It was a day after the town fiesta in the name of their patron Sta. Catalina which was also Thanksgiving Holiday (Pacific Standard Time) for those of us in the call center industry. My team and I decided to take advantage of this long weekend to bond. The team rented a private resthouse and partied like there was no tomorrow. We all had a blast.
Shaun followed later that day and slept over. The next day, when the rest were getting to head back to Cebu, he and I decided to stay awhile and explore Carcar.
We discovered that it was one of four heritage towns in the entire country. While Silay, Vigan and Taal are Spanish heritage towns, Carcar is more American owing much to Mayor Mercado in the 1920’s who was an architect himself. Although you will see Spanish Mestiza architecture, these are side-by side Victorian architecture.
The most prominent of the Spanish era houses was the Balay na Tisa. The architecture itself is not Spanish but very Filipino. It has a roof made of tisa (clay material) tiles, high ceilings, large windows with the ventanillas(mini windows) below them. All these serve to deflect the heat and make it more adoptable to the temperate humid climate. Th ground floor is made of stone.
The Carcar City Musuem is one of the buildings that is more American – Victorian. It has a beautiful facade with intricate lattice-work. It used to be a clubhouse complete with a swimming pool at the back. It was then turned into a dispensary between 1937 -2005 when it was turned into a museum.
What could be more American than a bandstand at the town center? The bandstand-rotunda was commissioned by Carcar’s most famous Mayor Mercado around the 1920’s. The very first settlers in Carcar were from Valladolid, a seaside baranggay. They wanted to get away from the Moro raiders so they moved inland to where the rotunda stands now. The rotunda was said to have been built to mark where these first settlers set up camp.