Monday, April 6, 2015

Bahay Nakpil-Bautista

After the Maragondon heritage walk and learned about some facts about Andres Bonifacio, I thought about his widow and whatever happened to her after the passing of her husband. My inquiry brought me to the venerable house in the heart of Quiapo, Manila, the Bahay Nakpil-Bautista (Nakpil-Bautista House). The house was built by Dr. Ariston Bautista and Petrona Nakpil in 1914 and was designed by the famous architect Arcadio Arellano.

The house is located at the core of the metropolitan along with the busy trading centers which has almost obliterated the historicalness of the structure. The Bahay Nakpil-Bautista has dwelled the widow of Andres Bonifacio, Gregoria de Jesus after marrying Julio Nakpil, who by then resides with the owners of the house Ariston Bautista and Petrona Nakpil, sister of Julio. Julio Nakpil was a member of the Katipunan, revolutionary group lead by Andres Bonifacio. He was also a composer and in fact he composed a hymn entitled "Marangal Na Dalit Ng Katagalugan" (Noble Hymn of the Tagalog Nation) which was intended to be the first National Anthem of the Philippines.

Upon entrance, the flags of the Philippine Revolution are displayed underneath the stairs which gives an impression of valiance, at the mezzanine (entresol), there are two doors leading to a big room where Julio and Gregoria stayed with their children. Gregoria's terno (a type of Philippine traditional dress for women) is displayed in their room together with some of Julio Nakpil's musical compositions.

The motif of the house is Viennese Secession which was inspired by the Viennese furniture set which was given to Dr. Ariston by the Prietos characterized with long slender column, vertical frames with an accent of tiny mother-of-pearl flowers engraved on its dark wood. Furniture designs during those times were elaborately carved with flowers which is the opposite of Vienna design, a style which was not popular in the Philippines then.

The reductivism was repeated all throughout the house which prevails on its ceilings, room dividers, ventanilla grills in the pattern of tulip. The calado on the top walls provides ventilation throughout the house.

As I went up the stairs, there is a receiving area, they call it "antesala", where guests are received on days when the residents holds special events. The second floor has been turned to museum where some artworks and keepsake of Philippine revolution particularly those belonging to Katipunan are displayed.

The living room has floors made from hardwood and has broad windows where air can pass to and fro providing enough ventilation around the house. A reproduction of Juan Luna's masterwork "The Parisian Life" in place of the original is displayed in this house. The owner of the house Dr. Ariston Bautista was one of the figures in the corner of the painting together with Dr. Jose P. Rizal and Juan Luna himself that seems like they're having a private meeting. The original painting is presently displayed in Luna Room of the GSIS Musuem. Another Juan Luna's greatest artwork is  the "Spoliarium" which can be viewed in the National Museum, Manila Philippines.

Also found in the living room is the "tumba tumba" (rocking chair) where Oryang (Gregoria de Jesus) used to sit and rest. It is also the favorite chair of Dr. Jose Rizal during those times.

These are some of Ka Oryang's mementos left in the house. Her precious coffee grinder, Ka Oryang was a coffee addict that is why her coffee grinder should be handy in the house, I wonder how many cups of coffee does she consumes in a day? Her bed and her favorite hair accessory, the "payneta" an ornamental hair comb made from tortoise shell. The "azotea" or the terrace which is just beside the bedroom overlooks the "estero" (drainage canal) which I believe was not as bad as it is at present.

Also found in the second floor is the "comedor"(kitchen) that is quite spacious for a big family. Old kitchen utensils are displayed in a corner, the kitchen floor and walls are tiled, the sink is big and made from ceramic.

The house also keeps the original ballot box used in the first presidential and vice presidential election in the Philippines held in Cavite where Emiliano Aguinaldo won as the President.

The Nakpil-Bautista house is a concrete testimonial that it was the home of the heroes of the revolution and until now even though it has undergone so many modifications we cannot deny the fact the we owe gratitude to the people with exceptional courage who fought for the freedom that we are enjoying at present.

Lastly, I would like to thank Ms Bobbi Santos-Viola, President of Bahay-Nakpil Foundation for accommodating us even the museum is closed, we went there on a Monday but still they were generous to let us in and for letting me get some informations on their website at .

How to get there?
1. The house is located at 432A Bautista St. (formerly Barbosa St.), Quiapo, Manila.
2. The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm on Tuesdays until Sunday.
3. Entrance fee is 80 pesos for adults, college and university students.
Senior citizens, grade school and high school students is 50 pesos. For group of 10 or more is 50 pesos each.
4. It is accessible by public transportation, just get off at Quezon Blvd. or Hidalgo St.
5. For inquiries and reservations send e mail to- or you can call landline # 7319305.

And that is your ticket to Bahay Nakpil-Bautista! A replica of the cedula which was torn by the Katipuneros during the revolution. Go get your copy and keep it, it would be a nice souvenir.
Thank you for reading.

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