We can never go back to the past mo matter how much we wanted to. We can only fondly relive our personal happy moments, look back at our past mistakes and regrets and hopefully learn something from them.
The past. That’s all I could ever think of when I entered Casa Conchita. How beautiful and strange it was blending naturally with the present as if together they belong.
One of the ancestral homes turned bed and breakfast place in the heritage town of Taal in Batangas is Casa Conchita. It was named after Doña Conchita de las Alas Lualhati, an exemplary Taaleña with notable achievements in the fields of education, rural banking and civic leadership in her small town. She was the lola of singer and composer Ogie Alcasid.
The charming two-storey bahay na bato is now being run by gracious and friendly hosts Ramon and Dan who have put so much warmth, love and effort in turning the place into a home and living museum. Not only that, they provide guests with that distinct southern hospitality, treating them as if they were long time friends or family members.
Every part of the casa - from the sala mayor, comedor, azotea to the cuartos - is a repository and showroom of artifacts, antiques, books, family photos, art works and pieces, and old and new furnitures, some were even imported abroad.
But what really captured my heart were those cute teddy bears having siesta on the sofa. Sinamahan ko nga.
There’s also an art gallery of lithographs depicting Taal’s history and Taaleño’s way of life.
The family room of the casa which could accommodate a big clan, is Filipino and Balinese-inspired.
The terrace, which is right beside a pocket garden, is a perfect place to have breakfast of freshly pressed hot coffee with milk and delicious pork tapa with sunny side up egg.
After having a hearty meal, the next best thing to do is explore by foot this Somewhere in Time town - visit the Asia’s largest Catholic church, other nearby fascinating bahay na bato and museums, and discover the town’s heroes and heroines, as well as its interesting history that made it comparable to Vigan and Intramuros.
And since I found out that it is almost impossible to end the day, sunset-watching from the Basilica’s belfry due to the church’s strict cut-off time, the best alternative would be to go down to the beach, which is just a tricycle-away.
Bask in to the serenity and splendour of the surrounding and perhaps inaudibly sing “Sometimes the last thing you want comes in first. Sometimes the first thing you want never comes. But I know that waiting is all you can do. Sometimes.”
Calle Antonio de las Alas
Tel. No.: 0927-7228463