(SPOT.ph) The city of Manila is undergoing a major change. Uptown Manila, once the district of early 20th Century sprawling mansions, has now become more democratic with its high-rise residences. But together with this transformation, pockets of heritage conservation are also emerging.
Based on a press tour organized by Avida Prime Towers Taft and led by guide Ivan Man Dy, we’ve rounded up a couple of fine examples of heritage buildings that have been repurposed in Manila. They have been suited to address the needs of the modern times without losing soul and character, perhaps a possible direction where heritage conservation should be heading.
Museum of a History of Ideas, University of the Philippines
Housed in what was the Department of Dentistry building, the museum chronicles the University of the Philippines' birth and its contributions to nation building since its establishment in 1908. It took the path of education and public health—as sanitation and the eradication of tropical diseases were primary objectives of the new American Conquistadors. Get your history geek on while staring at old medical equipment and blown-up microscopic photos.
Budget: P75 entrance fee; P60 for Senior Citizens and People with Disability (PWD) P50 for students; P25 for UP students and employees
The Museum of a History of Ideas is at UP Manila, Padre Faura Street, Manila. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Tuesday to Sunday).
The museum is housed in this white 1930s building. You can hardly miss it as its right next to the Robinsons Place Mall Ermita.
The museum also tells the story of the birth of the University of the Philippines.
Check out these vintage medical equipment. On the wall are unearthed images of early medical procedures.
An example of an old dental chair
2680 F.B. Harrison
This Pasay City compound of the Cheng family features post-war houses intended for the Cheng siblings. It is now a haven for the arts, design, and hospitality. By the entrance of the compound is The Henry Hotel. Further down the path are A11, a showroom and retail store of furniture designer Eric Paras; gallerist and curator Albert Avellana’s Avellana Art Gallery; and the atelier of fashion designer Jojie Lloren. Stay for the weekend and let yourself be recharged from all the beauty this enclave holds.
Walking on the Henry Hotel grounds feels like walking into the past.
Every design element has been well-thought out, such as vintage flooring mixed with modern chairs.
The A11 house features window grills characteristic of post-war homes.
A11 also sells ceramic, glass, and silverware.
The monkey lamp injects a cheeky vibe in the elegant corner.
The Concrete Jungle of New York becomes an organizer. (Manhattan Rack, P6,530)
Avellana Art Gallery features antiques, paintings, and sculptures.
Avellana Art Gallery is curated in a way that suggests how such art could look in the home.
Sculptures of all sizes find their place beside the window.
Pablo Antonio House
Within the labyrinth that is Pasay City is this gem of a home—the residence of National Artist for Architecture Pablo Antonio. He is best known for designing elegant buildings such as Far Eastern University Main Building, the Bel-Air and Syquia Apartments, and the Manila Polo Club in Makati. A far cry from his Art Deco edifices, Pablo Antonio’s 1948 house is reminiscent of Tropical architecture popular in the late 20th Century. His daughter, fashion designer Malu Veloso, and granddaughter Letlet Veloso currently live in the house, but have now opened its doors as a private dining place by appointment. The offerings are what fashion designer Letlet calls comfort food, dishes she grew up with. Must-haves are the Mustard Pork and Chicken, as well as the Chorizo Pasta. Ending what would be a satisfying meal is Tita Malu’s Sansrival and Blueberry Cheesecake.
The Pablo Antonio House is at 2650 Zamora Street, Pasay City. For reservations, contact 831-8407). Contact Letlet Veloso at 0918-702-2125 or visit Veloso Brides at LG/F The Podium, ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City.
The hefty bronze orb door knob has been used to open the door to a lot of significant people in the nation’s history.
The Mustard Chicken of the Antionio household is a must-try!
A pocket garden let in some light and breeze into the dining room.
Pablo Antonio’s wife, Marina, was a fashion designer. A room off the living area features some of her designs.
In the living room hangs the portrait of Malu Veloso, daughter of Pablo Antonio and the current lady of the house.
Malu presents her very own strawberry shortcake. Yes, she baked it herself.
Right off the dining room is a room converted to a showroom of Malu and Letlet’s creations.
Photos by Coni Tejada