“Don’t leave without seeing me!” I messaged, almost threatened my high school classmate Anna, who is visiting from Uruguay.
“Let’s have lunch in your house na lang,” Anna replied, “para we don’t have to rush out or be worried about being overheard by people in the next table (if we meet in a restaurant).”
So while having a hearty lunch of spicy crabs and Stevie’s chicken rice at home, the four of us—Anna, Loumag, her son Paolo, and I—discussed what to do next.
Two years ago I stumbled upon a blog called 1760 Sunday House and was spellbound by a retro wooden house owned by the Magsaysay family.
In June 2011, the house was featured in Metro Home magazine, where I saw my New York buddy Victor Magsaysay with his cousin, the aforementioned blog’s author Anna Rosete.
I wished to God I could see this house in person. But Victor lives in Paris and his sister Loumag I rarely ever see.
But today since Loumag was already in my home, I decided to ask if there was any chance I could visit the legendary 1760 Sandejas house.
You can imagine my excitement when she said we could drive to Pasay this same day.
So the four of us took my car and driver all the way to Pasay. We hardly felt any traffic as Loumag, Anna and I reminisced about our high school days and caught up with the latest Manila chismis.
It didn’t take long. Soon a caretaker was greeting us at the gate. Loumag introduced herself as the granddaughter of Jesus Magsaysay, who built the house for his wife Miguela and their children back in the day.
My jaw dropped at this sight of this—floor to ceiling narra.
Loumag said only one craftsman built and finished the woodwork.
Check out the ceiling. I’m sure yoo would approve.
The crystal lamps are really magical
A portrait of the country’s most beloved President Magsaysay watches from the second floor.
He was the brother of the owner of the house.
Under the glass of a long table are photos of former inhabitants, including Loumag’s ’90s glamour shot
How precious are these crystal ashtrays and antique bell
The Last Supper was a fixture in every Filipino dining room when I was a child
Many of the doors were locked. I wish I could’ve seen all the rooms.
Here’s a creepy corner with a built-in shoe rack at lower right
This was a creepy bedroom
Paolo shows us a secret passage or escape hatch from one of the bedrooms downstairs
Loumag says this is a great spot for a photo op
We went upstairs
Illuminated by natural light from the glass-brick panels
Here’s the view from the top
I felt a bit sad when I saw the bedroom with the glass door. Loumag said his grandfather wanted to check up on the kids all the time. I feel sad when I think about lonely children who had to grow up with overly suspicious/strict parents.
(Then again, I don’t know these people…)
I was amazed at the tall, slim doors. Loumag said this particular door opens up to three bedrooms. So sad it was locked!
Loumag herself lived here for a few years as a school girl. I asked if there is mumu. She said it wasn’t exactly a child-friendly house, especially at night. I could only imagine.
And so I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this day, with Anna, Loumag and Paolo. It was one of those unplanned days that turned magical. Thanks so much for taking me! Finally 1760 Sandejas is off my bucket list!