Yap-Sandiego ancestral house
The Yap-Sandiego ancestral house was built in the late 17th century by Chinese merchant Don Juan Yap and his wife Maria Florido. The house was constructed from wood and has a coral stone foundation which is being glued together using egg whites. It’s roof is made from clay while the wooden parts are made with molave.
It is located in Lopez-Jaena corner Mabini street in the Parian District of Cebu City almost opposite the Parian Monument which is also known as Cebu’s Heritage Monument and a block away from the Casa Gorordo museum. It is also nearby Colon street, which is the Philippines’oldest street. In older days this was one of the more wealthy neighbourhoods of the city where the affluent lived.
The house is still owned and according to the caretaker/tour guide is still being used by the family. The ancestral house is now being managed by the original owners’ grandson Mr. Val Sandiego, who is also a well-known art collector in Cebu. Visitors are however welcome every day of the week from 9 am to 6 pm. After paying a small entrance fee of 50 pesos and writing your name on their visitor’s logbook, you can enter the two storey house and see many religious artifacts, wooden furnitures, photos and paintings of the family specifically of the couple. The paintings in the house tells a story of the generations of the Sandiego family who have lived here. The tour guide, who is a family friend of the owner was also very knowledgeable in explaining the history of the house and the materials inside, as well as offering to take tourist’s photos without a charge.
On the ground floor is where the family’s dining area is located. Aside from the old paintings and religious artifacts here, you can see old tables and chairs and dining utensils and porcelains. A wooden stairway leads to the second floor where the master bedroom is situated together with a living quarter. An old birthing chair can also be found here which was used in the olden times but now serves as an interesting piece of furniture for the curious visitors. There is also a big mirror which is strategically placed in front of a big wooden chair and a painting where guests can have their photos taken for souvenir purposes. Going back down and heading to the outside the house is a small patio with a well, which was used before but unfortunately nowadays is only for display because of water safety issues. A small wooden canoe can also be seen hanging outside the house which in the earlier times was used to peddle to Mactan island.