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"Bahay ni Lola"- Our Heritage, Our Home

     The old house of the late Prudencia Diones Fule is an antique Spanish type constructed approximately in the later years of the Spanish regime. It is situated along Maharlika High way Barangay San Nicolas San Pablo City. It is made up of stone as its foundation and wood on the upper portion of the house, a typical bahay na bato which only few are left standing at this time. The old house commences a landmark as the gateway to San Pablo delos Montes , and a status symbol of its citizen.

A. Historical Significance

       It is said (and can be verified) that the house served as a refuge to General Miguel Malvar when he was sought after during the Filipino-American war. General Malvar, known as the last General to surrender to the American forces hid under the rice depository (bakul) which can be found below the old house.

 

B. House Plan

       The original house arrangement had an ante-room, living room, a bedroom, dining area with kitchen, an azotea at the back, and two (2) comfort rooms. The stairs are made up of stone covered with tiles supported by crafted-concrete balusters and columns of Corinthian tastes. The roof has wood carvings of flowers encircling every step of the staircase. The ante-room served as the receiving area for guests where their sombreros and umbrellas are deposited. At the left part of the house is the living room, which had a grand piano that would not require anyone to be a musician to appreciate its beauty and its golden tone. It is adorned by wooden balusters for ventilation and wide windows that were woven by white capiz, and the painted ceiling complements its beauty and bright aura of the room. The roof’s outline is decorated by floral design made from galvanized sheet and smoothen the edges of the house. There used to be a telephone, an old dial mode phone that was accessible primarily to the late Governor Potenciano Malvar. This line is connected privately to the then residence of the late governor, the White House as it is called wherein PhilamLife Company now owns, for close monitoring of his Tita-in-law (the governor was married to Dona Eusebia Fule, Nanay Udeng’s niece). At the end of the living room is the bedroom of Nanay Udeng. In here, the grand image of the Virgin Mary governed the room and the four-poled bed defines solitude and peace. A comfort room is located here boasting then with a magnificent bath tub, a douche/shower and an advanced plumbing system during its time. Its water tank is decorated with intricate designs and can still be found on top of the lavatory. The dining area is across the ante-room, found at the right side. There used to be an eight-chaired table made up of Narra that served for festivities, banquet or Thanksgiving, a tweak of a meal for the year’s harvests. Along the walls are paintings of fruits and staple food, and a painted ceiling decorated in such a way for a harmonious meal. Apart of this is the kitchen where food was cooked and arranged,, and towards the kitchen is the azotea, where Nanay Udeng can have a cup of salabat, tell stories to her pangkins and watched over the fertile land she owned and enriched. The arched-foundation of azotea served as stables and a saddle area for horses with carriage and boats for transporting harvests, which will be shared to her relatives and fellowmen. All these were separated by hard wood doors, with hand knobs secured each with a lock, hard wood flooring and windows that are protected by iron grills.


C. Present Condition

       The roof of the old house is tattered and rotting. The outline design all through out the roof is now broken and misaligned. The wooden walls are vandalized and due to the other clans that lived here changed and removed the wall that separates the ante-room and the bed room of Nanay Udeng. They also added structures below the house to make it amenable for them to stay however defeating its authenticity of the original design and architecture. There are only four doors that are functional, some have been removed, sold to the antique shop &/or made into dividers below the house. The stair’s wooden roof is broken and missing some details. Some of the concrete balusters are broken as if were made for target practice of stones and bricks. Some tiles are missing on the concrete railings of the stairs and the columns that commands respect for its Corinthian motifs are weathered. The painted ceiling in the living room is no longer there, only the made up slabs to accommodate the replaced ones, yet a lot of them are missing already. The door locks are jammed already and non-functional. The wooden floors can still be used but need reinforcement/support underneath to prolong its use. The capiz, woven in the window sills are all broken and the windows are tattered. The iron grills can still be painted but the one located at the kitchen was stolen and sold to junk shop. The comfort rooms are no longer used. The one found behind the house is already a mess and rigged by frat members who held their initiation years ago. The azotea‘s path has now been covered by mosses, ferns and wild grasses. The once romantic facade that stood for stables retreat now poses risk for playful children.

       It has been years that the old house felt like it was a home. When Nanay Udeng got sick, she was transferred to the old mansion house of Don Potenciano Malvar  and died there without leaving any will for her estate. The house and its vicinity was agreed to be donated to the City Government of San Pablo and later requested to be used for educational purposes. Some have had education here, some claimed that the house was theirs; some ate up parts of the land for their interest and some continues to ignore the old house despite its lucrative design and value, now stands as a ruin of an old residence forgotten by time.

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