Juan Luna Shrine

Juan Luna ShrineThe Juan Luna Shrine in Badoc, Ilocos Norte, is a reconstruction of the two-storey house in which the patriot and foremost Filipino painter was born on October 24, 1857 (The original house burned down in 1861). Luna was the son of Joaquin Luna and Laureana Vovicio. He was instrumental in placing Philippine art and culture on the world map. Luna began his formal art training at the Ateneo Municipal Escuela de Bellas Artes and Escuela Nautica in Manila. In 1877 he left for Madrid, Spain, to continue his studies at the Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. It was during this period that he painted “Dafne y Chloe,” which won the Silver Palette Award from the Centro Artistico-Literario de Manila.

Juan Luna

Other major awards established Luna’s reputation as a master painter both in the Philippines and Europe. These included the gold medal at Madrid’s National Exposition of Fine Arts in 1884 for “Spoliarium” and a special gold medal award at the Barcelona Exposition in 1888 for “La Batalla de Lepanto,” a work commissioned by the Spanish Senate. Among his notable paintings were: “The Blood Compact” and “People and Kings”. Juan Luna was a co-worker of Rizal, Lopez-Jaena, Del Pilar and other Filipino reformers in Europe. He was in the Diplomatic Service of the First Philippine Republic. In 1896 Juan Luna and his brother General Antonio Luna were arrested by the Spanish authorities for subversion. During his eight months in prison he painted many canvasses, among them, “Ecce Homo,” a sensitive portrayal of Christ. Luna died in Hong Kong on December 7, 1899 and his remains were interred in 1953 in niche no. 73 at the Sala de Profundis in San Agustin Church, Intramuros, Manila.

The main entrance of the Juan Luna Shrine opens into the alcove just before the family gallery. Photographs on the walls show the damaged original house and how teams of construction workers rebuilt it. In the family gallery are vintage photographs of the Luna clan, including Juan Luna’s son, Andres. The museum also uses the family gallery to display household artifacts from Luna’s time. Another section of the lower floor holds reproductions of Luna’s two large works – “Spolarium” and “El Pacto de Sangre.” There are also portraits of his wife, Paz Pardo de Tavera, and national hero Jose Rizal.

The staircase leads up to the living room, bedrooms, azotea and a mini chapel. The living room is furnished in period furniture and accessories. The master bedroom contains the four-posted bed used by Luna. Outside, facing the azotea, is the bedroom which Luna once shared with his brothers. At the grounds of the shrine is a monument of the painter.


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