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Biñan City Heritage District

Heritage Sites

Robert Mateo Benjamin “Bobby” Capinpin Almeda recalls the many luncheons and dinners his father, Francisco Garcia Almeda, hosted in their bahay na bato for the politicians and cyclists of his time. The interior of the house is adorned with the older Almeda’s plaques, trophies, and medals—from being active in the local government to his leadership in cycling. In one corner of the living room, a shelf is devoted to his mother Alita Francisco-Capinpin’s collection, which includes bisque dolls and other figurines; while at the other side is a hand-carved wooden trunk. On its walls are old works of art and nostalgic, almost unrecognizable, family pictures. At the center are the pieces of furniture that have always belonged to the home. A remarkable feature of the house is the chapel that houses an image of Saint Joseph as their family is a devotee to the Death of Saint Joseph. The devotion stems back from a matriarch from several generations of Bobby’s family, Mrs. Arambulo Garcia.

Both Bobby and his sister, Laurie Grace Almeda Dionisio, are firm in their decision to keep the house within the family. More than everything, the structure is not just their house. It is their home that was with them through thick and thin, that sheltered and took care of them, that bore witness to all the family stories that the future generation might not hear anymore.

The Almeda’s 1800s home is only one of the many ancestral houses along the streets of J. Gonzales and V. Ocampo, and in Plaza Rizal that are part of the Heritage District—one of the initiatives to save the old Biñan. Out of the original 50 homes, there are about nine left that not only hosted gatherings and housed influential Biñanenses, but have witnessed firsthand the many changes that took place in Biñan since the 1800s. Among these are the homes of Francisco Almeda, Jacobo Gonzales (now Casa Biñanense), Vicente Ocampo, Pedro-Isidro Cariño, Dr. Iluminado Gana Valencia, Amoranto-Baylon, Lorenzo Gana (now Country Bank), Fernando and Agripina German (Casas-Mercado), Francisco Casas-Encarnacion Almeda, Marbella, Francisco Baylon, and Pablo Potenciano.

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