Explore Casa Azurin: A Historic Bahay na Bato of Antique.
Table of Contents
Casa Azurin, or Bahay na Bato, is a historic house in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique. It is considered one of the province’s most prominent remnants of Spanish influence. The old ‘bahay na kahoy at bato’ of the Azurin family is the only remaining intact structure of Spanish houses in the province, which speaks of its historical and cultural attributes in Antique.
Casa Azurin: A Historic Bahay na Bato of Antique
Casa Azurin is a two-story house made of wood and stone with a red-tiled roof. It has a spacious living room, a dining room, a kitchen, and several bedrooms. The house is decorated with antique furniture, paintings, and other artifacts that reflect the Spanish colonial period. The house also has a beautiful garden with a fountain, adding charm and elegance.
View from the second floor of Casa Azurin Bahay na Bato
Spanish Colonial Era
Casa Azurin, also known as Bahay na Bato, stands proudly as a majestic testament to the enduring Spanish influence that once graced the province of Antique. With its roots tracing back to the vibrant era of Spanish colonialism, this exceptional house unravels a captivating tale of heritage and elegance.
As the cherished possession of the Azurin family, it is the sole surviving example of the enchanting Spanish architecture that once dotted the province. A visit to Casa Azurin promises to transport you back in time as you immerse yourself in Antique’s rich historical and cultural tapestry during its Spanish colonial heyday.
During the Japanese occupation of the Philippines, Casa Azurin was used as a garrison by the Japanese forces. It was also used as a hospital for wounded Japanese soldiers. The house was damaged during the war but was later restored to its former glory.
In recognition of its historical significance, Casa Azurin was declared a heritage house by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). A marker was installed in the house by the NHCP to commemorate its historical significance.
Architecture and Design
Bahay na Bato Features
Casa Azurin, also known as Balay na Bato, is a perfect example of a bahay na bato, a traditional Philippine house made of wood and stone. The house features a two-story structure with a tiled roof and a spacious balcony overlooking the street. The ground floor is made of stone, and the upper floor is made of hardwood.
Piña handloom weaving tools inside Bahay na Bato
The house has a unique design that reflects the Spanish colonial architecture. It has a large central hall, which is called the caida, that separates the living area from the dining area. The caida is also used as a receiving area for guests. The house also has a spacious kitchen and a separate area for washing dishes.
Balay na Bato second floor receiving area
Balay na Bato in Antique Dining area
Main Hall at the second floor
Bedroom at Antique’s Bahay na Bato
One of the most notable features of Casa Azurin is its hardwood construction. The upper floor of the house is made of narra, a type of hardwood known for its durability and resistance to termites. The use of hardwood in the construction of the house is a testament to the quality of craftsmanship and the attention to detail that was put into the construction.
The house’s hardwood floors are well-maintained and polished, giving the house a warm and inviting feel. The use of hardwood in the construction of the house also reflects the importance of the timber industry in the Philippines during the Spanish colonial period.
Door leading to the garden of Casa Azurin
Leni Artwork by Alex Moscoso Espanola
Casa Gella-Azurin Restoration
Casa Gella-Azurin, or Bahay na Bato, is a 200-year-old ancestral house in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique. Unfortunately, the house had deteriorated over time and is no longer inhabited by the Azurin’s descendants. However, the Provincial Government of Antique, in partnership with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, has initiated a restoration project to preserve the cultural heritage of Antique.
Casa Gella-Azurin before the restoration
The project aimed to restore the house’s original architectural design while integrating modern features to make it functional and safe for visitors. The restoration project was completed in April 2019, and the house was opened to the public for viewing. The restoration project cost P5,000,000.00 and was funded by the General Appropriations Act (GAA).
Gella-Azurin Family’s Role
The Gella-Azurin family played a crucial role in the restoration of Casa Gella-Azurin. In 1936, the seven children of Dr. Reymundo Azurin and Consuelo Gella purchased the house from a Spanish family named Vital. Consuelo Gella is the eldest daughter of former Antique Governor Vicente Gella. The family retained the usufruct deed, allowing them to use the house for personal purposes while maintaining the structure’s integrity.
The family’s commitment to preserving the house’s cultural heritage led them to partner with the Provincial Government of Antique and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to initiate the restoration project. The restoration project would not have been possible without the family’s cooperation and support.
Cultural and Heritage Preservation
Legislation and Funding
Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato is a heritage house recognized by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). In 2020, the NHCP passed Resolution No. 7, s. 2020, designating the house as a Heritage House. The marker was installed on February 2, 2021, to commemorate the historical and cultural significance of the house.
To ensure the preservation of the house, the Provincial Government of Antique allocated a P5-million fund for the restoration of the house, which was completed in 2018. The project was spearheaded by Senator Loren Legarda, who pushed for the preservation and restoration of the house to promote the cultural heritage of Antique.
Heritage House Status
Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato, the last standing Spanish house in the province, is a vivid display of Antique’s captivating history and vibrant culture. This architectural gem is a living testament to the heritage of Antique and its people.
Bahay na Bato in Antique Historical Marker
Recognized as a Heritage House by the prestigious National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), Casa Azurin-Bahay na Bato is granted legal protection that safeguards its historical and cultural value. Every detail and modification of this exquisite residence must adhere to the strict guidelines set by the NHCP, ensuring its preservation for generations to come.
Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato of Antique
Location and Accessibility
Gobierno Street Vicinity
Casa Azurin, or Bahay na Bato, is located along Gobierno Street in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique. The house was erected in the 1800s and has since been recognized as a heritage house by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). The house’s ground floor utilizes coral bricks for its main walls and posts. Like in most old churches and structures in the Philippines, lime and egg whites were used as binders for the bricks that built up the house constructions.
Gobierno Street is a bustling area in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique, home to various historical structures and landmarks. Visitors can easily explore the vicinity on foot or by renting a bicycle or tricycle. The street is also accessible by public transportation, with several jeepneys and buses passing through the area.
Bahay na Bato in Antique Operating Hours and House Rules
Visiting Casa Azurin
Visitors to Casa Azurin can explore the house’s interior and learn about its rich history and cultural significance. The house is open to the public and can be accessed with no entrance fee.
Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato of Antique
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the historical significance of Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato?
Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato is a historical house in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique. It is considered one of the most prominent remnants of Spanish influence in the province of Antique. The old ‘bahay na kahoy at bato’ of the Azurin’s is the only remaining intact structure of Spanish houses in the province. It speaks of its historical and cultural attributes in Antique.
How can one reach Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato using public transportation?
Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato is located in San Jose de Buenavista, Antique. It can be reached via public transportation such as jeepneys, buses, and tricycles. From Iloilo City, one can take a bus or van going to San Jose de Buenavista. From there, one can take a tricycle to reach Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato.
What are the visiting hours and entrance fees for Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato?
As of writing, the visiting hours for Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato are from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. There is no entrance fee to visit the house, but donations are welcome to maintain and preserve the historic site.
Are there any guided tours available at Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato?
Yes, guided tours are available at Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato, but you must contact a local travel agent to arrange it for your group.
What are some notable architectural features of Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato?
Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato is a two-story house made of wood and stone. It features a wide main entrance with a high ceiling, large windows, and a balcony on the second floor. The house also has intricate wood carvings and details, such as the balusters and railings on the staircase and balcony.
Can special events be hosted at Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato?
Yes, special events such as weddings and other celebrations can be hosted at Casa Azurin – Bahay na Bato. The house and its gardens provide a beautiful historical backdrop for any occasion. Interested parties can contact the local tourism office for more information on hosting events at the site.
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