Thursday, April 11, 2013

MANUEL E. ARGUILLA Ancestral house

"I never knew what it was until I, myself looked at it firsthand"

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I have always long been wondering why was that house along Bauang, La Union have a Historical Marker mounted on its wall.
Curious, I asked some people who hails from Bauang and found out that it was the home of the late Manuel E. Arguilla. 
But, Who was Manuel Arguilla?

Manuel Estabillo Arguilla is a Filipino writer, patriot and a martyr. Born June 17, 1911 at barangay Nagrebcan, Bauang, La Union. He graduated B.S.E. in 1932 at the University of the Philippines and became a teacher at the University of Manila in 1937. His "Midsummer", "How my brother Leon brought home a wife", and other stories where published in the yearly book of short stories in America and list of honor for the year 1936. Winner in Commonwealth Literary competition in 1940. His collection of stories where published in one series of manuscript entitled "Philippine Tales and Fables". He died in August 25, 1944.

The Arguilla Ancestral House is located along the road about 100 meters away from a local High School. The lower floor (ground floor) was concrete walled  at a later year, so that the original structure was that of the typical wooden house elevated by wooden post and the lower part is made open, free of walls, for sheltering of rice as well as other animals used in farming. The upper part (Still the same one that historically housed the young Manuel Arguilla) which is made of wood and now aged by time, some of the wood plank flooring were falling apart, the capiz shell windows some were broken and others were replaced with g.i. sheet covers. 

General assessment... the house is in bad shape. 
I was told that during a storm in the past years, the whole roof cover where blown away, and have to be repaired by its residents the "Sonza" family consisting of Sheela (daughter) and Eduardo Sonza and his wife. "Eduardo/Jose" Arguilla Sonza is the son of Aurellia Arguilla the elder sister of Manuel Arguilla, who married a certain Jose Sonza from Pampanga. And they told me that Manuel Arguilla was not blessed with neither a son or a daughter.
Manuel Arguilla is the second child among the brood of four namely: Aurellia, Manuel, Salvador and Gualberto. He was executed at now known as "Fort Santiago".
Although there were some attempt to make the house as a "museum" or a local landmark, there were some hindrances as some problems are yet to be resolved.
Hoping one day, someone gives justice to the house that honed one of the great Ilocano writer, patriot and martyr Manuel E. Arguilla.

for more photos CLICK HERE

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