There are numerous stories of how the 1920s house built by husband-and-wife Simeon and Beatrice Alparce some 20km from Legazpi Airport miraculously defied the ravages of time, war and Bicol’s tumultuous storms.
In the Second World War, Japanese forces invaded the municipality of Bacacay and the Alparce family had to flee to the neighboring islands for safety; upon their return, they found the nine-bedroom house unscathed.
Two of the strongest typhoons in the province – Sisang in 1987 and Reming in 2006 – caused some damage, but the house remained liveable after repairs, unlike the other ancestral homes in town, which were destroyed.
In more recent times, Rolly in November 2020 destroyed Tabaco Church and Bahay na Bato in Tabaco – both important heritage sites in the province – but, again, Casa Simeon was spared and only lightly damaged.
In early 2018, Enrico Alparce Calleja lovingly restored his grandparents’ house, renamed it Casa Simeon and converted it into a specialty lodging.