they call it the sto. niño shrine, even though it’s more of a majestic mansion than a sacred place of worship. an impressive structure with a unique architectural design that never fails to grab your attention should you pass by real street in tacloban, leyte.
imposing. dominating. begging.
at the very entrance is a small chapel with an image of the child jesus in ivory flanked by two saints whose names happen to be the same as that of imelda’s parents — vicente and remedios,
as well as several brown wooden benches similar to those found in a roman catholic church.
but there’s more to it than that.
because there’s also the blatant manifestation of the finer things in this worldly life, if not the finest. such as these delicate mosaics imported from italy which looked golden under the yellow lights emanating from crystal chandeliers (made in czech republic) hanging overhead.
or a carved image of a sleeping child jesus in jade.
just some of the precious stuff which stood, sat, and slept in every corner of what was supposedly one of the 29 rest houses of the marcos family during their years of wealth and power.
considering that the house was looted during the turmoil of the marcos’ political decline, it’s amazing to still see so many historical and personal items lying around. it kind of makes you wonder how much more grand and bongga everything was before they were stolen. probably, it was off the rich-ter scale, if you know what i mean.
lest the guests forget, framed blown-up photos of mr. and mrs. ferdinand marcos punctuated the majestic rooms in the house like periods after sentences. making a mark. a full stop. a silent message: all these were ours, period.
there’s even a romualdez family tree painted by a spanish artist with the faces looking ethereal against the dimmed lights and the subsequent drabness of the red carpet lying passively on the grand staircase leading up to the second floor of the mansion.
and the rooms! like, ohmygod-you-could-just-imagine-how-magnificent-they-were-back-in-the-days! but this is turning out to be a really long post already and each of those rooms deserve all the airtime they can get so…
pray that i wouldn’t be too lazy with the posting of pics.