Marcela Agoncillo St., Taal
Province of Batangas
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Apacible-Lawyer, Soldier, Public Servant
Already a successful lawyer and Judge of the Court of First Instance of Batangas City, Leon Apacible was also a clandestine rebel by 1890s, when his house became a meeting place of the resistance leaders. In 1892, the colonial government discovered his activities and he was deported to Lepanto in the Mountain Province. Upon his return he joined General Miguel Malvar’s forces. As formidable a warrior as he was a lawyer, by 1898 he commanded his own forces in Batangas.
With the proclamation of the Revolutionary Government, President Emilio Aguinaldo appointed Apacible finance officer of Batangas, and then as a delegate to the Malolos Congress. Once the new constitution was in place, Apacible returned to his former civilian life in Taal where he died in 1901.
The original Apacible house was built in the 18th century, renovated in 1870, and again in 1940. The ornamental carvings and the “3”V” motif inscribed into the doors, floors and even the dining room table are the results of the renovation.
The architecture of the sala is a mixture of Filipino design and art deco, and while the size and grandeur is overwhelming, the true beauty is in the details. The picture frames, wall sconces and chandeliers are all works of art. Just outside the sala, on the way to the dining room, is an altar to the Virgin Mary. The hands and head of the image are made of ivory; the floral rococo case is elaborately carved and painted in gold.
The massive dining room table is actually one piece of wood cut vertically from the tree so the grains run in the same direction. On one side of the dining room are cabinets for chinaware imported from England, Italy and China.
Downstairs, items of interest include an 1882 photograph of a young Leon Apacible taken at the Rivera boarding house in Intramuros when he was a student. With Leon and his brother Galicano Apacible is Jose Rizal, their classmate. The picture is a record of an informal art group of which they were all members. There is also a vintage 1944 “docar”restored by the National Historical Institute in 1992.
Also on exhibit are 19th century farm implements, household artifacts, home and kitchen equipment belonging to the original owners of the house. – nhcp.gov.ph