Who would have thought that a seven-storey, fully restored pre-war mansion exists in the bustling city of Paranaque? In fact, it is now in possession of a National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) marker, and is recognized a heritage institution for Adaptive Reuse. What makes it more interesting is that it highlights the best of the Philippine culture, arts, history and European heritage as well. Guests will have the opportunity to admire the authentic European style and the collection of antique furniture and artwork. It also features impressive ballrooms and reception facilities that you can rent for special events. Let me share with you my memorable visit to Palacio de Memoria and my dining experience at the Loggia.
The Transformation Story
The 2-storey mansion was built in the 1920’s and survived the Battle of Manila in World War II. It was originally owned by the Ayala de Zobels, but Francisco Villaroman, a doctor and surgeon, was able to take possession of the mansion shortly after the war. They added five more floors because it served as their vacation home at that time. When Villaroman’s parents died, the children emigrated to a different country because they did not see the value of the home at that time. It has been restored and renovated by the Lhuillier family, which acquired the mansion in 2015. During the renovation of the property, ‘sisters Camille and Angie Lhuillier realized the potential to turn it into an art center and event venue. The dark wood materials that covered some of the walls were removed, but the art deco floors were kept. The once dismal and useless property has finally turned out to be one of Manila’s top tourist destinations.
The Palacio Tour
I was invited by the Palacio de Memoria and The Loggia by Margarita Fores to have a guided tour and have a sumptuous meal after. It was indeed a memorable visit, as its name Palacio de Memoria describes it (Palace of Memories). Let’s have a special tour ♥️ If you will book a guided tour, you will only be able to see the first 2 floors. Since our visit was arranged by the Palacio and Loggia team, we were able to see all seven floors of the mansion.
The Front Garden
During our tour, we discovered that this mansion is used as the location of Batang Quiapo, where most of the scenes of Don Ramon were filmed.
- It features a large tree-filled garden with an elegant fountain and stunning views of the mansion.
- It faces the village of Los Tamaraos, where the prewar polo club takes its name.
- This is great for outdoor dining, cocktails, weddings and other events.
- It is 1960 sqm in aize.
- It can accommodate 300-400 pax for sit-down dinners and 400-500 pax for cocktails.
Upon entering the mansion, I couldn’t help but to admire everything. I felt that I was being transported to Europe, seeing all the authentic European style and the collection of antique furniture and artworks.
The Ambassador’s Dining Hall
This hall is built in homage to Lhuillier’s French heritage.
- It showcases mostly Vieux Parisian pieces
- This is perfect for intimate groups.
- It has a secret door, which gives an access to the kitchen.
- It is 50 sqm in size.
- It can accommodate 20-40 pax for own set-up and 12 pax fo original set-up.
The Los Tamaraos Ballroom
- This is the Palacio’sfascinating and magnificent main ballroom, named in honor of the Los Tamaraos Polo Club of the 1930s
- It features the original neoclassical arches and columns, and one of its most impressive decorative elements is the festive Filipino-themed Art Deco terrazzo flooring with the Tinikling motif in mother of pearl being credited to National Artist for architecture, Juan F. Nakpil.
- It is 132 sqm in size.
- It can accommodate 60-70 pax for sit-down diners and 100-120 pax for cocktails.
- The Palacio’s red collection is harmonized by Italian and Venetian pieces from the 17th and 18th century.
- This room has been used by Villaromans for medical consultations.
- This can be rented for small private meetings.
- It is 30 sqm in size.
- It can accommodate up to 50 pax.
- It is also called the Ladies’ Tea Room, which exhibits mainly feminine pieces in an elegant and Parisian-inspired interior.
- It is 30 sqm in size.
If you were already amazed with what you have seen on the ground floor, it’s actually the same on the other floors. On the stairway to the second floor, I took a selfie with a leopard, which was preserved by taxidermy.
- This is a sunny space overlooking the veranda with original wooden floor, perfect for sunset cocktails.
- It is 88 sqm in size.
- It can accommodate 30-40 pax.
The Villaroman Function Room
- This is a bright, sunlit hall lined with glass windows that illuminate the mansion’s original terrazo flooring, perfect for trade shows, talks on culture and heritage, and meetings
- 145 sqm
- 60-65 pax
Casa de Memoria Showroom
- This floor is reserved exclusively for the exhibition gallery of quarterly auctions of the Casa de Memoria, presenting carefully organized exhibitions of art and international antiques.
- It is 220 sqm in size.
Rue Angelique & Vidro Glassware
- It is a gallery presenting decorative lifestyle pieces carefully selected from around the world.
- It is 220 sqm in size.
Note: We were unable to view the fourth floor because there was an event at that time.
- This is an elegant, private room, with a queen-sized bed and spacious shower, perfect for the sophisticated bride-to-be. This can be rented if the wedding venue is near, so the bride can still prepare herself before the ceremony.
- It is 75 sqm in size.
- I can accommodate 20-30 pax.
The sixth floor was originally the place where Villaroman’s therapeutic pool is located. It is now converted to a Bunker Bar and space for breathtaking city views.
- The Bunker Bar features a bartop and wine cellar, and decorated with war memorabilia and hunting trophies.
- It is 39 sqm in size.
- It can accommodate 20-25 pax.
The roofdeck is a romantic spot which can be rented for special events like proposals.
The Mosphil Lounge
If you want to have a luxurious dining experience without having an actual flight, the Mosphil Lounge is perfect for your private party.
- The Mosphil Lounge is a retrofitted plane for events, curated with vintage mid century modern furniture.
- It was tagged before as “plane by day, bar by night”-
- The rates for the lounge starts at P25,000 for 6 hours (6pm to 12 midnight), additional P4,000 per succeeding hour
- It is 150 sqm in size.
- It can accommodate 20-30 pax, including the side garden.
It this private plane familiar to you? Yes, it’s Ramon’s private plane in Batang Quiapo where he shares about his plans about his business to his sidekick/friend.
The Palacio de Memoria Museum/Chapel
At the entrance, the guests will see photos about the history of the mansion.
- This also brings to light the history of Christian contributions in many parts of the world.
- It is 100 sqm in size.
- It can accommodate up to 150 pax.
The Loggia by Margarita Fores
- Tle Loggia by Margarita Fores offers a taste of Italian cuisine with Filipino and Spanish twist.
- Based from its name, which means a roofed gallery in an open space with walls, it became the ideal dining place during the pandemic because of the health protocols.
- It is owned by Asia’s best female chef Margarita Fores, who tailored the menu for outdoor dining.
My Dining Experience at the Loggia
I love Italian food, probably because I was Italian in my past life 😅🤣 I can live with pasta and pizza, which is why when I was invited to tour & dine by the Palacio and the Loggia Team, I was very excited. Here’s what we tasted during our visit.
Pate Di Fegato
We started with Pate Di Fegato. Though I am not a fan of chicken livers, I didn’t become a problem at all. Believe it or not, I loved the chicken liver spread topped with tasty fruits on the toast.
Volauvent, Creamed Mushroom
After having the pate, we had the round, soft, and creamy pastry.
Cheese and Truffle Pizza
Finally, pizza was served! Everybody was speechless– (actually pati ako 😅😅😅) I was savoring the taste of the classic cheese and was mentally asking the staff– “Ang saraaaap! Isa pa please!!” After a few bites, and after hearing about their positive feedback, my prayer was answered. A staff came to deliver another slice of pizza, but instead of Cheese and Truffle, it was Margherita. To my surprise, I also loved the traditional taste of tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil, especially when you top it with chili garlic sauce.
Gramigna Alla Primavera
I enjoyed the creamy taste of the pasta. If there’s one thing I have to complain, it’s because I only had one serving (I wanted more!!!)
Rosseli Iced Tea
Of course, a glass of refreshing Roselle iced tea with hibiscus flowers really quenched my thirst.
TOUR AND DINE
If you would like to immerse yourself in Palacio de Memoria’s rich culture, you can book the Tour & Dine Packages to have a memorable experience.
- Package A– P1,300.00 (Guided tour, glass of Iced Tea, Spaghettini Aglio Clio)
- Package B– P1,600 (Guided tour, Glass of Iced Tea, Gramigna Gamovese, Chicken Caesar Burger)
- Package C-P1,800 (Guided tour, glass of Iced Tea, Farfalle Ala Ghiotta, Ciabatta Sandwich)
- Adult (P300- self-guided/ P600-guided)
- Senior or Citizen/PWD- (P214- self-guided/ P429-guided)
- Students- (P240- self-guided/ P480-guided)
- Children’s Rate- (P150- self-guided/ P300-guided)
Thank you so much for being with me on this tour, but it would be a totally different experience to have the actual tour. For assistance, you can send a message to email@example.com to arrange your booking. We can also include transport service and other tours.