A Very Old House in Cebu

Despite being a highly urbanized city, Cebu City nurtures one of the oldest ancestral homes in the Philippines, and perhaps the oldest Chinese home outside China.    AJ and I were able to visit this quiant ancestral house last Easter Sunday and, being the only visitors at that time, it felt more like a private tour!

Welcome to the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House/Museum.

You can get more information about this ancestral house by scanning the bar code printed in this little signage just beside the entrance door, with your cellphone’s QR code scanner.  Unfortunately, it’s only available for SMART network users.

A tour of the Yap-San Diego ancestral house literally transported us back to the Spanish colonial period (think of Rizal’s “Noli Me Tangere”).  Very evident were the many religious saints inside, the intricate wood carvings of furnitures and the number of dining and receiving areas inside!  The latter seems to be the common denominator among the ancestral homes I’ve seen.   Our ancestors sure must have loved holding parties every so often.

The ground floor of the ancestral house.

Did you find it a bit too crowded?   All furniture were arranged for display purposes only, and were not the actual arrangements during that period.

The kitchen cookware (at least what’s left of them).

The second floor holds more receiving areas.

The elaborate wood carvings.  Very stunning!

The house’s backyard.  Plenty of greens!   Very lovely.   Can you see the wooden boat (locally known as “banca”) somewhere here?   Don’t forget to look for it!

I really enjoyed our tour of the Yap-San Diego ancestral house because of the many details you can see inside.    It was a visual feast.    The caretaker inside also told us that the house is still being used by the present generation of the Yap-San Diegos, and they even sleep in the bedrooms there.

I would have loved to show you pictures of the bedroom but most of them turned out to be blurry and dark because I forgot to use the flash in my camera (my bad).

Nonetheless, I hope you enjoyed our little tour!

The Yap-San Diego Ancestral House is located at 155-Lopez Jaena corner Mabini Street, Parian District in Downtown Cebu.


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