A Visit at Laurel's Garden and Museum

Friday, July 08, 2016 , ,

Last June, I was given the opportunity to visit the Laurels on their very beautiful home at Laurel's Garden and Museum in Laguna.

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Laurel's Garden and Museum is situated on top of a small hill in San Pedro, Laguna. It's the family's rest house of some sorts. And this is also where you’d find the Salvador P. Laurel Museum which the family has built in the loving memory of our Vice President and Prime Minister, Doy Laurel.

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Words are not enough to express how thankful I am that I was given the opportunity to visit the Laurels and the museum. The house is not really open to the public yet but they allow visitors from time to time as long as there's an advanced notice.

Salvador P. Laurel Museum

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The Doy Laurel Musuem housed not only the achievements and life of Doy Laurel but it also shows a huge part of our history that we won't find in our textbooks.

One of the best place on the museum is the Doy Laurel Study Room.

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Would you believe that they transferred the entire room from their house in Mandaluyong all the way to Laguna? Yes. As in they recreated the entire study and transferred everything, as in every single thing. From the floor wooden boards to the window sills to all the muebles. Imagine? They said that they even have to number all the floor boards and everything so they could transfer it correctly and piece by piece.

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His personal assistant said that the room really looks exactly like the old study and he can't help but reminisce his time with the great VP. He told us loads of nice stories about the great Doy Laurel. His PA even told us that time when Cory Aquino, herself went to visit Doy and sat on a specific chair. Grabe! Ang sarap hawakan nung upuan kasi may history na kaakibat.

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On the lower floor, they showed an AVP of the family history of the Laurels. Doy's life in politics. His involvement on the anti-Marcos drive. His sacrifices for the country. How he has set aside his personal dreams and aspirations of becoming the next President to give way to Cory. How he was the Prime Minister (probably in the entire world) with the shortest stint, like 1 day I guess?

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The Great Man, Doy Laurel

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Before coming into Laurel's Garden, I've only heard of Doy Laurel. I know that he is Cory's VP but nothing else. I barely know the man. Well, I know that he is Denise Laurel's grandfather, but that's all.

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Nahiya talaga ako sa sarili ko when I finally got to know him better. I feel really bad kasi parang, this guy has given his life for this democracy that we are enjoying but nobody ever glorified him for it. He is an unsung hero. And I'll bet most of the Filipino kids don't know about him. Or his sacrifices.

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Alam nyo bang he is bound to run as President against Marcos? But because of the clamor for Cory to run as President, he gave way. Kahit na sya ang nanguna sa anti-Marcos campaign. Alam nyo din bang he has to sell some properties and nagsanla din sya ng ibang personal properties nya to finance the anti-Marcos drive. Kasi nobody wants to help. Nobody wants to openly show that they are against Marcos because of fear. But Doy is different. Lakas loob nyang ipinagsigawan that he is against the dictatorship and later on, narinig sya ng mga Pilipino and the EDSA happened.

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I could go on and on about the stuff I learned about Doy Laurel but this post would be too long. Eh ang dami pang pictures. But I really suggest you do your own research. Read up. Everything is on the internet. And go read some books. Or pay the Doy Laurel Museum, a visit.

Doy Laurel's PA, as mentioned earlier, is still with the family. He is still serving the family way after Doy's death. Sabi nga nila, a true test of someone's character eh kung meron silang mga loyal na employees. Yung never silang iniwan even after so many years. Niloloko nga nila si Sir, na sa kanya ang Laurel's Garden. Kasi sya na yung boss doon. He was even included on the last will of Doy Laurel, the VP made sure that his loyal PA would be taken cared of even after his death. If that's not enough proof of how great a man he is, ewan ko na lang.

No wonder, his wife, Mrs. Celia Laurel has put on so much effort just to make sure that the legacy of his husband lives on. That’s also why she put up the museum and wrote a book for his husband. The family wants every Filipino to know that once upon a time, there was a man who did everything in his power, to fight for the democracy that we are enjoying right now.

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On History and Motherhood

I went there with a fellow mum, Nicole. Both of us agreed that teaching history to our kids is very important. And that we shouldn't just rely heavily on the textbooks from the schools because most the time, they are filtered. Kelangan malaman ng mga anak namin ang TOTOONG HISTORY. And a visit to the Laurel Museum is a great start. Well, at least for me. At least may maituturo akong maayos sa anak ko.

Making my child understand and appreciate history is very important to me. A love for the country is as important as love for fellowman. Understanding your history and appreciating the people that fought for the freedom you are enjoying now is very crucial so they won’t take it for granted.

There are things you are enjoying because someone else has to fight for it. Someone else sacrificed their lives, their happiness, their dreams, just so you could enjoy freedom. And that is an integral part of one’s character and well-being.

Meeting Mrs. Celia Laurel and Denise

Another major highlight of our visit at the Laurel’s is meeting Mrs. Celia Laurel and Denise Laurel.
We all know Denise Laurel, because she’s a well-known actress here in the Philippines.

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While Mrs. Celia Laurel is a painter, musician, the author of a book she wrote for and about her husband, Doy Laurel. And a very beautiful woman.

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The Laurel ladies are very very nice. Mrs. Laurel even gave us a signed copy of her book, Doy. Grabe! It'll be every historian's dream book. Mahal mahal nun! And punong puno ng details about our history and Doy's life.

The Laurel's graciously invited us to their home together with some other family friends. Ibang klase. I didn’t know that they are that down to earth. Mrs. Laurel answered some of our questions about the museum, her home, her book and everything about Doy.

You could easily see how much she loves her husband and is sharing wonderful memories about the man. Ibang klaseng pagmamahal. Kaya nga daw gusto nya i-preserve ang memory ng asawa nya. She is doing everything just so the Filipinos won’t forget her husband. At sino pa ba naman ang nakakaalam ng mga sakripisyo ng isang lalaki kundi ang kanyang asawa, na malamang kinailangan ding magsakripisyo kasi nagmahal sya ng lalaking mas mahal ang bayan.

The Laurel Gardens

The entire Laurel Gardens property is so huge. Sabi nga namin, very #BaguioFeels. The place is very beautiful. Tara, let's photoblog!

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Getting into the Laurel’s Gardens, you’ll be greeted by this huge iron gate. Sobrang ganda. I feel like I was transported to a totally different place.

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This is the main door. For sure, this looks familiar because this house has been a favorite location for movies. Kasi nga ang ganda.

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While this is the inside of the house. It’s a combination of cobbled stones and wood for flooring while the entire house was mostly made of wood and stones. Very rustic. Very old mansion feels. But super elegant and definitely shouts grandeur.

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The other part of the house is their living room. Syempre, bilang bloggers kami – photo op!

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Denise and her grandmother, Celia, also had a photo shoot at the place. They are very sweet. And they look so much alike!

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The entire property is surrounded by lush greens, pine trees and grass. Very picturesque. Perfect rest house feels. No wonder it’s a favorite location spot for movies. Definitely very gorgeous.

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This man-made falls was designed and built by Doy himself. It’s way way down the garden. We need to ride a car to get there coz it’ll be a long walk from the house and museum. Medyo malawak ang hacienda ko, Facundo! Sorry naman. Char!

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They also have an orchidarium. Favorite place daw to ni Mrs. Celia and Doy. No wonder. It was really pretty here.

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They also have a mini-chapel and a space for events. They are planning to open the Laurel Gardens for events, if I’m not mistaken. Sarap pakasal dito!

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This beautiful work of art is a Manasala. This would welcome you the moment you enter the house. Very beautiful indeed.

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If you want to visit the Laurel's, you may visit their facebook page or contact Joe Lad Santos at 09185949052.

Mr. Joe Lad also has van for rent. In case you need one, go and contact him!

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