I was watching news earlier when I saw a news anchor show some of the old houses that has been shoot locations for some of the popular Pinoy Horror movies.
Bahay na Pula in San Ildenfonso Bulacan (Ilusorio Mansion). In San Miguel Bulacan they showed the Tecson house. In San Pablo Laguna there’s what locals call the White House. Where the movie Tiyanak was shot. I also know of a place in Malolos that was used once.
What was surprising is that the current owners has expressed satisfaction over the way their ancestral houses had been portrayed in these movies. They sure made a quick buck from all the producers but the negative image these films created has profoundly diminished the value (in the eyes of the younger generation) of these old houses. These remnants of our past are now no more than just haunted, forsaken structures – thanks to cheap Pinoy horror flicks.
Instead of people asking why these houses are important they get more curious on whether its haunted. In the US, interest in haunted houses works in favor of the old house. Somehow, enterprising owners (specially old inn’s and hotels) find it a marketable reputation. But here, its different – bahay na bato’s value becomes less and less until everyone in the community loses interest in conserving them. We live in a country where its acceptable to demolish old structures that are the very fabric of our history.
More than just houses, these old houses tell the story of our ancestors. They must be protected from those who have no regard for the history and culture – difficult, yes, because those who are supposed to conserve are bent on destroying them – either by giving it a bad reputation or physically tearing it down.