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Sa Mga Bahay ng Ating Gunita: Hallelujah for heritage homes

September 08, 2019

LAST month, property developer Jose Rizalino “Jerry” Acuzar launched a coffee table book on his awe-inspiring Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar Heritage Resort in Bataan province’s Bagac town, titled Sa Mga Bahay ng Ating Gunita (In the Houses of Our Memory).

During the book’s unveiling at Las Casas Quezon City, Acuzar indicated that Sa Mga Bahay ng Ating Gunita was inspired by his numerous trips to Europe, where he would come across various publications about the cities and resorts there, all of which were published in their respective languages.

Sa Mga Bahay ng Ating Gunita: Hallelujah for heritage homes 1
Jose Rizalino “Jerry” Acuzar poses with a copy of the coffee table book Sa Mga Bahay ng Ating Gunita. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

This fact let him to decide that his coffee table book should be written in Filipino. ““It’s more natural [that] we should be proud of our very own,” Acuzar.

With the help of Sa Mga Bahay ng Ating Gunita editor and Palanca award-winning poet Marne Kilates, Acuzar came up with more than a hundred pages worth of images of nine heritage buildings, and of the entire resort, for the book.

Sa Mga Bahay ng Ating Gunita doesn’t just tell the stories of each of the casas as told by its previous owners. The pictures of the nine houses featured show their different textures and colors, taking reading right where those stories were created.

“It was a different kind of work for me, because of the nature of Las Casas being a vacation destination,” Kilates said. “Every time we go there to work on the book, it’s more like a vacation.”

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Acuzar toasts the launch of the coffee table book with distinguished guests that includes former Vice President and ABS-CBN news anchor Noli de Castro, former Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr., former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Amando Tetangco Jr. and Monetary Board member Peter Favila. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Among those who attended the launch was former vice president and current ABS-CBN news anchor Noli de Castro, former Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, former Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas governor Amando Tetangco Jr. and Monetary Board member Peter Favila.

Also, Jam Acuzar, Jerry’s daughter and founder of the Bellas Artes Project Foundation, joined in celebration to recognize the men and women working at the resort. She paid tribute to the artisans and craftsmen who were instrumental in fabricating the many pieces, both plain and intricate, found in the heritage houses.

“Las Casas de Acuzar doesn’t just give us a glimpse of how we used to lived in the past. It also gives us information about the families and personalities that once lived in those buildings,” she said.

Indeed, Sa Mga Bahay ng Ating Gunita allows readers to dive into the spaces of these heritage homes. At the same time, it poses a challenge to young Filipinos today to relish the nostalgia these homes evoke in the Filipino language. CARLO S. SUERTE FELIPE

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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