Batangas: Wedding Gift House

Located in Taal in the province of Batangas, the Wedding Gift House is one of the many Spanish Colonial Era houses that can still be found in the heritage town of Taal. 

Also known as the Villavicencio-Marella House, the Wedding Gift House was a present of Don Eulalio Villavicencio to his wife Gliceria Marella in the wedding in 1871. Surprisingly, construction of the house took only one year (1870 -1871) and was finish just in time for the marriage of Don Eulalio and Dona Gliceria. The house is a three-bayed bahay na bato which was constructed using mainly adobe blocks and high-grade wood like molave. 

Let's go inside the Wedding Gift House
Circa 1870
The entresuelo found near the entrance is converted to a guest room
The other room on the ground floor used to be Dona Monserrat's quarters
some old displays in the ground floor room
 Replicas of Dr. Rizal's work and some Spanish Colonial Era medals.

The couple lived in the house until the death of Don Eulalio's parents who left him with the much larger adjoining house which they then transferred in to accommodate their growing family. The Wedding Gift House then became a guest house accommodating friends, relatives, and even famous historical figures like the Luna Brothers who solicited contributions for the Propaganda Movement in 1892. Because of the generous donation of the couple, Juan Luna gave the couple their portrait paintings which are now being considered as a National Treasure and is kept in an undisclosed location. Only the replicas of these can be seen hanging in the second floor of the house today. 

going up the second floor...
The beautifully designed second floor
Juan Luna's portrait paintings of the Don Eulalio and Dona Gliceria

After the death of Don Eulalio and Dona Gliceria, the ownership of the house was transferred to their son Don Jose Villavicencio. Sadly, the house fell into despair after his death in the 1980s. It was only when the ownership of the house was passed to the eldest daughter, Monserrat Villavicencio Joven years later, that the house was restored to its former beauty with the supervision of her daughter Jocelyn Villavicencio Joven and her husband Advinculo Cuay Quiblat. 
Let's check out the bedrooms
I wanna try sleeping there
Best area to write your blogs

I got to visit the Wedding Gift House when I was personally invited by Mrs. Jocelyn Villavicencio Joven to attend the first El Pasubat Festival of their town. During that time, I also met Madam Monserrat Villavicencio Joven and had a great chat with her about the history of Taal. She passed away in 2012. 
Is that a small aircon?

Since then, I have visited the town and the house several more times, the last being in 2016. I was also invited to stay overnight in the Wedding Gift House but sadly I was not able to do yet (hopefully someday). You can read more about my first visit to Taal by clicking this LINK.
Check out what I found! Blunderbusses, great for dueling

Overall, the Wedding Gift House is a place to visit for those who has the penchant of visiting old houses. You may also try ghost hunting in it too if you want too.

Getting there:

From Buendia in Pasay City, board a bus bound for Lemery, Batangas. Most buses pass through the town proper. In case the bus won't pass through Taal, alight at the Taal-Lemery junction. From there, tricycles would bring you to the Wedding Gift House.

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