Gliceria Marella married Eulalio Villavicencio, a ship captain who owned a splendid bahay na bato, Casa Villavicencio, a pre-1850’s structure built on the northern slope of Taal town. It has a fantastic vista of Balayan Bay viewed from its sala. With its exterior painted in its original colors of mint green and yellow, this imposing house stands proud with its beautiful garden and wrought iron gates. It is also the only Taal home with an original tin ceiling and canvass trompe l’oeil walls.
For his young bride, Eulalio built a house next door which was connected to his parents’ house by a bridgeway. Built in 1872, the new house was called Casa Regalo de Boda or the Wedding Gift House—which has now been restored by Martin Tinio, Jr.
The couple helped finance the revolution. Their donations helped publish Rizal’s novels, Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, literary works that played a vital role in sparking the quest for Philippine independence. The house was used to stock these novels for distribution to the people of Batangas in 1892. Early edition copies of these novels, along with other delicate historical memorabilia, are still preserved at the house. Priceless antiques and works of art are also preserved, including portrait paintings of the couple by Filipino national artist Juan Luna.
The two houses make an interesting pair -both have been featured in books; national tourism promotions; publications; and, as movie / advertising sets. Both houses are filled with ancestor’s photos; framed historical facts regarding its provenance; people who slept within its walls; materials that were used in building it; and, a family tree – are interesting finds.