Yap-San Diego Ancestral House, one of the oldest houses in the Philippines, is also said to be the first ever Chinese house built outside of China. Made during the Spanish colonial era, it is a 17th-century structure with the combination of Spanish and Chinese influences.
Built between 1675 and 1700, the house originally belonged to a wealthy Chinese merchant, Don Juan Yap, and his wife, Dona Maria Florido, together with their three children, Maria, Consolacion, and Eleuterio. In the 1880s, Maria, their eldest daughter, married the Parian Cabeza de barangay, Don Mariano Sandiego. The house got its name from their marriage.
The family had become significant members of the society during that time, especially in the field of arts and culture. As a matter of fact, they have taken part in the step by step creation of Cebu's Sinulog Festival.
The house was passed down to Dona Maria's great great grandson, Val Mancao Sandiego, and his wife, Ofelia in 2008. Val Sandiego is the choreographer of the Sandiego dance company as well as an art collector. He turned the house into a museum that features his ancestors’ history. (Guide to the Philippines)
One of the best things about my recent visit to Cebu Province is the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House in Cebu City, near Colon Street. It is rich in antique “santos” and the ambiance is really from the Spanish-era. The entrance fee is P50 but it’s definitely worth it.
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