A sleeping beauty wakes.
In a bodega, the parts remained for 25 years until Casa Consuelo, a pink beauty, rose. Rebuilt with original components; reproduction etched glass, wood- and iron-work from specialist artisans; and roof tiles from Spain, it now stands proudly at Villa Escudero.
The resurrected home was inaugurated last month with Gomezes present led by the builders' granddaughter Juliet Gomez Romualdez, mother of Congressman Martin Romualdez.
The main faAaAaAeAoade features gracefully curving stairs leading to a balcon Beneath is the front door wide and high enough for carriages and carrozas. It opens to the black-and-white marble tiled zaguan where a horse-drawn carriage awaits. A chandelier lights the portrait-lined grand staircase leading up to family quarters.
The now skylight-roofed inner court has beautiful Patis Tesoro dioramas with dolls in 19th century attire. A former bodega is filled with 19th century ilustrado wear: silver-tipped salakAaAaAeA t and smart walking stick dozens of silver key holders; barAaAaAeA ng and baro't saya; tortoise she combs, gold tamburin and fans; and olden times miniatures. Another room is a library-office.
Upstairs is the wide sala arranged by ancestral home authority Martin I. Tinio, Jr. with Chinese jardiniAaAaAeA?res, santos, Vienna bentwood, a Filipino hardwood furniture. Two magnificent cabinets are survivors of the World War II conflagration that devoured the homes lining San Pablo's Calle Real including the block-long Escudero mansion.
Past a two-faced aparador from a Mindanao sultan's palace is the dining table set with superb porcelain, glass, and silver. In the only bedroom are an Ah Tay bed, Venetian mirrors, and tall aparadors. A kitchen and a bath complete the circle of rooms surrounding the balcony overlooking the courtyard below.
Wealthy from sugar and rice land and from fishponds, Pampanga hacendero lifestyle is clear from their homes and furnishings. They wore expensive silk and piAaAaAeA~a, had a classical education and enjoyed tertulias wi piano and harp. However, everyone except the masters of the house slept on the floor--furniture was pushed aside and mats laid down under a giant mosquito net, orinolas on the side. With only well water available, toilet and wash facilities were the simplest.
Below stairs lifestyle is equally clear from the kitchen's wood-fired stoves and oven, without refrigerator, microwave or coffee makers and from the elaborate and delicate clothes that had to be washed and ironed with neither running water nor electricity. Servants--tenants' children and as history books reveal, Aeta slaves--had to do the hand-washing, starching, pressing with charcoal-heated planchas or with wood rollers. Glistening floors meant coconut husks and banana leaves; scrubbing greasy surfaces, isis leaves; and fuel, chopping wood--tasks of criados and criadas.
Casa Consuelo teaches us about our buena familia and toiler ancestors.
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Casa Consuelo at Villa Escudero, Tiaong, Quezon. In the photo are Don Conrado Escudero, Minerva Tanseco, Martin I. Tinio, Jr., the Manny Ticzons, and Mario and Irene Zinampan
Casa Consuelo prized interiors
Vienna bentwood furniture in the s