Lovingly restored ancestral home with intimate family art gallery
Padilla family legacy
This marble white house is a true hidden gem! The glistering façade with vintage wrought-iron lamps stands out amidst the crumbling properties in the street. Inside, on the first floor is a biscuit shop that dates back to 1904 and on the 2nd floor a rare find in Old Manila: an art gallery. Pioneered by Manuel ‘Manny’ Padilla, descendant of the famous Padilla clan, the gallery opened in 2016 bringing back some of the old grandeur to the dilapidated district.
Manuel who inherited the property from his father Augusto, studied Industrial Design in Italy where he developed a love for the old. ‘I renovated the house to revive the glamorous neighbourhood of Quiapo and turn it into a destination for culture and arts. I want it to be a place that my sons and grandsons will cherish when they inherit it in the future’ says Manuel. The road to renovation was not an easy one. No efforts were spared to keep the original details intact: ‘We invested heavily to change the roofs, saving the narra flooring and use it a part of an indoor wall, and change the old capiz windows to antique stained glass mosaic.’ he says.
The Black Nazarene
Climb the old wooden strains to the gallery on the 2nd floor. Here you find part of the Padilla family’s collection, passed on from generation to generation, but also some of Manny’s own works. We loved the painting of the procession of the Black Nazarene. This intimate gallery is a Quiapo highlight and gives a wonderful impression of what life in Old Manila must have been like.