Lanuza they say, is a hidden surfing gem, mostly overshadowed by its northern counterpart, Siargao. In the last few years however, they are marketing the area for tourism. Every November, they hold a music and surfing festival for three days. Curiosity had us cruising for thirty minutes from Parang to Lanuza.
We arrived a little early. We went directly to the surf camp but there was no one to welcome us. We took a look at the beach and the waves were rather tame. Perhaps it was because of the time, like in San Juan, La Union, waves were wilder in the afternoon. So we decided to look around other sites first.
I made a research prior to this trip and have read good reviews about the Centennial Old White House. It’s a hundred and twelve year old house which showcases antiques and relics. Several blogs have mentioned that this is a municipality museum. Much was our surprise when we arrived there and found out that there were still people living in the house! Apparently, heirs of the house’s original owner still reside there.
They were very warm. Kuya Armando, our tour guide, led us around the house. According to him (and some notes posted around), the structure was built on May 28, 1898 through the help of Chinese artisans. It served as the business residence of then Mayor of Cantilan, Don Gabriel Uriarte Herrera.
Pottery and earthenwares can be found in random corners of the house.
Corners of their ceilings were painted of this kind.
This dragon detail on a jar caught my attention. Chinese artisans, maybe.
That’s Kuya Armando in a white shirt. The boyfriend (in backpack) was too eager to listen to him, while I took photos of things I found interesting.
This is their living room. That guy in the piano is related to the Herrera family, methinks. He was chatting with them. Also, I remember him playing the piano while we were having the tour.
Such beautiful piece.
Works of different media can be found throughout the house. There are paintings, charcoal drawings, carved wooden reliefs.
I remember old wooden cabinets at home having this kind of details.
Old gasera(s). My father used to collect these things.
This globe looks ancient in actual.
Some other old finds.
Some other too many old finds.
Their santo(s). All of these are made of wood and some have already been infested with termites.
The Herreras sponsor holy week and other church activities. They had a locker for dresses of these saints.
They have a pretty good collection of Chinaware. We have been told that some of these even came from ship wreckages.
Los Mexicanos. Yes, they do have these puppets hanging on their plants.
We then proceeded to their garden.
Mama Mary was surrounded with water. She even had another statue praying to her.
This, they say, is where the Herreras also welcome visitors aside from their sala.
Dr. Herrera, Don Gabriel’s grandson I assume, joked that this well’s too old it could pass for a wishing well.
Then we hopped to Propsero Pichay Sr. Boulevard, still with Kuya Armando. He told stories of people around, like who owns the houses and the resorts at the beachfront, stories of political clans, and gossip like who married who.
It was during this walk we realized that the old political families were the boyfriend’s second to third degree relatives, the Azarcons and Orozcos. They were also former mayors and vice mayors of the municipality.
I wonder if this is where lifeguards chill during the height of the surfing season.
Facade of the Orozco house in Lanuza.
Of course, upon realization that the boyfriend’s related to once political families, we just had to visit the Lanuza Municipal Hall. It was closed at that time, but Kuya Armando being the ultimate tour guide knows the ins and outs of the building. I kid, he knows his way around because he was the assistant and landscapist of Mayor Herrera during his term.
Blocks away from the municipal hall is the Herrera’s mausoleum.
It was a small structure, more like a chapel, where the family visit their departed relatives. Sometimes, they attend mass here.
And surprisingly, we found familiar names in the mausoleum: Monteclaros. There were even Orozcos, Azarcons, and Limguangcos. We offered silence and prayers for a while.
It felt like we were walking for hours (well, we actually did). The heat of the sun made us tired.
We headed back to the white house and ended up at the Herrera’s dining table.
We thanked them for their very warm hospitality. They even told us to pay them a visit every time we fly to Surigao.
We went back to the surfing area. Unfortunately, the waves weren’t what we expected. It wasn’t the surfing season anyway.
We cruised back to Parang midst the rain. The boyfriend’s spirit did not dampen. He was obviously giddy and ecstatic about knowing people from his extended family. If only he could draft a family genealogy right then and there, he would. He was so amazed by how he found blood ties in far (relatively) and different places.
It may have been a swift and tiring walking tour, but it was all worthwhile, Lanuza. You made my annoyingly happy man a lot happier.