“At the end of the day, it isn’t where I came from. Maybe home is somewhere I’m going and never have been before.” – Warsan Shire
Through the years, I have developed this special interest over art galleries of different kinds. What has lured me the most are those that showcases wood and stone craftsmanship. So when my nomadic feet led me to my mom’s home province, I decided to check out myself this house made of stones in the seaside town of Luna in La Union.
The town of Luna is famed for the abundant supplies of pebble stones that come in different shapes and sizes (and even color). The locals have made a livelihood out of these stones by hand-picking and classifying them before they are sold. So, it isn’t much a surprise to see houses made of these natural resources. One particular house that has attracted both locals and visitors is “Bahay na Bato”.
I have heard (and seen photos) of this house during my years of teaching way back in Baguio. This house was built as a family rest house. I later learned that it is actually a property of one of my student’s family. Because of the undeniable and superb art works the house showcases, the mayor of Luna saw the likelihood of this property as a tourism attraction drawer. The mayor was able to convince the owner and now, the house turned art gallery, I open for public visit.
“Bahay na Bato” as it is simply called, displays a magnum opus of various stone carvings by Mr. Von Kim (a Korean national), who was tasked to create the numerous art pieces inside and outside the Bahay na Bato grounds. Aside from the carved stones, one would also be mesmerized by the various wooden crafts. I also like the fact that there are trees within the premises.
The house per se is a 2-storey construction with which the ground floor has 2 private rooms. The flooring is made of palm-sized pebble stones – such a delight to the eyes. The first floor also serve as a reception area where a mini-store is also put up. The 2nd floor have different display items like lamps, kitchen utensils, and more wood art pieces. The thing I like the most is that it has a stunning panoramic view of beach.
Outside the house, more carved stone and wood artifacts can be seen – from animal formed stones to some naughty carvings that will make you grin. I also saw a set of clay pot display. And by the way, there is also a small pool near the lawn area.
How to Reach Bahay na Bato:
Ride a bus bound for Vigabn, Abra or Laoag. Inform the driver that you be dropped off the town of Balaoan. Bus stop is usually infornt of the Balaoan church. Walk your way to a 711 store that is near the Balaoan municipal hall. There are tricycle bound for Luna. Fare is Php10/person. Once in Luna, take another tricycle ride to Brgy. Nalvo Norte. Just tell the driver you are going to Bahay na Bato. Fare is also Php10.00. If you are coming from San Fernando in La Union, there are direct jeepneys from San Fernando City to Luna.
“Bahay na Bato” collects P20 entrance fee for adults, while kids below four years old are admitted for free. It is open from 6am to 8pm daily. It is located in Brgy. Nalvo Norte, Luna, La Union.
Don’t be a wasted soul, be “juan”derlust. Take it easy ebri’juan’…