Agoncillo House in Taal, Batangas

It was the time of transition from Spanish rule to at least an impression of independence, and the Philippine state was slowly evolving to having its own identity. A war was ending, the flag was weaved, and patriotic hymn was composed.

Living room of the Agoncillos.
Given that context of the country's history, we entered a family's dwelling place in a small town in Batangas that may rival Vigan for its preservation of Spanish-era architecture and artifacts. The house where the family of the woman who weaved the Philippine flag, Marcela Agoncillo, lived perked our interests in the life of this minor historical figure and transported us to a time when the study of the liberal arts, musical instruments and foreign languages was staple if one was to become a discerning individual.

Marcela Agoncillo sew the Philippine flag with her daughters in Hong Kong where they
stayed for a time to accompany Felipe in his exile.
Portraits of the members of the Agoncillo house.
The master's bedroom and a dress worn by Marcela Agoncillo.
Most the books the Agoncillos read were the classics and serial textbooks on foreign languages.
Marcela's husband, lawyer and the first Filipino diplomat Felipe Agoncillo, carried out negotiations for the Treaty of Paris to be forged. Another foreign power, the Americans, came in and became the mother of the newborn, "freed" state.

But to add anachronism and fun to those scenes of history flashing before us through the material order and space of the residence, my friend took advantage of playing the age-old piano of an Agoncillo daughter and displaced a key in the attempt.

Watch those decaying keys!