The Drama of Casa Simeon
Near the easternmost coast of the province of Albay, facing the wide expanse of Pacific Ocean, is Bacacay, a resort town known for its volcanic black sand beaches. Standing in its very center is Casa Simeon, a mansion said to be constructed in 1920.
I was prompted to visit this old house by the closing of its art exhibit the next day as it turns out that my friend, an astral twin, Regine Eina Esternon, has one of her beautiful paintings displayed inside.
It was late in the afternoon when I finally mustered enough willpower to do what I had wanted to do since several weeks ago. My brother came along with me and his waze app proved to be very helpful as we found the old house in an unfamiliar area. We used to visit Bacacay for its beaches but not for something found inside its poblacion.
At first glance, the mansion looks very dainty and, because we were too curious, we immediately went inside to see its grandeur and all the details.
We didn't have to look too far; my astral twin's painting was exhibited very near the mansion's entrance. Taking my camera, I took a snapshot of Regine's painting. First shot was instantly perfect and I need not take another one. Here it is...
I call Regine my astral twin as we were born a day apart, and our birthdays are actually arriving this week. In astrology, an astral twin is somebody who shares the same astrological placements with you. Since Regine and I were born just a day apart, all the planets were positioned in nearly the exact same spots as our respective birth times.
As astral twins, we share many similar characteristics: we're both artistic, eloquent, and were pushed to take up courses against our will by our parents. Of course, we have fine taste too. Our artistic inclinations, however, diverge like the rivulets in the meadows; while she does really good in the field of painting, I do in writing, photography, and music.
Because of the art exhibit, the old house currently displays an array of paintings. I took shots of some of the more significant ones...
Not only were paintings displayed inside. There were some creations of other media too...
On the second floor of the house is a balcony overlooking Mt. Mayon. This one should not be missed. The windows are so wide giving you an almost unobstructed view of the volcano's elegance. In the middle of the balcony is a rocking chair that will lullaby you in the sleepy afternoon.
As you can see, it was sunset when we found ourselves to the balcony. One of the best times to seek a view of this ever-evasive volcano is at dusk. We did not expect to catch a glimpse of her as she always hides herself behind the clouds.
The rest of the mansion is splendid. Reminiscent of the American Era, while the shadows of the Spanish Colonial Period was still being felt all over the archipelago, the old house will surely take you back in time...
The interiors are very spacious and all around the house were ornate carvings that will surely fancy your eyes. To complete the house, the lightings make a very dramatic touch to its soap-opera appeal.
Unfortunately, my camera ran out of battery before we completed our short trip. The house is just a few hundred meters from the Sta. Rosa de Lima parish, another gem of architecture. It is made of volcanic rocks that probably rolled over from the slopes of Mt. Mayon. But because of the battery mishap, we weren’t able to capture its beauty.
The house is not just a dainty landmark pleasing to the eyes, it is also a restaurant and an inn. Yes, there are rooms too if you want to use it as a sort of hotel.
Of course we had to try the food as well so we ordered tuna steak cooked in butter soy sauce and lemon. The steak was already pleasing my palate when the waiter tempted us with their fresh pako salad.
As I was savoring the tuna steak, I took in and munched parts of the salad. The saltiness of the steak was immediately complemented by the bursting freshness of the pako leaves, which were actually drenched in balsamic vinegar. The juicy flavor from the vinegar really came as a surprise.
The dinner was not all about the food or the ambience. The relaxing melody of undulating classical music was also heard all over.
With this short trip, I really think it has been a splendid Sunday.