Exploring The Casa Consulado Museum And Library In Quiapo

Every time I hear about Quiapo there is only one thing that comes to my mind, the Black Nazarene. I have been to Quiapo numerous times but only to attend mass in Quiapo Church or if I need to buy something from Raon, other than that, I don’t see any reason to frequent the place. Well, not until I realized that Quiapo alone has so many great things to offer. It surprisingly features places where people that are religiously, historically and culturally inclined will definitely enjoy the most.
Yesterday (August 16, 2016), the San Sebastian Church celebrated its 125th Anniversary and part of this celebration is the Nine-day “Q-Festival”. This is actually one of the highlights of the celebration which is mainly aimed to raise public awareness about the ongoing efforts to restore the church (as we all know, San Sebastian is the only church here in the Philippines that is entirely made from steel). In addition to that, it is very interesting to note that this wonderful project is done in collaboration with various heritage groups in an effort not just to promote but also to preserve the nearby heritage sites. These sites include Bahay Nakpil, the Casa Consulado, and Padilla Mansion to name a few.20160814_093811t
I was grateful enough to be part of the recently held “Sulyap sa Quiapo” Lecture series. It was a back-to-back lecture series from different speakers that taught us everything about Baybayin (ancient Philippine script) and its deeper meaning. The lectures took place in Casa Consulado, a heritage house that can be found just few blocks away from the San Sebastian Church. Honestly, I have no idea about Casa Consulado but I’m glad I didn’t hesitate to attend the event because I learned so much about this place.20160814_093831_Richtone(HDR)t
I was warmly welcomed by the facilitators and prior to the actual event, I was able to explore the heritage house and Mr Allan Pardilla Martinez of “Kapitbahayan sa Kalye Bautista” told me a brief history about the building and their future plans to improve, promote and preserve the place. Casa Consulado (also known as the Iturralde House) is basically a two-storey building previously owned by Don Mariano Garchitorena and was built in 1920. You can still see the 1920-inspired architectural design on it which they called “the bandehado style” a variant of Geometric style house (Bahay na bato). In 1936 the house was acquired by the family of Don Jose Iturralde and his wife Doña Dominga Alvaro. Their son, Dr. Augusto Alvaro Iturralde, was appointed as Honorary Consul of the Principality of Monaco to the Philippines, and converted the house as his office and as the Consulate House of Monaco in the Philippines (Embassy of Monaco), thus “Casa Consulado” (Consulate House). It even has a balcony and a flag pole where the flag of Monaco were previously hoisted.IMG_0485t
The first thing I noticed, however, is that the building is seemingly unmaintained. Water is leaking from the roof and the items were not placed in their proper places. In fact the comfort rooms and one of the bed rooms were currently served as the storage. I’m happy though that a group like Kapitbahayan Sa Kalye Bautista (KKB) were exerting efforts to restore this place and possibly to bring the Casa back to its former glory in the future. In fact, the money earned from the event will proceed to the restoration of Casa Consulado. This is really uplifting because I know the fact that through these efforts, Casa Consulado will not suffer the same fate of those neglected heritage houses today. It may not be as well maintained as the Aguinaldo Mansion and that of Baldomero Aguinaldo Shrine in Kawit but who knows, right? I have high hopes for this heritage site too!IMG_0479tBy the time we arrived in the Casa, they were currently exhibiting a gallery of photos in their “Comedor” or dining area.IMG_0480t20160814_093933_Richtone(HDR)tMaharlika Life’s Baybayin art were also in display. Ian Lucero of Maharlika Life is one of the invited speakers. IMG_0483tThe “Cocina” (Kitchen)IMG_0488tThe Casa Consulado also houses a library on the upper floor. This room showcases different books probably used by the previous owners.IMG_0493tA collection of old encyclopedias and books. Some are almost tattered already.IMG_0492tOn top of the center table in their library is this old book enclosed in glass. Upon doing a research, this Spanish book is somehow related to agriculture and is written by Gabriel Alonso de Herrera.IMG_0497tThe “Azotea” that will lead you to the balcony. It is also adjacently located to another room which is temporarily used as a storage.IMG_0499tThe “Cuarto”. The bed and the rest of the furniture in this room actually reminds me of those in Baldomero Shrine.IMG_0501tAn old sewing machine with an unfinished sequinned dress on display.IMG_0504tIMG_0507tThere was a huge Holy Cross on the corner of this room and also an altar displaying various religious imagesIMG_0510tThis abstract painting of a kid begging alms is something you cannot be unnoticed especially if you are heading downstairs.IMG_0512tGoing downstairs.

For more information about this Heritage site, feel free to drop by at their Facebook page : Kapitbahayan Sa Kalye BautistaCasa Consulado Museum And Library

I will post about the “Sulyap Sa Quiapo” Lecture Series soon

19 thoughts on “Exploring The Casa Consulado Museum And Library In Quiapo”

  1. Carola says:

    I love this Casa Consulado. I had never heard of it before. But your photos make me like it. The photo gallery/exhibition looks wonderful. I like the old enclosed book as well. I hope they raised enough money for the restoration of Casa Consulado.

  2. Empire says:

    Seems pretty educational, I never heard of Casa Consulado before either.
    The unfinished dress looks beautiful!

  3. historical places always astonish me! one of the places here I mostly visit is Aguinaldo Mansion.. great post bruh! thanks!

  4. I love visiting heritage houses like these! This one is so rustic and beautiful. It would be a shame to see it fall into disrepair! I hope they are successful in fully restoring it.

  5. The Casa Consulado sounds like a very interesting place. I am curious about historic preservation, so I am glad they want to preserve this building. It’s so important not to neglect our cultural heritage. But I’m sorry to hear that it leaks now. Hopefully they will fix it soon.

  6. While I feel the same with respect for caretakers, I wonder if there’s simply lack of heads for a week of managing the place. I’ve once visited the place but I wasn’t able to get my pictures straight, seeing these authentic books and artifacts makes me smile with content. The old sewing machine is something I haven’t noticed before and I want to believe that there’s a deeper story behind it. I salute you for covering this still-underrated side of Quiapo.

  7. Ivana J says:

    Love this kind of rustic buildings, and so great to read the story behind this place. Great photos xoxo


  8. Such interesting photos! The old encyclopedias look so interesting.

  9. ROBERT LEE says:

    Hey, nice post. I used to go to the are of San Sebastian pero hindi ko talaga ito napapansin. Who would have thought? Pero anyway, sayang din ito ano? Mukhang hindi naalagaan, tsaka sa baba, ginawang commercial na kainan? Minimal ang maintenance pero because it is old, naku, dapat pagibayong maintenance ang gawin para hindi naman masayang ito.

    http://www.amazinglifedaily.com #AmazingLifeDaily

  10. It’s the first time I heard about Casa Consulado. But I am amazed at the photos! And although the place seems unmaintained, I’m happy they still opened this to public and I hope many will hear about this for it to be maintained well. This is really good and educational.

  11. Tiina A says:

    I love to visit this kind of museums where you can see how people were living there. All those pieces of furniture in the rooms makes it cosy and interesting and take you in that era.

  12. Shame to hear that it was not kept to a high standard but nevertheless at least you enjoyed yourself.

  13. Tamshuk says:

    I love these heritage houses, wherever they are across the world. They ooze an old-world charm that is so endearing. This post was very educational and informative on the Casa Consulado.

  14. Kimberly C. says:

    Thank you for sharing this post. It’s always nice to learn about new places. This house looks like it’s straight out of a movie and your photos make me feel like I’ve been there too now. Awesome!

  15. Maybe this place isn’t noticeable because when people hear the word “Quiapo”, aside from the black nazarene, what we think are the snatchers and all the negative stuff this place has earned. Though, it’s refreshing to see that there’s more to Quiapo than what we already know and think of it.

  16. Maria says:

    Never heard of this until now. I never knew a place like this could exist in Quiapo. Like you, I always knew Quiapo for Raon or for Hidalgo St or for the Black Nazarene. It’s always refreshing to see posts like this about places in our country.

  17. Lex says:

    Rich history this place holds you know. Thanks for letting me know about this place

  18. DaKyissa says:

    Wow, this was very interesting. I really enjoyed learning the history behind such a historical place.

  19. Tal | TPW says:

    interesting read, thanks for the history lesson. I know there are heritage houses in quiapo but just like you, it’s only the church and the shops that I frequented. 🙂

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