Libmanan town

A brief heritage tour around the town of Libmanan

The early 19th century municipal hall of Libmanan

The early 19th century municipal hall of Libmanan

Perhaps I should have myself be declared an adopted son of Camarines Sur with the many times I’ve been visiting and exploring this province! Yes, CamSur, as it’s popularly known is old churches, outdoor adventure, great food and hospitable people. There’s always something new to visit or taste. And when you do go to the towns, there are lots of heritage architecture to see. That’s why this is my favorite province in Bicol.

Take for example Libmanan. Although these days, it’s famous as the home of the popular 3N toasted siopao, and recently, beautiful Engkanto Falls, I had the opportunity to visit this town and marvel at some of its heritage structures.

The municipal hall is early 19th century, probably 1920s. It has a beautiful yet simple facade flanked by an arcade. Although there have been some renovations of the interior, I was very much impressed by the wide grand staircase.

Like many towns in the province, Libmanan still has its old church although the facade and part of its nave have been renovated and is new. Only the presbytery and the transept are still original. The transept entrances are interesting with both sides bearing the Dominican and Franciscan seal above the main door.

But what really got my interest is the structure located at the side of the church. It’s massive and thick, like a fortification, built with bricks and decorated with several intricate floral bas reliefs. Was this part of the kumbento before? Why the fortress like form? Other than this, the church has interesting antique artifacts in its diocesan museum.

We were also able to visit four heritage houses of which the Dilenco House, built in 1875 is said to be the oldest structure in Libmanan. According to the Libmanan LGU, it was home to three of its mayors. Unfortunately, it’s already abandoned. Another splendid structure is a rare and beautiful art deco house, the Morales Ruins, as it is called, built in 1937. Even in most towns, an art deco house is not common.

The Nacianceno House is another beautiful heritage house that has art deco elements. Already an interesting exterior, the all wood interior is even exquisite. It even has art deco style cabinets that is not common. The Jaucian House, built in 1926 is another heritage structure although much of it has already been renovated.

Although the trip was just short, I do want to go back and explore more of the town.

Remaining original structure of the church. The facade and parts of the nave have been renovated already

Remaining original structure of the church. The facade and parts of the nave have been renovated already. The church also has the town’s ecclesiastical museum that has interesting religious antique items including the original bells and beautifully carved wooden parts of the kumbento.

An interesting brick structure just beside the wall with lots of beautiful bas reliefs. What is this?

An interesting brick structure just beside the wall with lots of beautiful bas reliefs. What is this?

A rare and beautiful but already abandoned art deco house called the Morales Ruins built in 1937 purportedly designed by a National Artist for Architecture

A rare and beautiful but already abandoned art deco house called the Morales Ruins built in 1937 purportedly designed by a National Artist for Architecture

The Jaucian House of 1926

The Jaucian House of 1926

An unidentified adndd abandoned Spanish colonial era building, with this interesting main entrance. It is just beside the wide river.

The Dilenco House built in 1875 and is the oldest house in the town. It was home to three mayors but the structure is now abandoned.

The Nacianceno house has art deco designs

The Nacianceno house has art deco designs

Another old house in the town

Another old house in the town

Sand quarrying boats along Libmanan's very wide river dock to unload the sand

Sand quarrying boats along Libmanan’s very wide river dock to unload the sand

Thanx to Naga Excursions and Libmanan LGU for making this trip possible.

Estan Cabigas is freelance photographer, blogger and writer based in Makati City, the Philippines. A true blue Cebuano, he makes stunning images and meaningful photo stories. His work has been published in local and international publications including National Geographic Magazine, Geo (Germany), Sunday Times Magazine (London) and other publications. He is also a peripatetic traveler and has traveled to all 81 Philippines provinces. I'm open for work, collaborations and inquiries, including hotel, restaurant and site features and reviews.

4 Comments

  1. Estan Cabigas (@EstanCabigas)
    May 28, 2015 @ 14:45

    A brief heritage tour around the town of Libmanan: The early 19th century municipal hall of Libmanan
    Perhaps I… http://t.co/1eDT0J8RZj

  2. @xwindevera
    April 25, 2017 @ 15:35

    A brief heritage tour around the town of Libmanan • langyaw https://t.co/R36NgU4C7k

  3. selin
    October 22, 2017 @ 23:25

    Its sad to see this old abandoned houses with a beautiful architectural designs hoping that some body is going to restore it.

  4. Joanna
    March 24, 2018 @ 16:34

    Thank you so much for featuring the Nacianceno Ancestral House! I for one have heard so much about our family origins from our father in Libmanan, Camarines Sur,but never had a chance to go and see it personally, but this picture is something that I can show my children and get them to appreciate the history of their family. God bless you.

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