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Public Affairs

RomANTIQUE: A tour of Kuh Ledesma’s Hacienda Isabella

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People know her either as a pop singer or an actress, but few people know that Kuh Ledesma is also a frustrated architect. The opportunity to design her own home was a dream come true. “‘Yung mga frustrations ko dati, d’yan [sa Hacienda Isabella] ko nilalagay,” she told Kara David in a recent episode of the GMA-7 late-night program “Powerhouse.”

Hacienda Isabella, named after Kuh’s daughter, is located in Indang, Cavite. Kuh’s dream was only to build a small farmhouse surrounded by fruit-bearing trees, but today, Hacienda Isabella is a popular wedding venue. The compound is filled with reproduction antique furniture that Kuh designed herself.

From the outside, Kuh’s place looks like a typical modern home. But inside, traditional wooden furniture and terracotta tiled floors evoke nostalgia and elegance.

“Parang nabalik ako sa Spanish times,” said “Powerhouse” host Kara David upon entering Kuh’s home. Although the furniture and other accents in Kuh’s home look antique, Kuh revealed that they are basically new.

“We use old wood,” Kuh explained. “It looks old, pero gawa na ‘yan ng mga carpenters namin dito, in-house.”

Kuh’s fascination with antiques extends to her collections of old cameras, appliances, and suitcases, most of which were purchased from flea markets that Kuh visited during her travels.

Kuh sees soul and beauty in objects that others might consider damaged. The weathered look of this Mona Lisa painting was created by raindrops that fell through a hole in the roof of their home in Pasay. “Ang galing ng kalikasan, sila ang gumagawa ng sariling obra maestra,” said Kuh.

Behind the house is the pool area. Kuh put real sand around the pool to give it an authentic beach-like feel. “Akala ko mura lang ang sand, mahal pala!” she joked.

Even Hacienda Isabella’s bathrooms are tastefully decorated with traditional Mediterranean-style cement tiles. “Hindi ‘yan mamahalin,” she said. “I’m very practical, I just put materials together to make it more attractive.”

At the second floor of the hacienda are the bedrooms, where brides often stay for their wedding preparations.

Hacienda Isabella has around 60 rooms, each of which are named after Kuh’s relatives. Each room has a washbasin made from a repurposed garden pot.

Since the hacienda is available as an event venue, Kuh makes sure that each room is ready for visitors.

“I just wanted to have a farm house, but then I realized wala ako lagi.” said Kuh. “So we made it into a business, creating money, jobs, and at the same time, sharing what we have [to offer].”—Isabelle Laureta/PF, GMA News

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