19th Century Home Buddies Vibe at Casa Manila Museum | Intramuros


As modern home aesthetics trends on social media via the popular Home Buddies group on Facebook, a replica of a typical 19th century mansion in Intramuros reminds visitors that not all olden things must be forgotten. The Casa Manila Museum in Intramuros offers a glimpse to the lifestyle of affluent Filipino families dating back to a century ago. Featuring antique furniture pieces and ornaments made in China and Europe and by local artisans and complemented well by its impressive stone-and-wood structure, one could easily come into conclusion that not even IKEA can hold a candle to home living during colonial times.

Muffet Sta Maria

The House in Calle Jaboneros

Casa Manila Museum is a reproduction of the 1850s San Nicolas Mansion that originally stood along Calle Jaboneros in Binondo, Manila. Designed by architect J. Ramon L. Faustmann, Casa Manila was constructed in 1980 on one of Intramuros' original villages — Barrio San Luis — right across San Agustin Church.

Charisse Vilchez

Representing a typical Filipino "ilustrado" home, Casa Manila welcomes museum-goers into a wide and airy living room after climbing a flight of stairs before being led to a series living quarters and various rooms — which includes: a library, kitchen, music and study room, oratorio (prayer room) and even a banquet hall — all boasting of decorations and furnishings, a wealthy family from the era could easily import from Europe.

Anne Gumiran

Blending perfectly with the foreign objects are local elements like the Capiz windows, antique treasure chests (baul), and other signs of Filipino artistry and carpentry works. Each room comes with a different ceiling design that stood out thanks to its intricate metalwork influenced by the plasterwork seen in old houses in Europe.

Alyanna Bromeo

Casa Manila dishes an odd yet attractive mix of diverse architectural influences. From its Spanish-inspired balconies, to the quirky color amalgamations of the "sawn and carved" look of Victorian-styled homes, to the elements of a Filipino colonial house, it reveals the best money can afford when it comes to building a mansion in the old days.

Intramuros Walk

My friend Louise and I went here after spending a couple of hours enjoying the breeze and shade at Baluarte San Diego — also inside Intramuros. I told her I’ve been to this house several times before but never had the chance to take some good photographs. To which Louise admitted that “I’ve never been here before”.

Louise Fernandez

After having drinks at the café located downstairs of Casa Manila, we proceeded to enter after being briefed by a tour guide on the rules and regulations inside which includes the most important instruction to follow: do not touch anything.

Marky Ramone Go

Inside, we were both immediately mesmerized just the same time we planted our feet on the red-carpeted stairs and hallway as we showed ourselves the way to the mansion’s different rooms.


Audrey Nagant

Like negotiating a miniature maze discovering every fancy corners adorned with fascinating trinkets, furniture and decor, we ended our tour of Casa Manila by passing through the azotea leading down to the courtyard.

Marianne Tagaca

Now filled with new knowledge about the history of both Baluarte San Diego and Casa Manila, Louisa and I decided that a heavy meal in Binondo Chinatown is in order.