Being a Manileña allows me to visit Intramuros countless times. I recently revisited this place when I attended a Sunday Catholic mass with my family at the Manila Cathedral. After hearing mass, we strolled along the cobbled stone pathways of Intramuros and visited some museums.
Although most places in Manila have been modernized (high rise buildings and large shopping centers sprouted all over the city), one thing I am sure of is that Intramuros remained its timeless charm.
Let’s get to know a bit of our ancestor’s past by getting inside the Casa Manila, Intramuros.
It is a museum that highlighted the domestic life of the upper-class citizens in the 19th century. It is a replica of an 1850’s San Nicolas house that was once located in Calle Jaboneros. It was constructed by the then-first lady Imelda Marcos during the 1980s, modeled on Spanish colonial architecture. The museum featured rare collections of antique wooden furniture, crystal chandeliers, Chinese ceramic vases, oil paintings, and authentic kitchen tools, to name a few.
At the ground floor are the Zaguan & Patio, Cabbelariza, and the souvenir item store.
The walls of the ground floor are made of Adobe (vulcanic tuff), which was used as the main building’s material in the Spanish Colony during the late 16th to late 19th century. The same material used to build the walls of Intramuros.
Entresuelo– A sort of mezzanine, the entresuelo usually contained a receiving area for tradesmen, an office, and some bedrooms. Starting from the late 19th century, some entresuelo inside Intramuros were rented out as an apartment for students enrolled in the different universities in Manila.
Cuarto – the room in the entresuelo usually occupied by an unmarried aunt or uncle. Other rooms were used for a siesta or for the accommodation of overnight guests.
The second floor displays the finest pieces of furniture in the house, showing off the family’s luxuriousness and their status to the society during those times.
Comedor the walls of the dining area were lined with plates or several sideboards which display families porcelain, silver, and glassware. The furniture was used not only for storage but also to impress visitors.
Cocina– This is the typical kitchen in the 19th century. The cement- like top of the stove is made of paste composed of sifted ashes and water. Bread was baked by piling live charcoal along the interior side of the oven, with the bread at the center.
the azotea serves many purposes. The aljibe or water cistern that supplies water to the household is located here. Activities that require a large amount of water is done here like laundry, gardening as well as butchering of pigs and chicken for a family meal. Rainwater from the roof, gutters were collected through the stone column, which led to the filter of charcoal, gravel and sand and then into the cistern.
Various herbs used for cooking are grown in the azotea like tanglad or lemon grass, pandan to name a few.
The guards served as our museum guide. They are friendly and very knowledgeable about everything inside the museum.
Address：Plaza San Luis Complex, Cor. Real & Gen. Luna Sts. Intramuros, Manila
Museum Hours：9 am – 6 pm
Closed On: Monday
Entrance Fee: Adults Php 75 ; Students/Teachers/Senior Citizens Php 50
Thank you for reading!
God bless always❤️
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