Saturday, March 26, 2011

Casa Asinas!

Finally, I got to see the famed house (among plant collectors) of Mike Asinas! After numerous invitations to come, I finally got the time (synchronized with Mike of course) to brave the South Luzon traffic to San Pablo, Laguna. The long travel was compensated by Mike with the warm reception to his small kingdom, flanked with old recycled wood and very interesting plants. Mike is a horticulturist, thus his garden is not confined to native species. His collections also included a number of beautiful exotic species. But slowly he said he was trying to incorporate the good native trees and landscape worthy plants he could get his hands on. FYI: Mike is one of the proponents why ALI is now using native species in its developments. More power to you, Mike!

Mike's house is actually a conservationist's dream. It is an ancestral type bahay-na-bato which he spotted in another town in Laguna. He had it transferred piece by piece on his family's compound in San Pablo, where it now stands as the lot's centerpiece. To compliment the architecture he collected a number of old wood furniture for the house's interiors and integrated some rustic Filipino relics into its surrounding landscape. And as the garden's focal points where different flowering trees like kalachuchi, bagawak, etc mounted with different staghorn ferns (Platyceriums) and dapos (Aspleniums).

I never realized Mike's abode is such a jewel (when he first gave his invite). Visitors are virtually transported back in time as one ascends up to the main porch area. When you get inside the house you'll get amazed with the intricate detail of the mouldings and Mike's old wood furniture collection. He had some pieces which are authentic with stories and histories attached to them. Some were reproductions, which he painstakingly assembled from old and new wood, bearing in mind the different grains, colors and textures of the different timber species. Mike mentioned a lot of balayong (or some people call tindalo) but other woods carved into the tables, chairs, cabinets, etc were molave, kamagong, narra, and a lot more I could not anymore remember.

Personally I did not expect to find a rich plethora of heritage pieces on this trip. I was expecting to find just a specimen of batikuling (Litsea leytensis) which Mike promised me some time ago. Instead I got treated to a nostalgia of sorts as I had my camera taking snaps of every detail I could see and feast my eye and lens on. Probably took more pictures of the house than the trees surrounding it. To Mike, again my many thanks for opening up your house to me and my sister, Cecil. I can't wait to go back and explore the surrounding lakes of San Pablo next time!


Plant Chaser said...

Oo nga. Isang bagsakan ng posts over the weekend. :-D

Very interesting trip to Laguna especially this Casa Asinas.

Ginoong Ang said...

this may sound like a weird question but does this compound have a makopa tree?