Malabon is easily a favorite among heritage conservationist. Notorious for its seasonal floods, It’s almost a miracle how its beuatiful old houses has survive through the years. Thanks to the old families patience and determination to keep their ancestral houses Filipinos today can still see striking examples of classic Hispano Filipino architecture.
During one of my recent visit to Malabon I witnessed the reckless renovation taking place in San Bartolome. But as the saying goes, “When there’s bad news, there’s always good news!” The conservation of the many old houses by the descendants proves that most of our kababayan in Malabon still value heritage above all.
The lawyer Mr. Lucas who owns Pescadores in Letre was kind enough to show me pictures of the old houses. A long time advocate of the preservation of the old houses, he takes time from his busy schedule to educate both local and tourist about some of the most historic buildings in Malabon.
Aside from the kind Malabon Lawyer, there are hoards of bloggers and photographers promoting and advocating conservation of Malabon’s heritage houses. I’m so glad to find out there are people like them who cares about these old relics – maybe I’m not going crazy after all!
But these people need help in preserving their homes. Aside from frequent flooding, salty air condition have adverse affects on the houses. There are houses that are already neglected. According to some locals, there were government programs aimed at conserving the old houses (they did not elaborate what were those) but because they remain private homes, restoration and repairs are left to owners.
This is one of those tricky situations. Even if the government becomes active in pushing programs for the restoration and conservation of these old houses, in the end, the decision whether to cooperate or not will still be with the owners. When the government and the owners, like what happened in Binan, fails to agree on how to manage conservation it always ends up with nothing.
Casa Raymundo along Calle Arellano in Barrio Ibaba is a must visit place when your in Malabon. The oldest of all houses in town. Its one of the most fascinating bahay na bato that I’ve ever seen. It has become popular for its beautiful adobe gate with an inscribed Hapsburg Eagle. This indicates that the house was either a retreat house for the Augustinian Fathers or the first owners were highly esteemed by the Friar order that they accorded the honor of their symbol to its premises. Because aside from convents and churches, only castle have been know to possess this symbol.