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Monday, March 13, 2017

Sariaya Quezon heritage tour birthday roadtrip

I was told to reserve the day, March 11, my barkada's birthday charity tour to
Quezon, and I woke up early at 2:00am Roy dropped by and picked me up
and off to Sariaya we go. this small town in is located between Mt. Banahaw 
and Tayabas Bay, thus offering visitors hiking and beach adventures.  Yet it is 
at the center of this bustling municipality where one finds its most delicate treasures.
my favorite... old houses, heritage town. so today, the LOVERBOY talks about 
his adventure to this quiet town called Sariaya.
photo credits Allan P. Martinez
yesterday, (March 11)birthday celebrant Jenny and Ann my long time travel 
buddies are united again.  Jen is very involved in celebrating life! we love traveling 
because after each joirney we always come back with less spiderweb in my mind. 
we emptied our mind of all clutter upon departure, and fill it with many happy memories 
upon arrival. because life is to be focused on the present.


we had breakfast at this orange themed restaurant called Rodillas, famous
for Yema cakes, very affordable! our breakfast for 5 cost less than  500.00!




After our breakfast at Rodillas Restaurant, Tayabas the tour officially started.
that day we are transported to the past 100 yrs back in time to marvel on the
Philippines rich past, to again, admire the beauty of century old houses, this time
built by the coco and copra barons of Sariaya.

because this is a day trip, we didnt get to the beach, that would be reserve for
another day, we decided to visit and admire the grand old houses of Sariaya.
upon arrival, there were indeed ancestral houses! I found out that Sariaya was 


the territory of the coconut tycoons. the heirloom houses stand as testaments to 
a glorious and rich past. The affluence of those pre-war days was manifested in the 
grandeur of the many Art Deco houses of this small town which were mercifully 
preserved through the years.

 
this church is out first stop. the 18th century Sariaya Church dedicated to 
St. Francis of Assisi. the plaza fronting the church is a american colonial era 
monument that honors Jose Rizal. beside the church stands the mansion of 
American peacetime vintage house by Governor Natalio Enriquez.  and a few
steps walk from the church are several other 1920s heritage houses and the 
municipal hall.


During the Pre-War era, this town is one of the major exporters of Copra.
so most of the successful coco and Copra barons were able to build huge
“bahay na bato” like these similar to the ones we see in other heritage towns

below is a before and after shots of Julianito Rodriguez House. This brick-roofed, 
pink-colored, 3 storey house once owned by husband and wife Rodriguez and Gala
is a  1920s residence of Tayabas Provincial Governor Maximo Rodriguez that burned 
in 1944, Quezon also stayed here when he visits Sariaya.




the town center near the church and municipal building was surrounded by these huge
“bahay na bato” houses owned by local Copra 'bosses'. A few  remain and were
declared as heritage houses.
here is where money spent lavishly on ancestral  homes like there were no tomorow.
and these places is where many parties are hosted.

The surviving structures are reminders of past glories and trials.  They are 
silent witnesses and survivors of the passing of history, hosts of  President Quezon 
himself, senators and high officials, and later to Japanese soldiers during their invasion.

Natalio Marquez mansion credits: Jenny See
Natalio Marquez mansion pictured above by Jenny See is by far the most eye 
catching of all, too bad we didnt get the chance to be inside this house(aside 
from the pink house) designed by Andres Luna de San Pedro(Juan Luna's son) 
notice the unique twin castle like facade make this very unique compared to the 
other grand houses of the coco barons of that time(1900s).


I learned from our tour guide(sir Eric Dedace)  that in the early yrs of the 1900s
these grand old houses of the coco barons are the products of oil and copra 
they don't know what to do with their wealth and build these grand mansions
to show off their influence in society through details found inside and outside 
through the elaborate stone houses they built.
this house is out first stop and our tour guide is Eric Dedace. told us that this
is the 1922 built Don Catalino Rodriguez ancestral house , for the complete
description of the house, watch the video below.
ang paghahanda photo by: Jhon Gorme
one of the major attractions here is for you to rent and wear some of the Filipiniana 
costumes in their collections for photo sessions which can be taken in one of their 
rooms with a beautiful nostalgic backdrop.
"sa dapit hapon ng pag-ibig ng nakaraan" model: Ann Viloria Photog:Allan P Martinez
 this is the interior of the house, you will see the video below.
video video

picture: Allan P. Martinez

the brightest architects and furniture makers were commissioned. they had
architect Juan Nakpil design its art-deco residence and Gonzalo Puyat craft 
its furniture.I have learned a lot from him our tour guide, I'll be posting some 
videos of  what he told us during the tour.

video video

video video



lunch was different, we went to Pagbilao, Quezon, a native style farm restaurant
a relaxing farm land, with  lush greenery and backdrop of mountain scenery. 
made of bamboo, hardwood and sawali, the restaurant is furnished with tables 
and chairs made with kawayan and wood as you can relax, take a nap  before 
your next long drive.



They each have their own dining and sleeping area and is rented out for P500 
(overnight stay.) and you can dine in a picnic cottage here.





After this, we went to the bridge called Malagonlong Bridge a spanish colonial
video
period stone arched bridge , said to be the longest spanish era bridge still standing.
you can actually go down to the riverside and take pictures, but dont do this during 
rainy season because its suicide.

There are a number of century-old bridges in the town but the five-span 
445 foot long Malagunlong Bridge is the oldest bridge in Quezon province. 
built in 1841 using adobe stone. its still standing after so many centuries.

Our next stop was the Casa Communidad in Tayabas. an old tribunal built by 
Gobernadorcillo in 1776 and  later  made into a grand edifice in 1831. 
The structure was declared a National Historical Landmark in 1978.
It was in this tribunal where Apolonio de la Cruz known as Hermano Pule 
was sentence to death by firing squad in 1841 for leading the first major 
revolt in the country.



According to our guide the decline in the preservation of heritage houses 
began when the heirs of the original owner have other priorities, we know 
that old houses require big budgets to maintain and to make them safe to 
live, some houses absolutely have no direct heirs to be found.  and then 
there is the sad news of  heirs being practical , so the houses are sold and 
were demolished to give way to newer buildings.  



outside the tribunal you can find some old structures

 this is our last stop the church of  Tayabas. another name for it is the
BASILICA MINORE DE SAN MIGUEL ARCANGEL. 
 




this is the longest Spanish colonial church in the country and one of the 
oldest. built by the Franciscans in 1585 on  and repaired in 1590, was 
later built using bricks in 1600 however it was destroyed by an earthquake 
in 1743. In 1856,  the church was enlarged,  The church was conferred as 
a minor basilica in October 18, 1988.
 
after this we took the other route going to Antipolo from Pagsanjan
crossing Lucban then to Rizal. and had late dinner there.
everybody enjoyed the day no one appear tired. everybody
took turns to sing and I was surprised everyone know how
to sing! specially Anne and Roy! No wonder she choosed the\
cottage with the karaoke machine! haha this should have a part 2!
again HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENNY!


if you had the time for a long hour drive, make Quezon a place to go for cultural 
and historical attractions and to be transported in time, rediscover our country's 
very rich past. in a town that thrives to keep up with modernity, these ancestral 
houses contribute a lot in the tourism of a locality,  where ancestral houses
are standing still in a beautiful, majestic way.


Sariaya deserves a visit, even for a day, to see how the elites of a small town 
brought the Philippines and the world to their doorstep and managed to leave 
astonishing monuments from a bygone era.  this is made possible through the
efforts of Jenny, Allan and Roy. this is the first birthday celebration where we 
did not concentrate on good food lavish parties but charity and heritage tourism
photo by:Jhon Gorme

tillnext tour, this is your LOVERBOY Dennis signing out.


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