In Taal, Batangas, we spent the night at Casa Punzalan, a restored house under the auspices of the Taal Heritage Foundation. You have to understand — in Taal, accommodations are all in the form of inns which translates to old houses that have been converted for tourists.
It’s a nice idea, really, to have tourists get a feel of an old town by staying in an old house. And the facilities weren’t that bad. For P1500.00, we had an air-conditioned bedroom with two beds (a double for Speedy and me; a single for Sam) in a generously-sized room. But no private bathroom. It shouldn’t have been a problem because we were the only guests at Casa Punzalan that weekend. But the toilet cubicle was… okay, if you’re sitting on the porcelain throne, your knee would be bumping against the door.
Still, it was only for a night and I figured that the opportunity to take photos inside a heritage house would more than make up for the not-too-comfortable bathroom. And I was going to take photos — until I saw the stairs and lost all interest.
Click here and view the photos of Casa Punzalan at Pinoy Adventurista. Scroll down to the third photo with the two guys posing on the stairs. Notice the dust in the corner of every step. And all over the banisters too. That was exactly how it was too when we were there.
I took a room at Casa Punzalan after reading a story at GMA News TV.
One of the charms of Casa Punzalan are the retired school teachers who take turns daily as volunteers at the pension. All members of the Southern Luzon Association of Museums, the ladies don their Filipiniana best for special occasions and guests. Their grace, cheer, and genteel manners show that it does not take much to relive the glory of Taal. [GMA News]
What the article did not mention is that the volunteers probably only make an appearance when the arrival of a media crew has been announced beforehand. Casa Punzalan is probably cleaned from top to bottom too on those occasions.
What was even worse was that the same kind of sloppy cleaning was also evident in the lobby/receiving area. I didn’t notice it when I first went in to register because all the dark wood and muted lighting and, well, you just tend to notice the high ceilings and the genuine antique furniture. But the moment I noticed the dust on the stairs, I started inspecting all nooks and crannies. Good thing that the corners of our room were clean. But outside the bedroom… holy crap.
I know. It’s an inexpensive inn, Speedy said what would you expect for P1500.00 and, well, I sure wasn’t expecting the amenities of a five-star hotel but I did expect basic cleanliness.