An Unexpected Meeting with Monchet Lucas of Malabon

  

After almost two hours of walking through the town center of Malabon, I was so parched that I’ve decided to drop by Pescadores along Letre Road. Upon entering the restaurant compound, I first noticed that there were two function halls. An event was taking place at the one farther from the entrance, so I opted to go inside the first hall to the left of the gate. 

 

 

The the walls of the hall are lined with huge picture windows providing the restaurant with abundant natural lighting and a view of what appears to be a raft over a pond which I believe provides guests an al fresco dining experience.  

 

  

From the far side of the spacious hall, I saw a man who immediately stood up when I asked for the menu. The man was refined in action and has a mild-mannered disposition when he handed over the menu. I asked myself, could this be the owner? I made an unsolicited introduction and I was surprised when he replied that Architect Richard Tuason-Bautista forwarded my email to him when I inquired about the Malabon tour a year ago. 

 

  

This confirmed my hunch. I was meeting Mochet Lucas of Pescadores Restaurant who belongs to the family that owns the Malabon-fame Rufina Patis and one of the prime-movers of Lusong Malabon, an advocacy-tour promoting Malabon as a heritage and cultural center which he and architect Bautista initiated.  

 

 

What followed in this serendipitous meeting was Mochet helping me identify the old houses I have captured in my camera. I’ve observed that he knows these houses by heart. Even the details which I showed to him like an art nouveau carving on a house’s façade that he immediately identified as the Luna House located along C. Arellano Street. 

 

 

Perhaps he noticed my interest to know more about these houses in Malabon that he pulled out the research work of Architect Bautista which I think they also use as visual aid for travelers like me. The research work presents images of the house (some with old photographs), brief description of the houses including architectural features, the current and previous owners, the historical relevance such as the year when they were built, and the present condition. What I find outstanding in the research work is the part where it provides recommendations for the heritage structures. 

 

 

Monchet explained to me that renovating and preserving the integrity of these old structures are costly on the part of the owners. He noted that unless we present ways on how the owners of the antique houses can get income from it, the heritage houses of Malabon will end up in second class lumber shops where old scrap wood are being sold at exorbitant prices. But the monetary value of these house are really nothing compared to the cultural legacy and historical significance they can provide particularly for the next generation. 

 

  

Monchet noted that one of the major problems that needs to be solved in Malabon is the perennial flooding that perils the old structures. However, the solution is not to raise the elevation of the roads (as how it is being done today) since it destroys the heritage landscape of the town because it makes the old houses seemed buried half-way to the ground.   

 

After going through the research work and having an enriching discussion with Monchet, I realized that I have missed a lot from the D-I-Y tour. There is more to Malabon that is worth discovering.

  

Pescadores is open from Mondays to Saturdays

 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Telephone numbers: 288. 77. 20 and 288. 62. 96

 

This is the fifth of a six part article. Click here for part 1. Click here for the next post.

 

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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. tnx for this information actually farmacia borja lamang ang aking kilala sa mga old houses dito sa malabon.actually dito ako lumaki at hangang sa ngaun ay nakatira sa malabon which is very simple lng dati ang pgkakilala ko cguro natabunan ng negative sides like mga flooding but when i grew older i notice and appreciate this old houses and wondered how the past history of malabon is very significant specially on spanish era and revolution era in the philippines.aside from this family old houses heres some of i knew.
    1.) the house of orphan children Asilo de Huertanos located besides the river and very noticeable when crossing the bridge. this big big house was abandoned but you will see some presevations ongoing and the news is they wanted to make it historic site.

    2.) another house which sadly giniba na with very century old markings on the front of it and was used as talyer before it was destroyed.

    3.) ofcourse during the late 1920’s ther are a lot of family houses build and so far still standing but some abandoned at present. i say my family house diaz-antonio was build in this era along gen luna st., but i never saw it na my mother said it was destroyed.

    4.) right going to dampalit area along the side of fish ponds there is a stone structure(might be part of an old house i dunno) was leveled already on the water due pagtatambak ng mga fish ponds.

    5.) houses never liked popular and constructed all wooden still standing in many areas of malabon maybe built in late 1800’s kasi ung structure ng roof and the walls ng mga old houses na to are well so the same sa mga archives ng city photos ng other city’s ng metro manila based sa aking pagsesearch.

    6.) ung mga old houses gone and still standing daw sa tabing ilog ng malabon was used as trading ng mga seafoods sabi daw ng great grand lola ko(peace) u don’t need to go to market to buy fresh fish just go to this area’s at makakabili ka na ng fresh fish.

    7.) dati daw sa river besides ng gen. luna ginaganap ang fiesta at nasa bangka ung sto. nino. well presume na malinis pa dati ang mga ilog sa malabon.

    8.) lastly i know the smallest fish in the world was once lived on the rivers of malabon.

  2. dear mr. ramon,
    thanks for a wonderful experience i/we had when we had our training held in your restaurant. it was pleasant talking to you. the food’s great, we all were super busog. gusto kong iuwi yung mga jars mo, gaganda. complain lang sila na nainitan sila, di kinaya ng 1 air-conditioning unit yung venue. Basta nag-enjoy ako so much sa food and knowing/talking to you. God bless!

  3. Ginoong Monchet Lucas,
    Nais ko sanang makilala ang nuno ko sa pamamagitan ng impormasyon sa pamilya ni Ignacion Lucas at Bacilia Palileo Lucas. Apo ako ng panganay na anank ng magaswang Lucas, si Pascual na nanirahan sa Baguio. Sinikap kong alamin sa mga pinsan nga tatay ko nanakatira pa sa Malabon, ngunit walang makapagsabi kung sino ang mga magulang at nuno ni Ignacio Lucas.
    Malaking bagay sa akin kung matuntun ko ang pinagmula ng aking angkan.
    Mula noong maliit pa ako (mga taong 1974)ay nagbabakasyon kami ng Ate ko sa mga Lolo at Lola namin sa C. Arellano – sa mga Santiago tuwing summer. Marmi akong magagandang alala na hinding-hindi ko makakalimutan sa Malabon na naging bahagi ng aking pagkatao ngayon.

    Umaasa ng tugon,
    Lourdes Lucas

  4. I am lucky to have met Monchet. He provided me all the information I need to know about the old in Malabon particularly those that I captured in my camera.

    He is very accomodating and pleasant.

  5. it’s good for you to meet him. he’s the one holding a pic of the Rufina matriarch in my blog but i blurred out his picture since i can’t post it w/ his permission😛

    next year or probably on Dec 8, do visit malabon again

  6. I also have the same impression. And I have this mistaken notion that Rufina is made in Balintawak! Kawawa namang Malabon, but I think all is not lost with people like Mr. Lucas or Mr. Bautista.

  7. I had the same impression about Malabon rina (that’s binibaha) until I personally saw the old houses and experience their rich culture during their fiesta.

    i think it’s about time that we look at places in the country with a different perspective.

  8. thanks for this series. i hardly know anything about Malabon except it’s binabaha; it’s great to know that it also has a lot of old character!


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