The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House in Cebu
Cebu is a city rich in history, and one of the best places where you can explore its glorious heritage is at the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House in the Parian district. The house is considered one of the oldest in Philippines. It was built in the late 17th century by a family of Chinese merchants, and the age shows in its weathered yet steadfast coral stone and molave wood edifices.
What makes the Yap-Sandiego House different from the other ancestral homes in the area is that the original homeowners’ descendants, Mr. Val Sandiego and his family, still reside in the house – their own way of preserving it for the generations to come.
For an entrance fee of P50, you get to enter the majestic home and be regaled with its stories by the friendly tour guides. They would even offer to take photos of you in the most picturesque corners of the house, such as the old staircase, the several elaborate altars, and the beautiful garden. But the real gems of the Yap-Sandiego House are the numerous interesting artifacts. They have a huge collection of well-crafted religious icons, statues and figurines in every size and material imaginable. Some might even be creepy, like the hyper-realistic life-sized saints and the crude, almost-unrecognizable stone figures in some altars. They also have fine china and cutlery, antique decor and furniture, and an impressive array of ancient and contemporary artwork. Many of the treasures are priceless century-old antiquities. And the best part is that you can actually touch, photograph and scrutinize every relic to your heart’s content.
The Yap-Sandiego House offers an informative view of how Filipinos lived during the past, as well as the marvelous crafts and architecture of the Spanish era. Photographers, history enthusiasts, and knick-knack lovers would surely enjoy this place.
155 Lopez Jaena corner Mabini Street, Parian, Cebu City
(032) 514 3002 / (032) 514 3003 / (032) 253 5568
Monday to Sunday, 9AM to 7PM
Text and Photos By: Jess Jacutan