Frannie Jacinto Shares Her Love for Art and Gardening
The family room with RJ's guitar collection, awards and a BenCab artwork depicting RJ playing his guitar
A large Baldemor painting matches a Chinese armoire converted into a crystal and porcelain cabinet in the dining area
Jacinto family portrait by the National Artist Fernando Amorsolo takes centre stage in the living area
Can you walk us through your typical day?
Upon waking up, I drink a glass of water with a lemon slice and enjoy a platter of fresh fruits, preferably local and whatever is in season. Since I don’t take any maintenance medication or vitamins/supplements, these fruits are my daily vitamins. I confer with our cook, who has been with us for 21 years, what our meals for the day will be. It must include a substantial dinner because that is usually the time we get together as a family. Because of the pandemic, my husband often has breakfast meetings at home, so that’s an important meal (for him). He is a workaholic and likes to start the day heavily fortified. An important part of the day is my daily late afternoon walk in our village park for exercise to keep the body toned and prevent osteoporosis.
What are your favourite spots in your home and why?
The garden area. I love plants and I enjoy watering them during the hot summer season. The area is filled with old fruit trees such as mango, santol (cotton fruit) and caimito (star apple) that have been in the property for almost 50 years as well as tropical plants that I planted; these include a variety of bamboo, lady palm and huge dapo (bird’s nest fern) trees. Another favourite area is the living and dining rooms for entertaining close friends and having family over. It has lots of space for everyone to move around and I made sure to have two separate dining tables in case we have lots of people over. Our family reunions usually comprise over 25 members of different age groups since my husband’s grandchildren are either newly married or have their beaus join us. But because of the pandemic, large dinners are out of the question—until we can do so.
In which area of the home do you spend your time the most?
For very quiet times, I stay in my room which has lots of space. It’s quiet and cool. We made sure that it would be similar to a hotel suite with its own dinette, an office space just for my own use and another area for my husband’s music/TV room. It also features his and hers bathrooms. We are together yet we don’t get in each other’s way. The other would be our garden and pool where I enjoy communing with our trees and foliage. It’s a relaxing area and seeing all that greenery gives one peace of mind.
Are there parts of your home that you’d like to be changed? If there are, how would you like to change them?
We have lived in our house for the past 34 years and renovated twice. The last time was ten years ago. I thought our storage spaces were sufficient, but if I had a chance, I would definitely like to add a bigger storeroom to keep things that we have accumulated and cannot part with. I have recently donated, sold and given away many unwanted items but there are still a lot that I wish to retain, including antique hand-painted crystal from Venice and several dozen sterling flatware sets from my parents, beautiful china from my in-laws, my father’s antique book collection, artworks that no longer can be used in my home but I cannot bear to part with, etc. And my husband is a pack rat so you can imagine how things accumulate as the years go by. I am hoping my children will realise their value and want them when they have homes of their own. If not, they can just dispose of them and I won’t feel guilty.
What are your favourite pieces in your home?
I love the artworks because I personally chose each one of them. A few were given by my father, Francisco Aguinaldo, who was an avid collector himself from 1960 to 1975. He made me aware of the beauty and value of art. We grew up with paintings filling our walls and bathrooms in all our homes—from New Manila to the newly-developed Dasmariñas Village. My art collection includes Amorsolo, Joya, Alcuaz, Sanso, HR Ocampo, Chabet, Anita Magsaysay Ho, BenCab, Ibarra dela Rosa, Salvador Dalí and my cousin Lee Aguinaldo (all deceased). From the more modern, and still living painters, there are works from Lao Lambien, Valeria Cavestany, Baldemor, Dexter Sy, Bitto, Ivan Acuña and Lopa.
This story was originally published in Tatler Homes Philippines Vol. 28. Download it for free on Magzter