even with its glory fading slowly through the years, sto. niño shrine is still known for its opulence — a luxurious word i hardly ever use because it’s not everyday that i get to go inside the ultra-wealthy’s houses and describe it. the only time i will is when they employ me as their housekeeper so until then, let’s just say that so far, this is the most opulent mansion i’ve ever been to. (and to think it is already deteriorating!)
don’t you just love how the word opulence rolls in your mouth as smoothly as a tic-tac? it definitely has a refreshing taste to it.
like it’s the kind of word you like to dine on once in a while in a 30-seater dining table but then again, it kind of gets lonely when the person you’re talking to is sitting 24 seats away from you so that communication quickly becomes a shouting match just to get your point, and your ketchup, across.
ram’s favorite was the alitaptap room, so called because of the formation of the lights on the ceiling which were made to resemble like fireflies. i don’t get it, though. the fireflies’ movements, perhaps?
on one corner of the alitaptap room is a set of bamboo furniture whose common-ess is a contrast to the sheer out-of-this-(side-of-the)-world luxury of the things around it. i mean, considering how bamboo furniture is something you normally see in the humble homes of regular filipino folks, it was probably one of the few things that ordinary citizens could relate to in that majestic old mansion.
because for the most part, we could not relate to the rest.
although what filipino could not relate to this wooden bas relief of the popular legend called “si malakas at si maganda” which is basically a story about how the first filipino man and woman (“the strong” and “the beautiful”, respectively) came out from a bamboo stalk after a curious little bird cracked it open by dropping a rock on it out of frustration when it couldn’t get the job done by mere pecking. you can read the entire story here. i had to google it, as i kind of forgot already how the story really went.
just as i had to google what bas relief meant because, you know, the only art term i know is abstract and that one right there is certainly not an abstract! anyhow, bas relief is “a sculptural relief in which forms extend only slightly from the background.” now i know.
up next: the bedrooms and the guestrooms that the house is (in)famous for, as well as my disappointment with the tour guide.