See Filipino History Through Heritage Houses In “#NoFilter”





Rare heritage houses, historical landmarks, and the history they hold between their walls take front and center on the latest episode of ABS-CBN’s new documentary program “#NoFilter” this Wednesday after “Bandila.”

On this week’s episode, award-winning broadcast journalist, director, and producer Abner Mercado returns to his roots as a documentarist to pay tribute to our country’s rich culture and tradition by telling the stories of heritage houses in Intramuros, Quezon City, and Bulacan.

A former anchor of multi-awarded program “The Correspondents,” also on ABS-CBN, Abner explores the landmarks that played witness to key moments in our nation’s history, and gets to know the private individuals who are committed to their preservation. According to veteran reporter, this episode is a chance to both shed light on the issue of historical and cultural conservation and go back to his roots.

“This is where my heart is. It’s good to be back in documentary grind. I am grateful for the opportunity of returning to this platform of storytelling and I am more than excited to take the challenges of the craft,” he said in a Facebook post.

Abner learns what it takes to preserve such rich history for future generations as he explores the MiraNila Heritage House in New Manila, constructed by a constitutionalist Don Conrado Benitez in the 1930’s. The home has played host to historical figures like Manuel Quezon, Douglas MacArthur, Jose Abad Santos, and Dwight D. Eisenhower, and miraculously survived World War II. It stands today as a National Heritage Cultural Site filled with artworks, books, photos, letters, and mementos of our history.

In Malolos, Bulacan, he visits the Jose Bautista mansion from the 1870’s, where national hero Dr. Jose Rizal was once a visitor. It was also one of the places that former president of the Philippines Emilio Aguinaldo used to hold important events. Today it’s still bursting with history, and holds artworks by Fernando Amorsolo, Lorenzo Guerrero, and Felix Ressureccion-Hidalgo.

While the MiraNila and the Jose Bautista Mansion have survived through the years, not all heritage houses and historical landmarks enjoy the same privilege. Wars, calamity, and commercialization have destroyed many of them, and the few that still stand are in danger of being demolished. Abner also digs deeper into the efforts—or lack thereof—to preserve these landmarks.

Launched this May, the newest ABS-CBN documentary series “#NOFILTER gives viewers an intimate look at the experiences of various Filipinos—from famous personalities to unsung heroes found in “ordinary” people. Each episode is written, hosted, and even filmed by a trusted Kapamilya journalist, utilizing available technologies and personal footage to delve deeper into the back stories of people who are either featured in the news or on the fringes of it. Previous episodes were led by Jeff Canoy, Raphael Bosano, and Kori Quintos.

Watch the “#NoFilter” story of these remarkable heritage houses hosted by Abner Mercado this Wednesday (May 22), after “Bandila” on ABS-CBN.