Monday, December 17, 2018

The Molo Mansion of Iloilo: From 'neglected' to 'celebrated'

MOLO is a museum district in every inch, a true testament of Iloilo's rich cultural heritage that needs to be crossed out from any person's list of "Where to go and learn good stuff this weekend."

A short sea travel that will cost you more than a single movie pass from Bacolod will enthrall you to a wonder beyond compare in the heart of Molo.

The drizzles this rainy days will never stop you to check on the perfectly framed facade and a backdrop of an architectural landscape that is the Molo Mansion.

Forget about the hopping right inside in a jest and favor your fancy palettes with small stalls that make up the cafe strip. This is the perfect weather to enjoy a bowlful of its iconic molo. The aromatic broth and its time perfected dumplings will excite your senses and forge time to stop with an endless gastronomic delight.

The place was once neglected for years and was up for demolition because of its dying state.

In the past, it has been dubbed as one of the gems of the region because of its historical relevance and grandeur. The walls have seen power and clout as it was believed to have hosted former presidents Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmeña.

Historical accounts would share that "it was built in the 1920s. The first resident was Doña Petra Lacson who married Manila’s judge of the Court of First Instance, Estanislao Yusay. They had a big family with 10 children: Jose, Ramon, Vicenta, Enrique, Rosario, Trinidad, Mariano, Manuela, Manuel, and Soledad. The family was said to possess and have power over the Molo district. The mansion was later passed on to Timoteo Consing Sr. and his family. He served as Iloilo’s governor in 1935 to 1937."

The food strip will entice you to relive many childhood experiences. For one, Sabor Ilonggo’s offerings of arroz caldo, baye baye, puto lanson and the ever comforting kutsinta will remind you of many pocket reunions at home.

As for me, it crossed me back to when my Lola would prepare our annual fiesta to get together and drool our eyes with many colorful Filipino finds.

Just like the mornings at Tiffany's, breakfasts at The Mansion starts early at 6 a.m. Just like in the movies, the well-adorned landmark makes a great landscape behind another “happy sipping moment" shot. Like the famed spot, make your snaps worthwhile as it will never get old.

As for me, I am skipping the usual breakfast routine. The blue ternate flower ice cream is creamy-yummy-flowery in a cup that transports any sweet tooth to a calm state, proving its medicinal gains being a stress buster. Grab another cup, this time, out of dragonfruit and indulge in the pure goodness that also boosts the immunity.

The "inside job" was directed to Kultura to fill every corner with all things Filipino: accessories, barongs, mugs, fans, key chains, magnets. It's like another wing of SM, all furnished and sold by ladies in decent Filipinianas.

Indeed, the Yusay-Consing Mansion reaffirms the idea that life comes in full circle. The grandeur may not last a lifetime but the universe will align the stars for the old to find its spot under the sun once more and yes, glitter like gold again.


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