Benito Valdes y Salvador. “La Casa Grande” was inherited by Rita “Chata” Legarda y de la Paz de Valdes.
The Gonzalo Tuason y Patino residence, Santa Ana.
The Pedro Sy-Quia y Encarnacion and Asuncion Michels de Champourcin y Ventura residence, Tondo [the big house stood on the exact location of the main Tutuban mall which was the original Tutuban railroad station; according to Sy-Quia oral tradition, the old Tutuban railroad station was the big old family house reconfigured by Architect Juan Jose Hervas to be a train station].
Pedro Sy-Quia y Encarnacion amassed a great fortune in trading. At the height of his success, it was said that he owned 10 % of the real estate of Manila and its surrounding “arrabales” districts.
When the Sy-Quia-Michels de Champourcin residential property in Tondo was expropriated by the government to establish the Tutuban railroad station, the family of Pedro Sy-Quia transferred to a house on Mabini Street in the newly fashionable Ermita district. The “Table of the Sphinxes” the big marble table was purchased by Placido Escudero y de Leon and his wife Claudia Marasigan y Javier (the Escuderos of San Pablo, Laguna), and the biggest French crystal chandelier in the sala was purchased by the Santa Ana cabaret and it later ended up at the Malacanang palace.
The Paterno-Devera Ignacio residence, # 1331 Calle El Conde de Aviles [later Jose P Laurel street], San Miguel district. It was the “casa nueva” new house built in the early 1900s by the children of Capitan Maximino “Memo” Molo Agustin Paterno y Yamson and his third wife Teodora Devera Ignacio y Pineda — Mariano “Nano,” Concepcion “Concha” [ Concepcion Paterno de Padilla; Sra de Narciso Padilla y Bibby ], the twins Feliciano “Ciano” and Rosenda, and Adela “Adela” / “Adeling.” It was a big, massive house painted light blue and white, set off from the street by a garden, that resembled the nearby Eugster residence [Eugster-Moreno Lacalle-Goldenberg house] but without the lacelike arches. The house devolved to the spinster Adela [ o 1882 – + 1962 ], the last surviving daughter of Capitan Maximino Paterno. Before and after the war, the house contained a concentration of Paterno heirlooms from the other great family houses (specially the magnificent residence of Capitan Maximino “Memo” Molo Agustin Paterno in nearby Santa Cruz with its several reception rooms and halls furnished in opulent European “Belle Epoque” style) because of the old Filipino tradition that the youngest daughter in the family becomes a spinster in order to take care of the aging parents and consequently inherits the family house and its contents: magnificent ancestral portraits by 19th century Filipino masters Severino Flavier Pablo and Justiniano Asuncion and splendid late 19th century furniture by Filipino and Chinese master cabinetmakers like the famous Isabelo Tampinco and “Ah Tay.” Adela Paterno y Devera Ignacio passed away in 1962. Unfortunately, decades later the house and the magnificent, ages-old Paterno heirlooms were deaccessioned and the house was consequently demolished in the late 1980s. The house parts were purchased by ***** ***** [ granddaughter of Roman R. Santos, founder of Prudential Bank ] and used in the construction of two family houses in Ayala Alabang.
A prominent Paterno family member reminisced: “Of course I remember Lola Adela… Yes, old Lola Adela Paterno, not Adela Planas of Monching (Mrs Ramon Z Paterno). Until her passing in 1962, we [ the Paterno clan ] used to assemble at her old house across Malacanang every Christmas. She was old, frail, and quiet. She would be seated on an armchair and we would all queue up for her “aguinaldo” — Php 2.00 in small white envelopes for everybody in those years wherein an “aguinaldo” of any value would have been at least Php 50.00 . There we were lining up: Ting, Baby, Manolo, Ninit, even Chito [ Consuelo Alejandra Paterno Madrigal-Vazquez-Collantes ] and Ising [ Maria Luisa Paterno Madrigal-Vazquez ]. Imagine giving superrich Chito and Ising Madrigal Php 2.00 “aguinaldo” each! But they were very nice and charming about it. After all, Lola Adela was a favorite aunt of their mother Tia Susana: Lola Adela was very kind to her and Tia Susana regarded her with great affection; they were only a few years apart in age. Lola Adela was a first cousin of Jose Tereso Paterno, Susana’s father. Lola Adela’s father Maximino and Susana’s grandfather Lucas were brothers.”
The Pedro Pablo “Perico” Roxas y de Castro and Carmen de Ayala y Roxas residence, Calle General Solano, San Miguel district. It was a masterpiece of the patrician architect Felix Roxas y Arroyo [ Sr. ], who was both Pedro’s and Carmen’s uncle. Felix Roxas y Arroyo [ Sr. ] was a first cousin of Pedro’s father, Jose Bonifacio Roxas y Ubaldo, and his sister, Margarita Roxas de Ayala, Carmen’s mother. Pedro and Carmen were first cousins.
The facade of the house featured a pair of inwardly curving stone stairs.
The American “Thomasite” teacher Maria Morilla Norton wrote a detailed description of the house [ “Studies in Philippine Architecture,” 1911 ].
The very elegant 1890s wedding of Margarita Roxas y de Ayala to the Spanish engineer Eduardo Soriano y Sanz was held in the house.
Senior ladies remember it as the elegant house from which Ramona “Ramonita” Roxas y Gargollo [ daughter of Antonio Roxas de Ayala and Carmen Gargollo; granddaughter of Pedro Pablo Roxas and Carmen de Ayala ] emerged for her wedding to Mr. Fernandez in the 1930s.
The Jacobo Zobel y Zangroniz and Trinidad de Ayala y Roxas residence, Calle General Solano, San Miguel district. Their son Enrique Zobel de Ayala established his own residence on Plaza Ferguson in newly-fashionable Ermita in the 1890s. By the 1920s, the Zobel family was no longer in residence.
During that time, the hacendero Arsenio Escudero y Marasigan of San Pablo, Laguna was driving by the house on Calle General Solano when he espied a beautiful late 1800s matrimonial bed, probably by the “Ah Tay” workshop, left to the elements in the garden; he promptly made arrangements to acquire it from the family.
The Rafael Enriquez y Villanueva residence, Calle San Sebastian, Quiapo. It was another masterpiece of the patrician architect Felix Roxas y Arroyo [ Sr. ]. Its second floor featured a columned, expansive, and airy balcony overlooking the street; it can be seen in several old photographs of Calle San Sebastian taken before 1900. However, by the 1980s, its splendid interior architectural details had already disappeared. The small, principal staircase was certainly not in consonance with the architect’s original vision and it seemed to be a postwar replacement. It was once used as the School of Fine Arts of the University of the Philippines. Transferred and faithfully reassembled in 2007, it now stands splendidly at the “Real de Acuzar” complex in Bagac, Bataan.
The American “Thomasite” teacher Maria Morilla Norton wrote a detailed description of the house [ “Studies in Philippine Architecture,” 1911 ].
The Eugster residence, Calle General Solano, San Miguel district. It was later acquired by the prominent lawyer Jose Moreno Lacalle in the 1890s. Afterwards, it was acquired by the industrialist Michael Goldenberg in 1950. It was forcibly acquired by Madame Imelda Romualdez-Marcos from the Goldenberg family in the early 1970s. It is the most elegant extant example of late 19th century Filipino residential architecture.
However, it must be noted that the famous and grand “escalera principal” of the Eugster/Moreno Lacalle/Goldenberg mansion was a postwar renovation/addition.
The Mariano Limjap y Nolasco residence, Calle General Solano, San Miguel district.
Mariano Limjap y Nolasco was an immensely rich and handsome man with aristocratic tastes. He was descended from Carlos Palanca Tan-Quien-Sen, the very first “Sangley” Chinese to attain the summit of wealth and influence in 1800s Spanish Manila; Carlos Palanca Tan-Quien-Sen was the model for the extremely affluent Chinese businessman Quiroga in Dr Jose P Rizal’s incendiary novel “Noli Me Tangere.” Born to wealth and accustomed to elegance, Mariano Limjap’s house was furnished with European and Chinese furniture as well as pieces by the redoubtable “Ah Tay” of Binondo, and was littered with expensive French and English decorations. It is said that he left +- Php 1 million to each of his 10 children upon his death in the early 1900s [ his estate must have been worth in excess of Php 10 million ].
The mansion stood at the foot of the Ayala bridge. It was destroyed by bombs during the war.
The Faustino Lichauco and Luisa Fernandez residence, Calle General Solano, San Miguel district.
A Lichauco daughter recalled that there was a hallway in the house that was luxuriously lined with a succession of large Venetian mirrors on both sides.
The Rafael and Joaquin Ynchausti residence, Calle Cortabitarte, Malate district. Photographs exist of the beautiful house of one of Manila’s extremely affluent families.
In the early 1900s:
The Gregorio Araneta y Soriano and Carmen Zaragoza y Roxas residence, Calle San Sebastian [ later # 1030 Calle R. Hidalgo ], Quiapo. It was designed by the architect Arcadio Arellano. It was the most beautiful, elegant, aristocratic residence along Calle R. Hidalgo during the fifty years of its existence.
It actually survived the war, but it did not survive a defective light bulb in a closet.
The Ariston Bautista y Lin and Petrona Nakpil residence, Calle Barbosa [ now Bautista Street ], Quiapo. It was designed by the architect Arcadio Arellano in 1914. Its German Art Nouveau architectural details were avant-garde for its time, inspired by a suite of imported Viennese Wiener Werkstatte furniture given to the couple by affluent businessman Mauro Prieto y Gorricho and his wife Consuelo Legarda y de la Paz. Ariston and his wife Petrona were childless. The majority of the property, 15/16 parts, was willed to Ariston’s and Petrona’s favorite grandnephew Arch Angel Ernesto Sancho Nakpil, son of Ramon Nakpil [ youngest nephew of Petrona ] and the Spanish mestiza Enriqueta Sancho y Najera. Postwar, Angel E Nakpil married Carmen “Chitang” Francisco Guerrero, the young widow of Ismael “Toto” Arguelles Cruz. After Angel E Nakpil passed away in 1979, his adolescent children decided that they did not want to maintain the old house, so they asked to cede it to their Nakpil relatives in exchange for another family property.
The property eventually devolved to the heirs of Petrona’s brother, Julio Nakpil, who had married the revolutionary hero Andres Bonifacio’s widow, Gregoria “Oriang” de Jesus y Alvarez. Their son, Arch Juan de Jesus Nakpil, became a leading Filipino architect.
Ariston Bautista y Lin was the only child of an affluent, Chinese mestizo, Santa Cruz, Manila family. The Nakpil family was from Quiapo. Francisco Nakpil, the eldest brother of Petrona, was the one who established the “Joyeria Nakpil” and the first in the family to join the Katipunan movement; his younger brother Julio followed after Francisco’s imprisonment and torture. A little-known fact was that Petrona, Francisco, and Julio Nakpil were cousins of the famous brothers Juan and Antonio Luna y Novicio of Badoc, Ilocos Norte [ albeit not first ]; the mother of their father, Juan Nakpil Sr, was a Luna of their line. Hence, some of the family connections of the 1896 Revolution explained.
The residence is remarkably well-preserved. Its conservation is a testament to the high intellectual and artistic traditions of the prominent Nakpil family. The original Vienna Secession-style furniture still exists in the houses of various Nakpil descendants.
Barbara “Baritay” Padilla de Resurreccion Hidalgo later the Felipe Hidalgo y Kleimpell residence, Calle San Sebastian, Quiapo. Barbara was the daughter of Narciso Padilla, who built a shipping and trading fortune that spanned Luzon and the southern islands. Barbara Padilla de Resurreccion Hidalgo was known as “the Queen of the Pasig river,” for her boats and “cascos” plied the length of the river and beyond to trade various basic goods and her warehouses lined the length of the Pasig river from Tondo to Binondo. In her old age, Barbara Padilla de Resurreccion Hidalgo sold her shipping business to Luis Yangco, considerably adding to the core of his increasing wealth, which survives to this day through his Yangco-Magsaysay descendants and the flourishing Magsaysay shipping business. The Neo-Gothic detailed house was famous for the eccentric, all-encompassing collection of Felipe Hidalgo, a descendant of the venerable Padilla family and a nephew of the great nationalist painter Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo y Padilla. The magnificent Hidalgo collection was dispersed in the early 1980s and the house consequently demolished in the late 1980s.
The Jose Escaler y Sioco and Aurea Ocampo y Hizon residence, Calle San Rafael, San Miguel district. The house was an early work of the Cornell University-trained architect Tomas Mapua. Jose “Pepe” Escaler y Sioco was the “unico hijo” of the maternal (Rodriguez) first cousins Manuel Escaler y Rodriguez of Balanga, Bataan and Sabina Sioco y Rodriguez of barrio Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga. Sabina Sioco de Escaler became the richest “hacendera” in Pampanga during her lifetime (1858-1950), acquiring thousands of hectares of agricultural land in Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, and Bulacan and many commercial and residential properties in Manila. She was assisted by the family’s financial geniuses, her son Jose “Pepe” Escaler y Sioco and nephew Augusto “Bosto” Gonzalez y Sioco. The family of Sabina Sioco de Escaler, by virtue of its great wealth, was the first Pampanga family to be assimilated into Manila’s “de alta sociedad” in the early 1900s (joining the ranks of the Tuasons, Legardas, Prietos, Valdeses, Roxases, de Ayalas, Zobels, Sorianos, Paternos, Zamoras, Palancas, Sunicos, Chuidians, Limjaps, et al) long before other grand Pampanga families. Among many other Manila properties in Binondo, Santa Cruz, and Quiapo, Sabina Sioco de Escaler owned one whole side of Calle Cristobal Arlegui as well as other choice residential properties in Calle General Solano, Calle El Conde de Aviles, and Calle San Rafael in the posh San Miguel district. Aurea “Auring” Ocampo y Hizon was the daughter of Dr Basilio Ocampo and Leoncia Hizon y Singian both of rich “hacendero” families in San Fernando, Pampanga. Their 2 sons who achieved distinction were businessman Ernesto Ocampo Escaler, married to Maria Luisa Lichauco de Leon, and Bishop Federico Ocampo Escaler SJ.
The Nicanor Padilla y Escobar and Ysabel Bibby y Pena residence, Calle Rodriguez Arias [a U-shaped street], off Calle General Solano, San Miguel district. Nicanor Padilla was a younger relative/nephew of the affluent Barbara “Baritay” Padilla de Resurreccion Hidalgo, whose Narciso Padilla branch of the family was the first to settle in Manila from Lingayen, Pangasinan in the 1850s and establish its flourishing shipping, trading, and real estate businesses. Narciso Padilla had a younger brother, Tomas, whom he called to study in Manila. Tomas Padilla was the father of Nicanor Padilla y Escobar. Nicanor followed suit in the early 1900s, bringing with him the “materiales fuertes” of his substantial house in Lingayen and reassembling it on Calle Rodriguez Arias at the San Miguel district. The old house was rebuilt on the right side of the property and a second house was later built on the left as a halfway house for their newly-married children. The old house was furnished entirely with massive, ornate, solid “narra” wood furniture from the Bilibid Prison workshops.
The Baldomero Roxas residence, Malate district.
The Jose Araneta y Zaragoza and Mercedes Lopez y Chavez residence, Calle Cortabitarte, Malate district.
The Andres Soriano y Roxas and Carmen de Montemar residence, Calle General Solano, San Miguel district. It was designed by the talented and eccentric artist, Emilio Alvero. It is currently the Alberto Padilla y Bibby residence.
The Rafael Fernandez y Santos and Josefa Escaler y Sioco residence, Calle San Geronimo [ Cristobal Arlegui street ], San Miguel district. It was designed by a leading American architect in an eclectic European style (not by Arch Andres Luna de San Pedro). It was the wedding gift of the bride’s mother, Sabina Sioco viuda de Escaler, Pampanga’s richest “hacendera” landowner at the time, to a younger daughter. Unfortunately, vicissitudes befell the Fernandez couple and the house was sold. During the Marcos presidency, First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos enlarged the house by constructing a mirror-image of the original. It served as a presidential guest house for many years. It served as the official residence of President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino during her incumbency. It is currently the property of Tarcila “Tanching” Laperal-Mendoza.
In the prewar [ 1930s ]:
The Jacobo Zobel y Roxas and Angela Olgado y Calvo residence, Malate district, Dewey boulevard.
The property had been owned by the Vicenta Reyes viuda de Juan Roxas family since the late 1800s. It was sold by the unfortunate Francisco L. Roxas family through their representative Gregorio Araneta y Soriano [ married to their niece Carmen Zaragoza y Roxas, daughter of Rosa Roxas de Zaragoza, a first cousin of Francisco ] to their relatives the Zobel-Roxas family. Francisco L. Roxas y Reyes was a second cousin of Trinidad Ayala de Zobel, Jacobo’s paternal grandmother.
The house was in the Spanish style, detailed with bricks and white plaster.
Senior ladies remember the house to have been among Manila’s most beautiful because of the elegant tastes of Angela Olgado de Zobel.
The house became the British embassy for some years.
The Alfonso Zobel y Roxas and Carmen Pfitz y Herrero residence, Ermita district, Dewey boulevard. It was a masterpiece of the Paris-trained architect Andres Luna San Pedro, the only son of nationalist painter Juan Luna y Novicio and his heiress wife Paz Pardo de Tavera y Gorricho.
The house was in the style of the French Mediterranean villas dotting the Riviera. It also evoked the Beaux-Arts mansions of fin-de-siecle Paris.
The Enrique Zobel de Ayala and Fermina Montojo y Torrontegui residence, Dewey boulevard.
“El Nido” the [ Atty ] Eugene Perkins and Idona Slade residence, Dewey boulevard.
The Vicente Fernandez and Petra Leyba y Martinez residence, Calle El Conde de Aviles [later Jose P Laurel street], San Miguel district. The brothers Vicente and Ramon Fernandez established “Compania Maritima,” Maritime Company of the Philippines, and other companies; they were business titans of the time. Being prominent members of the business community, they were also co-founders of “Club Tiro al Blanco,” “Club Filipino,” “Philippine Columbian Association,” etc.. Petra Leyba y Martinez belonged to a rich Spanish-Filipino family with many commercial and residential real estate holdings in Manila.
The Pickett residence, Santa Mesa. The affluent Picketts were the forebears of the famously handsome actor Eddie Gutierrez. Eddie’s father Long Pickett was considered by Manila society as the handsomest man of his time.
The Bachrach residence, Santa Mesa.
The Ramon Fernandez and Feliza Hocson y Valenzuela residence, San Juan. The brothers Vicente and Ramon Fernandez established “Compania Maritima,” Maritime Company of the Philippines, and other companies; they were business titans of the time. Being prominent members of the business community, they were also co-founders of “Club Tiro al Blanco,” “Club Filipino,” “Philippine Columbian Association,” etc.. The house was set on top of the Pinaglabanan hill on 4 hectares directly across from the Pinaglabanan church; it had a racecourse for horses; sheep and deer were also raised on the property. The house was hung with large masterpieces by prewar Filipino masters like Fabian de la Rosa, Fernando Amorsolo, and Jorge Pineda.
The Juan Arellano residence, San Juan.
The Barcelona – de Santos residence, San Juan. The prewar Italianate villa and its garden was a masterpiece of the early 20th century Filipino artist Emilio Alvero. It was built for the Barcelona, an affluent and prominent Nueva Ecija “hacendero” family. According to the Barcelonas, Emilio Alvero was an eccentric, whimsical, and temperamental artist who was most productive at night. He painstakingly designed every architectural element in the house. He even personally mixed and made the green “terrazzo” flooring of the ground floor. The residence is well-maintained in its original state by the family.
The Manuel Elizalde residence, Pasay.
The Perez Rubio residence, Vito Cruz. It was a beautiful French-style house.
The entire Perez Rubio family — with the exception of young Miguel Perez Rubio who was not in the house at that time — and their household staff were murdered by the Japanese soldiers in late February 1945.
The Tomas Mapua residence, Taft Avenue, Pasay. It was a masterpiece in the Art Deco style by the Cornell University-trained architect Tomas Mapua. He was the first registered Filipino architect. The residence is well-maintained by the family.
The Teresa Eriberta “Tata” Tuason y de la Paz residence [ the Tuason-Prieto-Caro-Ag*stines ], Calle San Rafael, San Miguel district.
Teresa Eriberta “Tata” Tuason y de la Paz was the eldest daughter of Jose Severo Tuason, the fourth lord of the Tuason “mayorazgo” (noble estate), and Teresa de la Paz. Although not the principal heir of the vast Tuason fortune, she had great influence over family matters. After her father’s early demise, her mother Teresa de la Paz viuda de Jose Severo Tuason married a relative, Benito Cosme Legarda y Tuason and had three more children Benito III “Bitong,” Consuelo “Titang,” and Rita “Chata.” When her mother Teresa de la Paz de Legarda was dying in 1890, Teresa Eriberta “Tata” Tuason y de la Paz promised to take care of her three Legarda y de la Paz half-siblings and their children as they were well-to-do but simply not as affluent as their Tuason y de la Paz half-siblings. “Tata” made good on that promise and went on to supervise the rigorous early education of her Legarda y Roces and Valdes y Legarda nephews and nieces assisted by the Madrid “ilustrado” Dr Ariston Bautista y Lin.
It is one of Manila’s most elegant houses, owing to the exquisite tastes of the owners. It is very well-maintained by the family. The lovely portrait of the original chatelaine, Teresa Eriberta “Tata” Tuason y de la Paz, painted by a Filipino old master, is still installed in the living room.
According to the legendary arts and antiques collector Marie-Theresa “Bebe” Lammoglia-Virata: “At the time we were collecting, during that time when even the ugly was beautiful, they were only collecting the beautiful.” The collection is also known as the “black hole” to the big, new collectors because once a magnificent item enters its confines, it is never seen again, except by the family and its closest circles.
“Victoneta 1933” The 1933 Salvador Araneta y Zaragoza and Victoria Lopez y Ledesma residence, San Juan / Mandaluyong. It was a splendid Hispano-Moresque / Mediterranean style residence that sprawled on 17,000 square meters [ 1.7 hectares ]. It was in the style of the grand residences designed by Addison Mizner in Palm Beach, Florida. Three prominent architects were employed in succession to complete the villa: Juan Arellano, Lerma, and Andres Luna San Pedro.
It was destroyed by a bomb planted in the chapel by the Japanese soldiers and accidentally detonated by a Filipino refugee during the final days of the war. Salvador and Victoria Araneta decided not to rebuild “Victoneta 1933” on account of the many war casualties. They built a new, large residence in Malabon: “Victoneta II.”
The Jose de Leon and Narcisa Buencamino residence, New Manila.
The Amparo Joven ( y de Keyser ) de Cortes residence, New Manila.
The Jose Severo Tuason y Zaragoza and Paz “Ning” Acuna y Jurado residence, Santa Mesa.
The Jose Maria “Pindong” Tuason y Zaragoza residence, Calle Sociego [later Sociego street], Santa Mesa. It was transferred / rebuilt by developer DMCI as the Acacia Suites clubhouse at the BGC Bonifacio Global City.
The Antonio “Tony” Tuason residence, Santa Mesa.
“Ang Gubat” the Benito IV Legarda y Roces and Trinidad Fernandez y Rodriguez residence, Sampaloc. The legendary estate of the Legarda family.
The Francisco Lopez y Tongoy and Angela Fajardo y Jacinto residence, Calle Sobriedad, Sampaloc.
The house was called “Why Worry?” and it took its inspiration from the Hollywood films of the era. Once inside, it is very easy to imagine the likes of Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, and Bette Davies.
The Eduardo Cojuangco y Chichioco and Josephine Murphy y Beley residence, Santa Ana. The Cojuangco-Murphy siblings remember it as a large house, although it was still being completed when World War II came to the Philippines on 08 December 1941.
The Dy-Buncio residence, Santa Ana. It later became the residence of the businessman Mr. Arcache.
The Isauro Gabaldon residence, Pina avenue, Santa Mesa.
The Carlos Palanca Tan-Guin-Lay residence, Taft avenue, Pasay.
The Eugenio Lopez Sr. and Pacita de Santos Moreno residence, Pasay.
The Vicente Madrigal residence, Balete drive, New Manila.
After Vicente’s passing, his many, many properties were raffled off to his seven children: Macaria “Nena” [ Mrs. Juan Lichauco de Leon ], Maria Paz “Pacita” [ Mrs. Herman Warns; later Mrs. Gonzalo W. Rafols Gonzalez ], Josefina “Pinang” [ Mrs. Francisco Ma. B. Bayot ], Antonio “Tony” [ married to Amanda Teopaco Abad Santos ], Jose “Belec” [ married to Victoria Teopaco Abad Santos ], Consuelo “Chito” [ Mrs. Luis “Chichos” Earnshaw Vazquez; later Mrs. Manuel Collantes ], and Maria Luisa “Ising” [ Mrs. Daniel Earnshaw Vazquez ]. It was Maria Luisa “Ising” who got the New Manila residence in the “bunutan” raffle. However, Consuelo “Chito” complained aloud and so the residence was raffled off again. The second time, it was Antonio “Tony” who got it; there were no objections from Chito. Antonio went into a joint venture with the Rufinos and developed the large property as a compound of luxury townhouses. It is known that the Madrigal-Paterno grandchildren rue the loss of their grandfather’s home: they spent many happy years there and the Eduardo Cojuangco Sr. grandchildren [ most often the Suntay-Cojuangco ] often came over to play by merely climbing ladders over their common fences. According to the Vazquez-Madrigal children, had their mother Maria Luisa “Ising” Madrigal-Vazquez inherited their grandfather’s house, she would have maintained it as it was during his lifetime.
The Jose Yulo residence, New Manila.
The Josephine Murphy de Cojuangco residence, Balete drive, New Manila. According to Mercedes Cojuangco-Teodoro, her parents Eduardo Cojuangco Sr. and his wife Josephine Murphy purchased the New Manila property from an American who had been interned during the war at the University of Santo Tomas; on it stood a traditional house of wood and stone constructed in prewar. In the years before his untimely 1952 demise, Eduardo Cojuangco Sr. had several architects, among them the famous Juan Nakpil, draw up plans for his upcoming residence.
After her husband’s passing in 1952, it was Josephine Murphy viuda de Cojuangco who constructed the house where she lived with her six children Eduardo Jr., Manuel, Henry, Mercedes, Aurora, and Isabel.
“Bahay na Puti” The J. Amado Araneta y Sitchon and Ester Araneta y Bustamante residence, Cubao. J. Amado “Amading” Araneta was known in affluent Manila-Bacolod-Iloilo circles for his “Think Big” mindset [ think Araneta Coliseum ], and his vast residence reflected that fact.
“White House” / “Victoneta II” The postwar Salvador Araneta y Zaragoza and Victoria Lopez y Ledesma residence, AIA Compound, Malabon.
The Luis Ma. Araneta y Zaragoza residence, # 52 McKinley Road, Forbes Park.
There were also interesting houses in Manila…
The “Pagoda” renovation of the 1800s Ocampo residence, Quiapo
The Ocampo family of Quiapo is directly descended from the prominent and affluent Paterno and Zamora families, also of the same district [ Calle San Sebastian / Calle R. Hidalgo ], as well as the famous and wealthy de los Reyes family originally of Cavite [ Crisanto de los Reyes y Mendoza ].
“Villa Caridad,” New Manila. The prewar, eclectic, Mediterranean-style residence was built by the Domingo Lerma family. It was later acquired by the Gallego-Ongsiako family with whom it is more closely associated.
Acknowledgments: the estate of Adela Paterno y Devera Ignacio, the estate of Maximino Molo Agustin Paterno y Yamson, Miguel and Jean Marie Paterno, Mia Cruz Syquia-Faustmann, Cristina Chanco Syquia-Daland, Stella Goldenberg-Brimo, Maria Limjap-Santos Fernandez, Jorge J L Lichauco de Leon, Jose Lichauco de Leon III, Francis Montemayor de Leon, E A F “Lizza” Guerrero Nakpil, Dr Fernando Nakpil Zialcita, Antonio “Tony” Guerrero Padilla, Felix “Nonon” Guerrero Padilla, the estate of Ramona Gonzalez y Morales de Favis, Beatriz Gonzalez Favis-Gonzalez, Teresa Gonzalez Favis-Olbes, Cecilia Gonzalez Favis-Gomez, Richard Barnes Lopez, Renato Palanca Gonzalez, Maripaz Godinez, Leo Hocson Lazatin, Lito Hocson, Maria Theresa Gallardo Lammoglia-Virata, Regina Lopez Araneta-Teodoro, Carminia Lopez Araneta-Segovia, Mercedes Murphy Cojuangco-Teodoro, Aurora Murphy Cojuangco-Lagdameo, Isabel Murphy Cojuangco-Suntay, Asuncion Fajardo Lopez-Gonzalez, Teresita Fajardo Lopez Marquez-Lim, Macaria Paterno Madrigal-de Leon, Antonio Paterno Madrigal, Maria Ana Consuelo Abad Santos Madrigal, Maria Paz Paterno Madrigal-Warns-Gonzalez, Vicente Madrigal Warns, Atty Ana Maria Gizela Madrigal Gonzalez-Montinola, Consuelo Paterno Madrigal-Vazquez-Collantes, Maria Luisa Paterno Madrigal-Vazquez, Maria Victoria Madrigal Vazquez, Margarita Araneta Fores, Pablo Pineda Campos III, Avelina Reynoso Gala-Blanco, Martin Imperial Tinio, Jr.