Syquia Mansion
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A Travel Guide to Vigan, Ilocos Sur: Why You Should Visit Syquia Mansion

Probably one of my favorite attractions in Vigan was The Syquia Mansion, the house of the sixth President of the Philippines, Elpidio Quirino. I thoroughly enjoyed the history of this mansion that I thought it deserved a separate post.

To be honest, I wouldn’t have enjoyed this mansion if it wasn’t for the knowledgeable caretaker guide who toured us around. I don’t know about you, but I tend to appreciate period houses even more whenever someone tells the story and significance of the memorabilia displayed. If you’re like me, ask for a someone to guide you around.

Why should you visit Vigan’s Syquia Mansion?

You will learn a lot — not just about the house or the life of the former President’s family, but the lives of the rich and powerful during the 1920s. I don’t want to give everything away because that’s the whole point of going: to learn. So I’ll just share five things, which I found interesting and worth to see.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Vigan, Ilocos Sur

1. The house wasn’t originally owned by President Quirino.
Ever wonder why it wasn’t called the Quirino Mansion? This is because the house originally owned by the Chinese-in-laws of the former President. I’m not sure if this is only a Chinese tradition, but back then, it’s customary to give the house as a wedding present.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

2. The couple’s bed wasn’t just an ordinary bed.
The bed of the master bedroom was also specifically designed for the married couple, Elpidio and Alicia Syquia. The bedposts and headboards were embellished with Chinese symbolism for the male and female.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

3. Juan Luna’s Spolarium is also here.
You don’t have to go to Manila to see the real thing. The house has a huge replica of Juan Luna’s Spolarium, which was painted by one of his assistants. The tour guide told us that should the original one (in the National Museum) be stolen or destroyed, this piece of painting in the mansion will then become the official version.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur

4. They have weird yet interesting versions of fans and peeping holes.
You see those curtains on top of the dining table? (photo above) Those are ceiling fans that are manually operated in another room. Why in the another room? Because back in those days, the rich doesn’t want the helpers do be seen.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Vigan, Ilocos Sur

5. I can’t imagine how they poop…
Another thing to note about this house is their hygiene. The bathroom was… incredibly simple, for the lack of a better term. It was a simple room, with a bench-like platform with holes. Straight to the ground floor.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Vigan, Ilocos SurVigan, Ilocos SurVigan, Ilocos Sur

Bonus: The house is still used by the members of the Quirino Family. 
Don’t be surprised to see a television, a modern sink and air-conditioner in some parts of the house. But the rest, such as the receiving area and living room, are still retained as is.

Need To Know: The museum is open everyday except Tuesday (by appointment), from 9AM to 5PM (with lunchbreak). Entrance fee is PHP30 for adults and PHP20 for students/teens. Kids six years and below are free.

Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Vigan, Ilocos Sur

Northern Luzon Adventure Blog Series:

Vigan’s Top 5 Attractions
Why You Should Visit Vigan’s Syquia Mansion
Adventure Diary: Calle Crisologo, Vigan
What To See and Do in Paoay, Ilocos Norte
Top 4 Sights To See in Pagudpud: The Boracay of the North

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13 Comments

  • Reply
    Cheryle
    February 28, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    I am surprised with their ceiling fans. I wonder how those fans were operated (in another room). :P

    Cheryle

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      March 3, 2015 at 9:21 AM

      Same thoughts when I went there! I’m guessing there’s a rope somewhere.

  • Reply
    JOYCE
    March 1, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    I’ve been to Vigan but I haven’t been to this place. I am always fascinated by vintage things and houses. :)

    http://www.bitsofjoyce.com/

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      March 3, 2015 at 9:21 AM

      You should go back to Joyce, if you can! :)

  • Reply
    Alissa
    March 1, 2015 at 1:19 PM

    It’s great that it’s not that expensive. I would love to go there someday.

  • Reply
    Mimi Gonzales
    March 1, 2015 at 7:12 PM

    Historical houses like this deserve more love! We recently tackled about Philippine architectures in our Humanities class and I guess I will always be fascinated by those old and quaint houses back then. If I were to build my own house, it would be a bahay-na-bato-inspired one! ;)

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      March 3, 2015 at 9:24 AM

      When I went to see these historical houses, I can’t believe how the architecture was well-thought of. From the path of the helpers to the ‘sewage’ system, I just find it incredible considering they didn’t have Internet or any advanced technological equipments to use to build their houses.

  • Reply
    Annie
    March 2, 2015 at 1:09 AM

    Great photos, Kisty! :) What camera did you use to capture your Vigan photos?

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      March 3, 2015 at 9:24 AM

      The one and only Fujifilm XM-1! <3

  • Reply
    Cherry
    March 2, 2015 at 9:44 PM

    I can’t wait for your pagudpud post waaaa

    • Reply
      Kisty Mea
      March 3, 2015 at 9:25 AM

      Patience <3 I'm saving the best for last! Haha!

  • Reply
    Cherry
    March 3, 2015 at 2:11 PM

    hey kisty! maybe you could blog about what you wore/brought in your Ilocos trip?

  • Reply
    What To See and Do in Paoay, Ilocos Norte » KISTY
    March 3, 2015 at 8:16 PM

    […] Luzon Adventure Blog Series: Vigan’s Top 5 Attractions Why You Should Visit Vigan’s Syquia Mansion Adventure Diary: Calle Crisologo, Vigan What To See and Do in Paoay, Ilocos Norte Top 4 Sights To […]

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