The Luz-Librea-Bautista Ancestral House

Luz-Bautista Ancestral House
(Photo courtesy of Chito Segismundo)

The patriarch of the Luz clan, Don José de San Miguel Luz é Inciong (gobernadorcillo of Lipa in 1844 and 1854), fondly called Capitán Ute, built the grandiose stone mansion for his youngest daughter Maria Luz y Metra married to Leon Librea y Mayo.

The house took ten years to build due to the length of time spent in drying the lumber, sawing the wood, and transporting it from Mindoro to Lipa. The posts and frames were of molave, narra for the flooring, and santol wood for the ceiling and partitions. As cement was not available then, the walls and columns were made from adobe, lime, and sand. The roof was of galvanized iron as red tile roofing became unpopular because they tend to fall off. The ceiling was covered by a cloth painted with designs copied from famous European paintings.

The Librea-Luz Clan

By November of 1881, the majestic structure, inspired by Babylonian architecture with curved and extensive columns, was completed.

With the house’s completion, Don José appointed its interiors with lace curtains from Paris, two Austrian high-length mirrors, pieces of Viennese furniture, local furniture from Ah Tay (a well-known Filipino wood carver), fine Chinese porcelains, and all glassware, silverware, plates, crystals, and chandeliers from Germany. It had undergone refurbishment in 1917 with the addition of bedrooms and a bathroom.

During the Japanese occupation (1941-1944), the house served as a Japanese headquarters. With the coming of the Americans in 1945, it became a hospital.

Ancestral house interior
(Photo Courtesy of Renz Katigbak)

Today, the rear part of the house, which used to be the azotea, lies in ruins. Vines and graves took turns in giving life to the otherwise forgotten past yet the house, although old and ravaged by time still stands imposing.

Josefa Librea y Luz de Bautista

Being the youngest child of Maria Luz and Leon Librea, Josefa (married to José Luz Bautista) inherited the house. The house is now a legacy to all Lipeños, a reminder of the glory and grandeur that was Lipa – a mute witness to their ostentatious living.

5 Replies to “The Luz-Librea-Bautista Ancestral House”

  1. I think Renz that this Mansion should be called the Librea Luz Ancestral House. The land belongs to the family of Leon Librea and her sister Romana Librea,my paternal Great Great Grandmother. I know Renz Beacause I have with me the original mother title of this land which was subdivided in the early 19th century. We live here Renz,at the back of the Librea Luz ancestral house.My Grandfather Maximo Malabanan Africa inherited the subdivided portion next to their’s.

  2. My maternal grandfather is Francisco Macasaet Africa

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