The Zaguan or entry hall was the transitional space between the main entrance and the entry leading to the main staircase to the upper spaces. in entrance where carriages and their passengers were dropped off. This entrance was reserved for family members and announced guests only. It was a space used to park carriages and processional floats and other implements.
The flooring of this area is called Piedra china or Chinese stone. Piedra china is granite stones used as ballast on the Chinese junks. Some of these stones were left behind in the ports like Vigan as boats were filled with cargo.
The gates of the Mansion are large but simple. There are three locks made of metal that run across the whole gate. One feels like he is inside a fortress when the gates are closed and locked. In the Syquia Mansion, there are other entry halls. The side entry hall is where an unannounced guest is made to enter. There is a peep hole in the antesala that allows the mayordomo to see who has arrived and informs the master of the house. The entry hall in the far end is the servant’s entry hall. It has direct access to the kitchen and the camarin (warehouse).
Written by Ina Syquia