May 10, 2017

Bahay na Bato, La Union

The shoreline of Nalvo in Luna, La Union is not gifted with fine, white sand. Instead it is covered with stones and pebbles of various shapes and sizes. These “natural gifts from heaven” are the main reason why a unique beach house suddenly became a tourist attraction in a once-sleepy coastal town.

Bahay na Bato was originally built in 2000 as a rest house of Dr. Edison and Dra. Purita Noble. The couple commissioned Bong Kim, a Korean stone and wood sculptor, in designing and building the place. The house, mostly made of stones and corals from the beach, charms those who have seen it. More than a decade later in 2015, with the encouragement and support of the local government, the couple decided to share what they have with the people. Since then, Bahay na Bato expanded into a compound made up not only of the rest house but also of an indoor and outdoor art gallery featuring artistic and interesting stone and wood sculptures shaped or painted as human faces, birds, turtles, and heart,  among others.

A house like no other, Bahay na Bato showed me to always believe in leaving no stone unturned.
From Manila, take Vigan or Laoag-bound bus (Partas, Fariñas, or Florida Bus in Sampaloc), and get off in Balaoan town proper or Luna Junction in La Union. You may opt to hire a tricyle (most convenient) or ride a jeepney from the junction to Bahay na Bato. Sidetrip would be to visit the Baluarte Watch Tower, which is a few minutes away by tricycle from the house. 
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