Yap Sandiego Ancestral House is supposed to be one of the oldest residential buildings in Cebu. Also, one of the very first Chinese dwellings built out of the country. Even if that is not the case, it's a place well worth visiting if you ever find yourself in Cebu City.
The staff is very kind, helpful, well knowledgeable and always ready to take pictures of you if you ask. One of the young men told me that they encourage taking photos, viewing and even touching the displayed treasures - just not breaking.
And while the Ancestral House is well preserved and well taken care of, it doesn't feel formal, like a regular museum. The atmosphere is casual and friendly. So, this would be a place to visit for all of you free spirits out there.
Before revealing some of my best images of the place, I'd like to point out two things that are most special about the place. First, the home is still owned by the ascendants of the original owners. And second, the building materials are astonishing to me:
- coral stones glued with egg whites,
- molave - the valuable durable heavy hard yellow wood of the molave tree - a large Philippine timber tree,
- balayong (heavy, dark red wood of cherry tree) and
Historical Facts and Personal Experience
"Believing that the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is part of Cebu’s history and heritage, Val preserved and carefully restored his ancestor’s home using coral stones glued with egg whites, molave, balayong and terracotta.
He also firmly stands never to sell the house no matter what the offer is."
"The house is filled with contemporary and ancient artworks, antique pieces and Cebuano-made native furniture. There are also life-sized statues, religious icons and images of saints found around the 2-storey house."
Location and How to Get There
"The Yap Sandiego Ancestral House is located at
155-Lopez Jaena corner Mabini St., 6000 Parian, Cebu City, Philippines.
It is open daily to the public (entrance fee PhP 50 per person) from 9:00am to 6:00pm.
Contact (032) 514-3002, 514-3003 or 253-5568 for inquiries.
If you’re in Cebu City, you can ride a jeep with 01K code at SM Cebu or near Radisson Blu Hotel.
Go down at Shamrock and take a short walk to the right, you’ll find the Parian Plaza.
You'll see the Yap Sandiego Ancestral House just across the Cebu’s Heritage Monument."