Lifestyle

What Life Was Like For a Sugar Baron in Pre-War Philippines

All-white sharkskin suits, luxury cars, and a grand mansion.
IMAGE Screenshot from Youtube/Raymond Fuentes
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From what life was like in the glory days of Intramuros to photos from when the Philippines was called the "Paris of the East," details from the past have always been a source of fascination for many. With our track record of keeping history, however, photos and videos have been hard to come by. But thanks to the Internet, many have become readily available to the public such as this a day in a life video of a sugar baron in Negros Occidental.

The video, which was taken during the start of the 20th century, features sugar baron Don Angel Mascuñana as he lived his life during the height of the sugar industry. Filmed by an American family friend during a fiesta in Talisay in 1936, the video has been edited to include narration by one of Don Angel's younger sons.

The video starts off with a view of the Mascuñana mansion, while the family's LaSalle car backed out of the garage.

Photo by Screenshot from Youtube/Raymond Fuentes.
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There are multiple shots of men stylishly dressed in all-white sharkskin suits and women in their Sunday best.

Photo by Screenshot from Youtube/Raymond Fuentes.

After visiting the church, the family dined Downton Abbey-style in one of the mansion's three dining rooms. The men, women, and children were separated into their own groups.

Photo by Screenshot from Youtube/Raymond Fuentes.
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As a big family, the LaSalle car was back two or three times to pick everyone up.

Photo by Screenshot from Youtube/Raymond Fuentes.

Though there was no air conditioning at the time, the mansion was kept cool with big windows that created a crosscurrent.

Photo by Screenshot from Youtube/Raymond Fuentes.
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After eating, the family and guests headed out to the lawn filled with fruit trees.

Photo by Screenshot from Youtube/Raymond Fuentes.

Aside from walking around the garden, the family kept entertained with a piano.

Photo by Screenshot from Youtube/Raymond Fuentes.
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The video also gives a peek into the different rooms in the mansion, including its bedrooms.

Photo by Screenshot from Youtube/Raymond Fuentes.

Next to the mansion was a sandbar where Don Angel's children swam and where the mansion's cook bought fresh catch from fishermen.

Photo by Screenshot from Youtube/Raymond Fuentes.
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Today, the mansion no longer stands, as it burned down during the war. Though many of the family's belongings were divested, most survived the war with Don Angel living up until 1975.

Photo by Screenshot from Youtube/Raymond Fuentes.

Watch the full video below:

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Paolo Chua
Associate Style Editor
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