Spirits and red bikinis: Inside Destileria Limtuaco's museum

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 02 2018 12:23 PM

MANILA - Liquor bottles from as far back as the Spanish colonization are displayed beside calendars bearing pictures of Philippine cinema's sexiest clad in red bikinis at Destileria Limtuaco's museum.

The museum in the walled city of Intramuros was 40 years in the making, said the fifth generation boss of the business, Destileria Limtuaco president Olivia Limpe-Aw. It will be opened to the public on Feb. 6.

"I love it all. The memorabilia reminds me of my ancestors. It's also educational for the young people. I’m making them aware, teaching them the basics of liquor making. I like the educational part,” Limpe-Aw, told ABS CBN News.

Inside the Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Inside the Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Inside the Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Inside the Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Inside the Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Inside the Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Inside the Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Inside the Destileria Limtuaco Museum in Manila. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Limpe-Aw's father, Julis Limpe, bought the stone house that would become the museum in 1979. The project was stopped in 1989 and revived 15 years later.

"I didn’t want the museum to be a white elephant knowing how important it was to my father. So I picked up where he left off," she said.

One of the guests at the Jan. 26 launch was the first ever White Castle Whiskey Girl, equestrienne and ballet advocate Sylvia Lichuaco-De Leon, now 71 years old.

De Leon, who married a polo player, said riding a horse on the beach was a dream come true.

"When they offered me this job, I was thinking: Hey, you don’t even need to pay me," she said.

Destileria Limtuaco's White Castle Whiskey girls on calendars are on display at the museum.

Destileria Limtuaco's White Castle Whiskey girls on calendars are on display at the museum.

Destileria Limtuaco's White Castle Whiskey girls on calendars are on display at the museum.

Destileria Limtuaco's White Castle Whiskey girls on calendars are on display at the museum.

Being a White Castle Whiskey girl is a "prestigious" title, said actress and former Binibining Pilipinas-Universe Maria Isabel Lopez.

"When you’re chosen as a White Castle girl you’re supposed to be the sexiest woman of that generation, so to be part of that history, nakakataba ng puso (It's heartening)," Lopez said.

Former White Castle Whiskey girls include Lorna Tolentino, Carmi Martin, Cristina Gonzalez, Glydel Mercado and most recently, Meg Imperial.

"I think we can’t really veer away too much from that because it's really super associated with brand but then we need to find a way to make it more relevant to the millennials,” Limpe-Aw said.

The museum opens to the public on February 6 with guided tours starting at P200.