Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House in Cebu City

One of the Oldest Houses in the Philippines

Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House

Visiting Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House

During my recent Cebu Trip courtesy of Summit Circle Cebu Hotel, we had a short heritage tour which includes a visit to an old colonial house located in Parian. Cebu is known for its friendly people, shopping, progressive business districts, and heritage sites. Travelers who visit Cebu usually hear about an iconic house that would soon be part of their itinerary.

Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House

The house is all that remains of the Parian street in the 1600s. It was built before the 17th century and was formerly known as “Balay nga Bato ug Kahoy”, but now widely popular by the name Yap-Sandiego Ancestral house.

Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is one of the oldest of its kind in this region and probably in Cebu city. The exact location of this ancient house is in Mabini Street in Parian and very old Colon Street is close to the Yap-Sandiego ancestral house. Expert historians claim that the house was evidently built in 1675.

Yap-Sandiego – Significant historic heritage of Cebu

The house was inherited from a Chinese couple, by their daughter Maria who eventually married Don Mariano Sandiego. Now it’s owned by Maria’s great-great-grandson Val Sandiego who seems to be ignoring a lot of proposals from people interested in buying this property.

Ancestral House in Parian
Ancestral House in Parian

With an architectural style that had been followed during the Spanish era, the Yap Sandiego Ancestral house still retains its glory and beauty. The house is made of local hardwoods (second floor) and coral stones (first floor). The roof of the house, on the other hand, was built using Tisa clay tiles. All the materials used to build the house were quite durable and with Val Sandiego maintaining the house as it is, Yap Sandiego still looks magnificent.

Antique Kitchen Wares
Antique Kitchen Wares

Centuries ago, the first floor of two-floor Filipino houses was used as a warehouse or Kamalig, in the native language and people lived on the second floor. It’s not just the exterior beauty that makes this house famous but the various artifacts inside. Inside the house, there are a lot of artifacts, antiques, paintings, and religious images.

Inside Yap Sandiego Old House
Inside Yap Sandiego Old House

Wooden figures of revered Catholic saints are also kept inside. Old birthing chairs, old egg beaters, iron tools, and antique dining sets are pretty interesting. Basically, visitors who enter the house will be taken back to a time centuries past and is given an idea of how people lived then and what they used for a living.

Sto Nino de Cebu wood carving
Sto Nino de Cebu wood carving

Although Val Sandiego and his family don’t live in this house, it has been known that they still come over to stay at the house very often for a couple of days. They still keep priceless artifacts on the second floor of the house as well.

The bedroom on the second floor is marvelous with the four-poster bed and a cradle made of wood. Visitors can take a look inside the house for a small entrance fee and will be accompanied by a tour guide, who is a staff of the house’s present descendant Val Sandiego.

The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is located at 155 Lopez Jaena corner Mabini Street, Parian, Cebu City. The House/Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Entrance is P50 ($1).

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