In the early 1900’s, during the colonial period, Don Jose Machuca y Romeo founded what was, and still is, the premier producer of Mediterranean-design cement tiles in the Philippines. The fabrica was located in the genteel district of San Miguel, dominated by the General’s Palace in Malacanang. Jose Machuca y Sanchez, otherwise known as Don Pepe, the son of Don Jose Machuca y Romeo, established Mosaicos Machuca at the ancestral house in Calle Tanduay in San Miguel. Approximately 40 years ago, the company, managed then by Luis Machuca y Arrieta, son of Don Pepe, decided to relocate its factory to its present location in Parañaque City.
The pioneering outfit specializes in manufacturing cement tiles with Mediterranean motifs, called Baldozas Mosaicos, as well as granolithic-sculptured fountains, ballisters, statuaries and benches. Mosaicos Machuca, as it was originally called, is the oldest tile manufacturing business in the Philippines, and has pioneered the wet and dry process of creating Mediterranean-design cement tiles.
The tile’s rustic look, derived from the Mediterranean flooring motifs, is characterized by intricate border motifs and colors with a hand-brushed quality and muted colors of antiquity with vibrant and sophisticated palettes.
Such was the popularity of the ubiquitous baldoza tile that, like some of the famous brand name products such as Colgate, Coke, Xerox, and Kodak, baldoza became synonymous to Machuca Tile after its manufacturer. Machuca’s antique look remains popular, what with a century long parade of floor and wall tile trends. Eventually, the company changed its name to Machuca Tile Inc. Baldozas Mosaicos, as Machuca’s tile were formally called, prominently figured in the houses at the turn of the 19th century.
Machuca Tile Inc., paved some of the most famous churches in the Philippines, as well as the homes of some of the country’s most illustrious families. The showroom was moved in 1993 to its present location at General Solano St., in San Miguel, Manila and is still in the hands of the Machuca family, albeit the fourth generation, and is presently managed by Arch. Luis P. Machuca Jr.
The company has always taken pride in the exceptional quality of the tiles, which are handmade by the most skilled workers in the trade. The company has, aside from its gallery of exquisite designs, adapted to the needs of contemporary designs in the use of pastels as well as the traditional earth-tone palette. The tiles are not baked, as Machuca Tile Inc. still employs what has always been the traditional method of producing tiles.
The company welcomes special designs – from landscape architects, interior designers, architects and other practitioners in the field– in almost any color combination imaginable.