Monday, June 25, 2012

Aragon House

Lolo and Lola’s house was built in 1934 after they got married.  According to my mom, every single one of the 6 children were born in this house.    The original house had 3 stories, 5 bedrooms, a large great room, a formal dining, a kitchen, a dirty kitchen, one bathroom and an upstairs sitting room.  As mentioned at an earlier post the property also had a garage, a grainary and an outhouse.

My mom was born in 1940 and she says that she remembers having to evacuate the house to another village during Japanese occupation of the Philippines.  Although mom says that when they evacuated, it was during the tail end of the peace negotiations and the remaining Japanese, she said were friendly.  She remembered being playfully tossed in the air by them.  During their brief soujourn away, the house was made a camp by the Japanese.  Fortunately, nothing was damaged.

My grandparents furnished the house with solid dark wood pieces which my mom has lovingly kept.
My grandmother was very political and the house was always full of guests.  The most famous that stayed was then congressman and future Philippine President, Ramon Magsaysay whose wife Luz was good friends with my Lola.  My mom has made sure that all of Lola's china remain preserved and untouched, carefully displayed in her original cabinets.

All these furniture bring special memories to each of my sisters and I.  I especially love my Lolo's bed.  Lola offered their bed to Pres. Magsaysay when they visited them and everyone later would always shy away from sleeping on on it afraid that they might break the bed which once held a president. 

My youngest sister, who grew up with my Lola know of every secret nook and cranny where my grandmother hid all of her money in these furniture.  =o) 
Until this day, she keeps the secret.

Through the years, as all the children and grandchildren moved away, the house fell in disrepair.  My mom finally acquired it a handful of years ago as it had been passed down to my Uncle Lito and Mom lovingly restored it.
It was a labour of love which caused many trips, heartaches and frustrations.  Alot of the original wood and structure had been damaged by time and my mom did not want to lose the many wonderful original details that gave the house its charming character.  But most especially, the wonderful memories.  All the wood that was not termite affected was salvaged and if it could not be used in the flooring or the stairs, they were then made into benches.  All the upstairs flooring are original.  And you can imagine the same flooring downstairs many years ago.
All the sliding windows and glass panels were also restored and remain majestic to this day.  The beautiful wood details that accent the ceilings on the 2nd floor were also preserved. 

The new restored house now has only 2 stories, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, great room, dining room and kitchen and an upstairs sitting room.  
The house was so happy with three generations there.  I am sure that Lolo and Lola and Uncle Lito were smiling down at all of us.

(credit given to my cousin MA and sister ECM for some of the pictures used in the house and furniture collage)