Latest Stories


Town seeks enrichment in new museum


PART of the museum is Laurel’s study recreated from the family’s former residence in Shaw Boulevard. MARICAR P. CINCO

The not-so-historic town of San Pedro in Laguna hopes to lure tourists and history buffs with the rise of an orchard and a museum devoted to former Vice President Salvador “Doy” Laurel.

The Laurels, who own a house in the remote and uphill village of Holiday Hills, opened the gates of their property to the public during the blessing of Laurels’ Garden on Nov. 18, Doy’s 84th birthday.

“This is the most beautiful place in San Pedro so far,” said Mayor Calixto Cataquiz, who was awed at seeing fruit trees grown in such a bustling, urban municipality.

The place is so serene that one can finish reading a book under the trees in no time, he said.

Putting up the museum was the idea of Laurel’s widow, Celia Diaz-Laurel, who had worked on the renovation since 2011.  In an earlier interview with the Inquirer in February, she said the museum-and-garden project was her way of giving tribute to Doy and their 54 years of marriage.

“I knew how much Doy loved this (place) and yet when he asked me to come with him, I would prefer doing other things and staying in Manila. When he passed away, I felt guilty,” she said. Doy died of lymphoma in 2004 at the age of 76.

Memories relived

Celia said she was incredulous when her husband bought the property back in the 1970s. She said the former vice president spent most of his quiet time writing poems here, specially after the Senate was closed down during martial law.

“There is so much to show,” Celia said of the museum. She said there were things about Doy not known to many people, particularly the younger generation.

The museum, with a floor area of more than 100 square meters, keeps Doy’s memorabilia—from plaques to news clippings—that the family had kept in their former residence on Shaw Boulevard.

Doy’s study, which the family has preserved after his death, was reconstructed piece by piece.

Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was guest during the museum launch, remembered Doy as a staunch leader of the opposition against the dead dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Also present during the event were Laguna Gov. Jeorge “ER” Ejercito, Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar, National Commission for Culture and the Arts director Emelita Almosara, and several former Philippine dignitaries.

“Did you know that the oath-taking of President Cory (Aquino and Vice President Laurel) was delayed for an hour or two? We had thought that Malacañang was blocking it, only to find out that their vehicle had broken down. That’s how poor the opposition was at that time,” Binay said.

Doy is also remembered as a champion debater. “I don’t recall having seen him reading a speech. They were always extemporaneous. Vice President Laurel was really tailor fit to discuss all the issues presented to the people,” Binay said.

Tourism, jobs

Provincial Board Member Neil Nocon, who personally helped out in the construction of the museum, said the Laurels had agreed to open the museum to the public soon although they had yet to finalize the schedule and entrance fees.

Nocon, who chairs the committee on education, tourism, history, arts and culture, said Laurels’ Garden would be part of the study tours of provincial government employees and students.

According to Cataquiz, the museum is a welcome development to boost tourism in San Pedro. The town, known to pilgrims for the Shrine of Jesus in the Holy Sepulchre and to traders for the once thriving sampaguita industry, does not have any other place that could lure tourists or nature lovers.

Barangay chair Ronald Orlain said the expected influx of tourists could create small businesses among the residents.

“Laguna is a very historical province, (but) I didn’t expect to find something like this in such a bustling town,” said provincial tourism chief, Michael Aburquez.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: History , Laguna , Museum , Salvador “Doy” Laurel , San Pedro , Tourism

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Lacson eyes P106-B ‘Yolanda’ rehab masterplan
  • What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  • Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  • 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  • Napoles surgery in Makati hospital successful
  • Sports

  • Mixers trim Aces; Painters repulse Bolts
  • Donaire junks Garcia as coach, taps father
  • ’Bye Ginebra: No heavy heart this time
  • UAAP board tackles new rules
  • Baguio climb to decide Le Tour de Filipinas
  • Lifestyle

  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Visiting chefs from Denmark get creative with ‘ube,’ ‘ buko,’ ‘calamansi,’ mangoes
  • Salted baked potatoes
  • A first in a mall: Authentic Greek yogurt–made fresh in front of diners
  • Entertainment

  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • In love … with acting
  • From prison to the peak of success
  • ‘Asedillo’ location thrives
  • Business

  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Philippine Airlines to stop shipment of shark fins
  • PH banks not ready for Asean integration
  • Stocks down on profit-taking
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Obama arrives in Tokyo, first stop of 4-nation tour
  • Believe it or not: Filipinos love US more than Yanks
  • Marketplace