Bahay na Bato

BAHAY NA BATO

As of the moment, BAHAY NA BATO  is CLOSED to the public. However, they have opened a new gallery building, the KAMAY NA BATO (STONE HAND) ART GALLERY BY MR. KIM, near it.

Location: Nalvo Norte, Luna, La Union, Philippines

Coordinates:16°50’51.3″N   120°21’01.6″E

Jump-Off Area: Municipal Hall, Luna, La Union
Contact Person: Tito Gorospe (Tourism Officer): 09158072728 (Mobile No.) OR (072) 607 0099 / 607 1132 (Landline)
Entrance Fee: Php20.00/pax
How to Get There:
  •  From Manila or Baguio City, take a bus bound to Laoag, Vigan or Abra. Drop at Balaoan, La Union. Take a tricycle near the Seven-Eleven Store to Luna town proper. Take another tricycle to Bahay na Bato.
  • From San Fernando City, La Union, you can take a Luna-bound jeepney. Otherwise, follow the travel plan for those coming from Manila or Baguio City.
Description:
Bahay na Bato (stone house) is situated in a 35,000-populated municipality of Luna (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2010). In reality, it is not a house made entirely from stones, although the concrete walls are plastered with stones and the floor is strewn with large, smooth, flat pebbles. Adornments of carved stones, woods and World War II items are seen inside the house. Of the two private rooms in the ground floor, the one facing the beach is sometimes open to the public. This room has a double-door access to the beach. Carved stones of different sizes and figures are strategically positioned along the hallways. The floor is also covered with smooth, pebbles and flat quarter-palm sized stones. Woods carved with faces are also mounted on the upper portion of the inner wall of the receiving hall. World War II items such as charcoal iron (de uling na plantsa), kerosene lamps (lampara), water canteens (kantina), carbide lamps (de kalburong lampara), wooden trunks (baul), and Stainless Steel mess kit dishes are also being showcased in the house.  The second floor offers a panoramic view of the pebble-blanketed beach and stone carving-strewn lawn. Big stone carvings resembling lizard, heart, sea creatures, flowers, man, hand gestures, etc. are positioned to augment or create a landscape. Though there is a minipool for children on the southern part of the house, the main attraction is still the house and its stone carvings.
 
The house, built in 2000, was initially intended to be a resthouse for Dr. Edison and Dra. Purita Noble; however, Luna Mayor Marvin Marron, seeing the tourism potential of the property, persuaded them to open it to the public (Marbella, 2015). The property was then opened in 2014 attracting a multitude of tourists. The local tourism office has recorded a staggering number of visitors to the new attraction. In December 2014, it registered more than 10,000 visitors, and another 7,800 for January 2015 (Marbella, 2015). 
 
If you visit this place, you have a big chance of meeting the sculptor of the stone-carvings, Mr. Vong Kim. He is a Korean married to the Luna native manager of the place. He usually stays at the registration booth. 
 
Other notable tourist attraction of this municipality is the pebble-covered beaches, even coming in different colors. According to a resident near the beach, the pebbles are believed to be living and has the ability to grow. Baluarte ruin (Biyak na Bato) and Ukkalong Falls are also gaining popularity in the place.
GALLERY:

    
Here’s the admission fee and open house hours as of February 2016.

The receiving hall’s floor is covered with large flat pebbles.
The receiving hall window overlooking the beach.
The upper portion of the walls is also lined with woods carved with faces.
The hallway leading to the two private rooms and the stairs.
One of the private rooms. This rooms is sometimes opened to the public.
The eastern wall at the second floor is adorned with World War II utensils.
 Close up of the WWII utensils.
A wooden trunk as a centerpiece at the second floor.
Stone carvings in the ground as seen from the second floor window.
 Stone and wood carving in a hallway.
This carving obviously depicts the Oriental culture of the carver.
Stone-faced? Call what you want.
Your name might be in this table too.
I actually wondered how they did this.
Emotions etched upon stones.
Yes, its not slimy. Its smooth.
Homo erectus(?) with glasses.
One of the best places outside the house. Don’t just linger in the middle of the heat.
 A monster fish, perhaps.
The beach without sand.
Unfortunately, swimming is not allowed  at the beach near Bahay na Bato. The waves are strong and the beach is deep.
Pebbles and not sand. How is sunbathing done here?
 Pebbles of different colors can be picked near the Baluarte ruins.
According to the locals,during the war, this structure is connected to a nearby building through a tunnel, making it a means of escape.
But I love the view!
The Baluarte ruins as seen from the beach. Concrete posts are used to fortify the structure preventing it from collapsing. This structure is becoming an icon of Luna.
Accordingly, the structure has split during a previous typhoon.
As of the moment, BAHAY NA BATO  is CLOSED to the public. However, they have opened a new gallery building, the KAMAY NA BATO (STONE HAND) ART GALLERY BY MR. KIM, near it.
REFERENCE LIST:
Marbella, J. P. (2015). Stones bring solid tourism in La Union. Retrieved on April 2, 2015 from http://www.launion.gov.ph/news.php?extend.687.1.
Philippine Statistics Authority (2010). 2010 Census of population and housing. Retrieved on April 2, 2015 from http://web0.psa.gov.ph/sites/default/files/attachments/hsd/pressrelease/Ilocos.pdf.

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