I'm just a small fish in a small corner of this big Laguna, and this is how I've been swimming it

22 April, 2011

Houses by the Church

   Houses by the town plaza, the church and the town hall were owned by the town's prominent citizens.  In the Philippines, we can still see many such houses, made of stone, with wide windows and imagine veiled women walking toward the parish at dawn on a Sunday. Having grown up in Metro Manila, and with no province of my own to visit, I do not have the sense of daily living in a provincial town that some friends and relatives enjoyed.  Maybe this is why I have been making a big deal of Sta. Rosa being actually a beautiful, historically and culturally wealthy old town. 

     I do prefer this "new" side to live in, that is to say, the barangays Santo Domingo and Don Jose. Sometimes though, the noveau nature of life here, fast surrounded by the usual food and services franchises can feel...boring.  I mean,  at Paseo de Santa Rosa, with its Kanin Club, Poquito Mas, Umenoya and Ippon Yari in the beginning, I thought this place would have its own charm.  Now there's no stopping its yearning to become a Makati Commercial Center. Even Alabang Town Center has its own atmosphere. Still, the Paseo area probably retains its own ambience (like that of its lone strip of an arcade with the bike shop and Safari car rental over a decade ago), somehow.

    The bayan has these old homes, with one structure, the Casa Zavalla open for visitors. It is a short walk from the church and close to its mortuary. They host some sort of "pulungan" sessions weekly.  There is a cafe as well.  With our luck, again, it was closed. This time, with chains and a padlock.  It seemed empty, most likely for the Holy Week.  Sayang, the museum security man excitedly told us we could have a snack and view antiques at the same time. 

 The wooden plaque says 1888-1997.
 The casa sits on a corner (of Zavalla St. I think). This is the casa from the corner. Why is there a bell tower?
 Interesting fish carving there.Must return to ask about it.
 The front entrance
 View of the church from the casa. See the Lipat-bahay ad on the electric post? Where's the "Tubero" signage? So like the Philippines :-) 
 structure next to (or part of?) the museum

 Note the Z on the grillwork. This house is a clinic.
 A huge, seemingly vacant house

He stands across the town plaza, in front of a tiangee, in front of Mercury Drug (which was, curiously, closed).  I'm sorry I do not know who he is and I was in the car at the busy intersection, being rushed by a traffic aide to go.

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