Cebu is not only known for its beaches and local delicacies, it is also a popular tourist destination because of its rich culture and well-preserved heritage. Among these attractions a number of ancestral houses, including the Yap-Sandiego House, the Casa Gorordo and the Archbishop’s Palace of Cebu.
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
If you have been to the Heritage of Cebu Monument, then you will have no trouble finding the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House.
According to sources, the house was built sometime during the 17th century, which makes it among the oldest residences still existing in the Philippines. It was said to have been built for the family of Don Juan Yap, a Chinese merchant residing in Pari-an. He was married to Doña Maria Florido, who bore him three children. In the 1880s, their eldest daughter, Maria Florido Yap, was married off to the Cabeza de Barangay of Parian, Don Mariano Sandiego.
For some time, the structure was used as a boarding house for students who were enrolled in schools and universities nearby. The upper level was divided by wooden wall partitions to create several small rooms for the boarders. These divisions have been removed in order to bring the interiors of the house back to its original state.
In 2008, the ancestral house was turned over to Val Sandiego, who is Doña Maria’s great great grandson. Val Sandiego is a well-known advocate of Cebuano heritage and is the renowned choreographer of the Sandiego Dance Company. Under his care, the house has become a lifestyle museum. Up to this day, the Yap-Sandiego residence contains antiques and religious icons.
If you wish to visit the ancestral house, the entrance fee is Php50. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is located at 155 Mabini St., in Parian, Cebu City. It is only several meters away from the Heritage of Cebu Monument and Colon Street, which is the oldest street in the country.
For inquiries, you may call them at these numbers (032) 515-9000 or (032) 513-8000.
The two-storey Casa Gorordo is also located in the Parian district of the City. The house was built in the mid-19th century and was home to Cebu’s most prominent families.
Alejandro Reynes y Rosales built the house, which was later bought by Juan Isidro De Gorordo. Four generations of the Gorordo family resided in the house from 1863 to 1979. Among its residents was Juan Gorordo, the first native Cebuano bishop of Cebu.
In 1980, the house was purchased by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. In 1983, it was opened as a public museum. In 1991, it was declared as a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute.
The Casa Gorodo Museum is a popular tourist attraction in Cebu City. It showcases mid-19th century and early 20th century Philippine culture and lifestyle. It is located at No. 35 Lopez Jaena Street, in Parian, Cebu City. It is open to the public from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Entrance admission rates are based on rates for international and local visitors. Foreign tourists pay Php70 for adults and Php50 for students. Local tourists pay Php40 for adults, Php15 for college students, and Php10 for high school and elementary students. For more information, you may contact this Casa Gorodo Museum at this number: (032) 418-7234 loc 532.
Both the Casa Gorordo Museum and the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House are included in the Gabii sa Kabilin, which is an annual event of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) culture and heritage unit and its partners.
Archbishop’s Palace of Cebu
The Archbishop’s Palace of Cebu (Arzobispado de Cebu) is currently a two-building complex located at D. Jakosalem Street. It was built during the incumbency of Julio Cardinal Rosales, who was the archbishop of Cebu from 1949 to 1981. Archbishop Rosales is the second Archbishop of Cebu, the first Cardinal-Archbishop of the Metropolitan See of Cebu, and the 25th residential bishop of Cebu since 1595.
Architect Julio Ancheta designed the older of two buildings, which showcases both Baroque and Romanesque elements in its facade. It has a number of offices, guest rooms, function halls, and even a large chapel, which has become a popular choice for intimate weddings. The annex building was originally intended as a retirement home for Cardinal Rosales. It now serves as the official residence and workplace of the archbishop of Cebu.
The structure is set on a beautifully manicured lawn, just a few meters away from the Archdiocesan Shrine of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Currently, it is a building complex with the original L-shaped building and a smaller annex. The Shrine of Blessed Pedro Calungsod is also located near the Archbishop’s Palace.
In the early 80s, Pope John Paul II stayed as a guest in this house when he visited the Philippines. It is also said that President Ramon Magsaysay made a stopover at the Archbishop’s Palace before he made that tragic flight, which ended in an airplane crash in Mt. Manunggal.