Updated: January 19, 2017
Originally posted: March 13, 2013
I considered that weekend as one of the great milestone that happened in my life. Aside from the amazing vacation, good food and fresh air - meeting one of the amazing person in the world is different.
To tell you my lovely readers, I just met the "Queen of Jigsaw Puzzle" who owns 1029 puzzles in different sizes, shapes, designs, and structures - and still counting! Her name is Mrs. Gina Gil-Lacuna, a retired businesswoman at the age of 61-years old who have just recently won her title - the prestigious Guinness Book of Record for having the Largest Collection of Jigsaw Puzzles.
She's very hands-on. She personally lead the museum tour everyday and by then at 61-years old she's kicking with energy like a horse, and you will be amazed about her knowledge in paintings and the artists. After she retired from her work, and letting her son took-over their family business, Mrs. Gina is enjoying her time of her life welcoming her guests to her Puzzle Mansion Museum.
She started doing puzzles 27 years ago, because of her unconditional love to her only son, who like Mickey Mouse. She bought the said puzzle from a trip in Hong Kong, and it became the oldest puzzle in her collection. From a simple hobby eventually became her addiction, and now owning at least 1,029 puzzles and still counting! Literally she can be called as "The Woman Who Lives With Her Puzzles."
She had all kinds of puzzles, from smallest to biggest, various shapes and designs, 2D, 3D puzzles, and even 4D puzzles! This lady wouldn't be outdated with the latest puzzle trends. Whenever she learned that new puzzles are released - she's always on the top of it.
As she finished the latest puzzle "La Hilanderas" with 10,000 puzzle pieces (and said to be the most difficult puzzle in the world), Mrs. Gina walks proud wearing her huge smile and happiness, as she was recognized, not only here in the Philippines but worldwide. That's a huge achievement she, and her whole family really proud of.
UPDATE: I just found out recently that she have finished this 10,000 pieces of puzzles and now proudly displaced in her Puzzle Museum!
Way back years ago, she travels all over the world, to visit the famous landmarks, and a puzzle is a must-buy from her trips. She loves classic paintings, that we can only seen in famous museums worldwide. Name it and she have it. And you will never be disappointed.
I literally had my jaw-dropped with my eyes wide open seeing her own puzzle museum located at her our Bed and Breakfast Hotel. All are personally financed by her together with her family.
Vintage and pop arts, animals and natures, famous people, religious and political - she have it all. She didn't think being a high school graduate a hindrance, to achieve her dreams being a successful businesswoman in a maternity garment industry, conquering 95% of the market, dressing-up pregnant celebrities, and enjoy being a puzzle hobbyist.
For just a small fee of Php100 ($2.50) you can visit and be amazed with her vast collection, all assembled by hers truly, and framed beautifully and well preserved. She owns these 1029 puzzles, and still have more puzzles waiting to be assembled, stay just under her cozy bed.
And I couldn't help but have a photo opp with this gigantic Mona Lisa puzzle that Mrs. Gina had assembled years ago.
Behind me is the oldest puzzle that Ms. Gina owns - the 27 years old Mickey Mouse puzzle that she bought in Hong Kong for her son Gino.
Everyday, groups of tourists both locals and foreigners are visiting her Puzzle Mansion Museum and she personally greeted them with so much delight. She will personally guide you to all her collection, sharing her remarkable stories about how she acquired those puzzles, when and where, and many stories.
Even the kids love her because of her many puzzles like this 3D dinosaurs!
"La Hilanderas" - the most hardest puzzle in the world, but Mrs. Gina managed to assembled by herself
Mrs. Gina has no plans to stop and be contented, as her passion in puzzles became more extreme now that she's working on the world's biggest puzzle having 32,000+ pieces, and to her estimates, she can finish it until July 31, 2013. If she succeed, then she will get another Guinness Book Record Title. Estimate finished size is 17 by 6 feet which was created by the great artist Keith Haring which is known for his traditional graffiti style arts. The puzzle consists 6 colors.
Until now, no one has beaten her for the record. She's still the reigning QUEEN!
Very humble Mrs. Gina, doing here autograph signing for Kendrick, a 7-year old boy who's also into puzzles.
If you want to buy some of her works, she also sells some of her ready-made puzzles. Or you may also opt to buy puzzle sets, and commissioned her to do it.
I am so lucky to met her and had an opportunity to visit her most treasured creations. I do hope that one of these days (hopefully this summer!) I could visit here again :) She's an inspiration to us.
The Puzzle Mansion Museum
Purok 4 Cuadra St. Barangay Asisan, Tagaytay City, Philippines
Telephone: +632 661-0019
Monday to Friday: 7 am to 7 pm
Saturday and Sunday: 7 am to 8 pm