Museo de La Salle was constructed through the help of concerned community who helped Bro. Andrew to conceptualized the whole museum in October 1996. It was through his initiative which was then supported by the local government illustrating the 19th century Ilustrado lifestyle being shown in the museum collection. Museo de La Salle is in Dasmarinas Cavite, a city that is rich of Philippine culture where the influence of Spain greatly affects Philippine architecture. Dasmarinas as the torch of light symbolizing nationalism, history and culture that is why De La Salle University upholds this recognition and opens the door for anyone who wants to experience history through museo.
Inside the halls of Museo de La Salle, a rich collection of antiques depicting how people lived during the Spanish occupation. It showcases the “Bahay na Bato” or the Antillian House or the so called the modern ” Bahay Kubo”. Pieces of clothing from the different Filipino made fabrics and accessories or jewelries, shoes and other garments both from the donation of individuals. Paintings are everywhere that Filipinos are known for our artistry. Primarily, the museo opened to eduate students and people who are eager to learn the history of the Philippines. The collection are progressing throughout the years as many are encouraged to donate art pieces, historical objects that will contribute to the museo.
The museo is basically a large stone house being passed form one generation to generation and is preserved through the years. It is owned by Illustrados, a high or rich social class. The house divided into rooms such as bedrooms, worship area, living room, kitchen and dining area. Each room has specific theme and illustrating the materials as though you are walking in a house turned into a museum. Unlike other museum where there is a mix collection to almost anything, museo de La Salle is primarily for the collection of 19th to 20th century art pieces. The interior as well as the exterior are both preserved and renovated by top architects, designers and planners so that the museo will magnify the richness of Philippine culture.
Architectural details in the interior designs and furniture whre kept in close attention by Joey that brings the project into larger scale. The designs were inspired from Constantino House in Balagtas, Armedo-Gonzales House in Sullipan, Apalit Pampanga and Panlilio house in Bacoor Pampanga. There was an extensive research done to the details of tiles, color, texture and organization as if it had live undisturbed throughout time.
The areas in the Bahay na Bato are Zaguan which is the ground floor usually the pace as the modern time called garage. The calesa is a horse chariot where it can enter in the ground floor. In the museo, they had showcased Filipino costumes, embroidery and weaving also photographs were displayed in frames. Generally the bahay na bato depicts how the rich people lived, the social class or the elite. The cuartos or the bedroom are also magnanimous with large bed in their intricate carvings and woodworks were one piece is always a masterpiece.
Museo de La Salle also depicted how Filipino are so attached to religion showing signs of religious places like Capilla or Oratorio which is the holy place in the house. There you will find statues of Saints all dressed in golden robs. Sala or the living room is the most accommodating room where narra furnitures were carved with flowers all in minute details. The window is also a work of art made of sea shells.
Museo de La Salle is simply the gift of La Salle to the community of Dasmarinas and for the Philippines. Just an appreciation of how rich we are in our original art, that is something to be proud of. Those generations who have not witnessed what does this history books describe can now concretely see and appreciate all of this by visiting to the ” Bahay na Bato”.
In Cavite where one of the first civilization was established, many of the remains of the history can still be felt by hand. The culture is still alive along the walls and floors around the Bahay na Bato but they are just used as landmarks and architectural legacy of our forefathers. Museo de La Salle has served its purpose of preserving history and keeping our culture alive for the next generation to see.