Constantino House | Bahay na Tisa - Balagtas, Bulacan
Constantino House | Bahay na Tisa Balagtas, Bulacan
The venerable book “Philippine Ancestral Houses” written by Fernando N. Zialcita and Martin I. Tinio, Jr. and published in 1980 was not only the first substantial volume to extensively discuss the various elements of 19th to early 20th century homes in the Philippines, but it also featured hundreds of photographs of these structures and entered them into the consciousness of thousands of heritage-keen readers of almost three decades ago (including the mid-teen version of me).
One such house raised to “standard-bearer” status on pages 114 to 121 of that book was a large structure bounded by MacArthur Highway and the river in the Bulacan town of Balagtas, formerly Bigaa. Here’s how it appeared in the book, more or less (the house isn't lopsided -- the large-format book on the letter-paper-sized scanner is):
and here’s how it looks today, unfortunately severely foreshortened in this shot (due to this photographer being too lazy to take the photo from across the road).
Since the photos of this house used in Philippine Ancestral Houses were taken in the late 1970’s, this structure has not fared all that well, unfortunately. A clue to these straitened circumstances is the loss of the finely-carved cupboard (originally used for storing salted meats and other delicacies) at the left edge of the façade, seen here in the book
and no longer seen here.
What is unchanged is the structure’s massive front elevation, as seen in the two photos above, as well as its even longer riverside elevation, seen here.
Calumpit church's side portal decorated with intricate stucco reliefs.
Above the door is a depiction of " The Visitation."
Flanking the scene are Zacharias and Elizabeth, parents of St. John the Baptist to whom the church of Calumpit is dedicated.
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