When I was in Elementary, I used to join poster making contests. Sometimes, I get the honor to represent our school. My accomplishments in this field earned me the Juan Luna Award. So, what about it? Nothing, I just want to brag about it. Haha!
Juan Luna is a famous Filipino painter. He is the older brother of another Filipino hero Antonio Luna. Both of them are regarded as heroes for their contribution to the Philippine Revolution during the late 19th century. Juan Luna as a political activist and Antonio Luna as a military officer. Their family is from Badoc, Ilocos Norte. Their old house has since been renovated and is now a tourist spot.
The house has two storeys; the ground floor used to be the basement while the second level is for the living room and bedrooms. Today, the ground floor displays different memorabilia not only of Juan Luna but also Antonio Luna and the rest of the family. My first impression was, “Wow! They’re rich!”
I was very lucky to be the only visitor at the time I was there. I have the house and caretaker/tour guide all by myself. Yey!
Juan Luna (L), Antonio Luna (R), and Juan Luna and Rizal practicing fencing. Images from Wikipedia and Lopezsummit.com
I was surprised there are no fences surrounding the house. Replicas of Juan Lunas works printed on tarpaulins are hanged around the garden outside.
The paintings are only replicas since the originals are in different museums like the Spoliarium in the National Museum of the Philippines.
Juan Luna was accused of killing his wife and mother-in-law but was acquitted on grounds of temporary insanity.
Although the house went under extensive restoration, some portion of the house are still the original.
The stairs is like a teleport back in time. For a museum, that has no entrance fee, I’d say it is very well maintained. Donations are accepted.
This chair in the living room is an original. A string keeps it from falling apart.
I was lucky enough to be allowed to enter the bedroom. I’m thinking: “These chairs must be the Lazy Boy that time.”
There are 7 children in the Luna family. This is their bedroom. Juan Luna was the third child while Antonio was the youngest.
A small room serves as an altar. Antonio Luna memorized the Doctrina Christiana, an early book of Roman Catholic Catechism.
They don’t have a swimming pool, but they have a well. It hasn’t dried up yet.
The house is just as impressive outside.
The shrine is closed on Mondays but you can still access some portion of the house since there are no gates or fences. they are open 8AM-5PM Tuesdays-Sundays
You might not be a fan of museums like me, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy your visit in this shrine.
Dambanang Juan Luna, DONE!
The shrine is located just meters from the Badoc Church and Town Plaza. Remember, it is at KM 448
The Juan Luna Shrine and the town of Badoc for that matter is not a very known tourist destination probably because it sits right in the middle of the more popular Laoag and Vigan. You’ll be glad to know though that the town proper of Badoc is less than a kilometer from the National Highway so making a quick sidetrip here is not a hassle. Be sure to visit it on your next trip up North.
Meanwhile, I have another interesting stop coming up just right after Badoc. It’s a much smaller island than Pinget Island (read about it here.) but very similar. It’s so small that the island is practically a platform for a single mansion.