The Monument + Film Archives Museum will stand tall by 2022 on Scout Madriñan, Quezon City. At its base will be the historic 3-level house that will be preserved to showcase the ingenuity of the family’s ‘padre de pamilya’, Iquing Angeles.
What stood out wasn’t just the size, but also the use of ceramic balusters, roof tiles and potteries as part of the overall house design. This wasn’t accidental as it was the family’s business. The idea of showing off its products through a well-built home is the perfect portfolio.
A Unique Film Location
Because of its uniqueness and grandeur, it attracted film producers and directors in the ’70s and the ’80s. Movies such as “Ang Leon at ang Daga” with veteran actor Fernando Poe Jr. and child actor Niño Muhlach and “Bagets” were shot on location, both within the grounds and the street outside of the house.
As a young child, I remember staying up way past my bedtime to watch in awe how films were made. I wouldn’t dare miss a second of the hustle and bustle of movie production.
It was probably the same time when I found out that ‘pretending’ was an art in itself. My interest piqued when I watched fighting scenes from Roberto Gonzales‘ karate movies and when I met Niño Muhlach. My initial thoughts? “Oh! Kids can also do ‘make-believe’ stuff. Can I do it too?” Well, maybe not in those exact words, but close enough.
So it’s fitting that it will be transformed into a film archive museum. I’m quite stoked when I heard there will be a screening room on the top floor that can fit around 65 people.
“The attic is going to be a screening room? That is an awesome idea!”, I thought. I can imagine a variety of emotions when films are played which is synonymous to what I felt then – excitement, fear, happiness, despair, love and awe.
Star Gazing Within Arm’s Reach
As I was growing up, living close by to two of the largest TV networks gave me the opportunity to see celebrities around the area. Spotting them in restaurants at the Tomas Morato strip and Timog Avenue was the norm. I would also see camera equipment and network vans within a few blocks of each other.
Mind you, people-watching was one of my favourite past times as I create stories in my head, which helped keep my creative brain working. In this case, I would probably call it star-watching.
The balcony was also a spot where memories of watching scenes from a soap opera or car chases at the corner of Mother Ignacia were made.
I didn’t hop into the world of film, as some would’ve expected and turned to the theatre, as it is its closest sibling. I opened my home to fellow thespians, who were stars in their own right, where we would use it for rehearsals.
Modern Architecture in our Midst
Years have passed and I’ve moved on to another home – New Zealand. It’s been a while since I’ve set foot in the house. The last was a bit emotional as the future for this historic place was undetermined.
But, it didn’t take long for my nephews, Carlo and JP Calma, to share the overall concept of what it is to come. With their architectural design and construction expertise, it is the perfect way to preserve the memories of the ancestral home and transform it into the Monument + Film Archives Museum.
On top of the museum will be a display of their architectural prowess. They will build 3-bedroom residential units and penthouses that can be personalised for its residents.
I just can’t contain the excitement till the day of the opening. I’m happy that a piece of my family’s memories will live on and be part of modern architecture.
It truly is monumental.