Tag Archive: Ancestral House

We had lunch at Cafe Uno / Kusina Felecitas @Grandpa’s Inn.  Little did we know that we would not only enjoy our lunch, we actually fell in love with the place.  My “elves” wanted to stay in this inn and wished we didn’t have to go back to our hotel in Vigan. Frankly, I was quite tempted to pack up and transfer to this place too and forego a night’s paid room in the other hotel.  

This small hotel is located  near Plaza Burgos.  The jeepney we hired took us here after visiting Burgos Museum.  Exact address is  No. 1 Bonifacio St. cor. Quirino Blvd.  We could have walked.  It should be an easy walk from Calle Crisologo too. 

The hotel is called Grandpa’s Inn, an ancestral house transformed into this charming 22-room inn.  Its dining place is called Kusina Felecitas and its coffee shop, Cafe Uno Restaurant.  Oozing with old world charm along with the many paintings hanging on its brick walls,  the place is also a gourmand’s delight given its extensive menu.  (Food here deserves a SEPARATE blog……coming!)

A marker by the entrance to the Inn states that the ancestral house was a wedding gift of 3 spinster sisters to their younger brother Mariano.  The sisters were children by first marriage. Young Mariano was one of 8 children by 2nd marriage.  (Their father remarried after 2 years from the death of his 1st wife)  Of them 8 by the 2nd marriage, only Mariano and a sister got married.  On the other hand,  only 2 of the 7 children by 1st marriage got married.  Hmmm, talk about sibling love here! I simply love this trivia. Love Love Love!

A Case of Sibling Love. Read This Marker!

Reception Desk of Grandpa's Inn

All around, from the Reception Area to the Second Floor Sitting Room, to the ground floor restaurant, we found very interesting art pieces. Ended up buying one painting.   Quite an experience to dine here, really.  

Isn't this a lovely painting of Calle Crisologo? Like ur walking right into it!

Reception Area: More Art Pieces That Seem To Jump Off The Canvas

It was hard to peel ourselves away from the Calesa Rooms.  The fact that they were vacant made us agonize whether to transfer to this Inn or not. The kids loved this room!

Sitting Room at the Second Floor

Calesa Beds?

You can check out the hotel rates but allow me to say that given its location and charm,  I find the room rates very reasonable.  In fact, they even come out a wee bit cheaper than the other hotel we stayed in. 

Room Good For 8: Dormitory!

And if that Calesa Room good for 4 pax is reasonably-priced,  the Dormitory Room good for 8 pax wins hands down!

So there.  More photos in this blog than write-up.  Just had to show you where we plan to stay next time we’re in town.  Coming up:  Food Tripping in Ilocos

Here's the Painting I Bought For My Friend!

And here’s the painting I could have bought for myself but decided against buying because the painting makes me feel sad. Lovely piece of art. But sad. Who’d want to feel sad?  Not this old lady. Er, I mean not me.  

😦 😦 😦 😦 😦

His name is Rusty.  We met him when we decided to visit the Syquia Mansion without an appointment. We are not sure if we needed to make one.  But we were a group of 12 pax, and so we thought it would be worth his while to give us a guided tour. Besides, how can he refuse my 2 “elves”?

Gathered on the 2nd floor of the Mansion,  Rusty immediately went into Tour Guide mode.  He was very systematic. Laid down the rules early on.  He reminded everyone to stay together;  no one should stray away as we move from hall to hall, from room to room.  No camwhoring while tour is underway.  Photos can be taken only AFTER his monologue. One can ask questions, but no one should touch anything. 

I’ve met these types.  And love them all.  Stickler for rules.  Efficient. Passionate with what they do. Fierce! And they know exactly what information to dish out to perk up our interest as we move around the heritage house. 

Rusty belongs to a family of caretakers.  He is 5th generation and being single,  he claims to be the last caretaker from the same family taking care of the Mansion.  He lives here. Alone.  He is not young anymore, and when he goes,  we wonder who would dare take his place.  It’s a beautiful house.  But we all found it a little creepy.  When asked,  Rusty admitted to “faint” creepy stuff happening in this Mansion during his watch.  Yay!

Rusty started off by pointing out the “holes” strategically located around the Mansion. The first hole is on the floor, to peek newly-arrived visitors in the ground floor of the Mansion.   When deemed “worthy”, the guests are then led to a receiving anteroom upstairs.   From where they are seated,  another peep-hole is used to check if the same guests are “worthy” to enter through the Main Door and into the sala or living room of the Mansion. My “elves” love this trivia about lifestyles and practices back then.

As “worthy guests”, we were first shown the most precious antique piece in the house. A Ming Dynasty vase made of silver graced a round table in the anteroom.  Its ‘twin vase’ graces another round table inside the living room, but its beauty and importance is overshadowed by a painting of the lady of the house, resplendent in her pink gown. This lady is Vicky, the daughter of former president Elpidio Quirino, a widower when he assumed the presidency of the republic.  His daughter is thus the youngest ever First Lady of the country. In fact, the only teenage First Lady I know. She is also the only First Lady who got married.  Not being a Presidential Spouse, Vicky married Luis Gonzales of Pangasinan when she turned 19, with whom she had 3 daughters and 1 son, Louie, whom many know as the man who married Kuh Ledesma.  Luis died and left Vicky a widow in 1984.  Vicky then remarried a man by the name of Don Paco Delgado, a shipping magnate.  This marriage was marred by tragedy and a lot of controversies which haunt the descendants to this day.  But that’s another story, isn’t it? 

Glibly referred to as the Quirino Mansion, this heritage house was actually inherited by the wife of Elpidio Quirino, the very first Ilocano President.  From the Chinese family of Sy Kia,  the house was passed on to Dona Alicia, who unfortunately died during the Second World War , along with 3 of their 5 children, while fleeing their home. This widower was subsequently sworn in as the 6th President 2 days after then President Manuel Roxas died in 1948. 

This is the corridor where household staff pass......

Rusty informed us that the Mansion belongs to no single person, but instead to all the surviving heirs of the Quirino clan. While not one of the heirs live here,  Rusty claims there are enough affairs held here to keep them all busy.  No wonder the Mansion has a more “modern” and functioning kitchen that looks out to a patio and a fountain.  I can just imagine the parties held here.  I just wonder if any of the guests stay behind to spend a night or two here.  Surely, the big beds in the bedrooms can accommodate them. 🙂