Visiting Jesuit House Museum: A Hidden Hint of History

The Jesuit House Museum carries years of history as one of the oldest ancestral houses in Cebu.

Claimed to have been built in 1730, the Jesuit House Museum is one of the oldest museums in Cebu. It’s a building that is rich in Philippine history.

Located in the former business district of Parian, this heritage house is frequented by many tourists and locals alike.

This signage on the walls supposedly shows the age of this heritage house.

Its owner, Chinese-Filipino businessman Jaime Sy, originally intended to make the building a warehouse. He changed his mind when he discovered its history.

Based on the seal imprinted at the building’s original entrance and some old photos in a book by Fr. William Repettu, he found out that the house used to be the Jesuits’ headquarters in the 1700s.

Some pieces of evidence like coins and ceramics found within the building point out that it dates back to the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644)

The museum carefully evoked this colonial period in Philippine history.

The Jesuit House may not look like a museum from the outside because of the heavy metal and welding equipment fronting the entrance.

But on the inside, you will find several artifacts and antiques sprawling across the halls and rooms of the building.

Like other famous ancestral houses in the Philippines, the museum is made out of coral stones and wood. Buildings made from these two materials were known to withstand earthquakes. It is believed that this is the primary reason why the structure has survived many natural disasters.

The museum is divided into two houses that are connected by a bridge. House A features bedrooms and precious memorabilia, while House B features a living room, dining room, and kitchen.

The tour of the museum begins with a diorama of what Cebu might have looked like in the 1700s.

This is what Old Cebu might have looked like.

The miniature exhibit shows that most of the infrastructures during the time had similar designs. The display also tells us that their main form of transportation was horse carriages or the Tartanillas.

One infrastructure that stands out in the diorama is the Iglesia del San Juan Bautista, which was believed to be the most magnificent church in the city. Unfortunately, it was demolished due to a conflict between the Chinese settlers and the Spanish friars.

All that is left of the church is a small chapel behind the Parian Monument.

Here are several precious artifacts and antiques you will see on display.

Another notable diorama is the San Diego, the first warship built in the Philippines by Cebuano and Chinese craftsmen.

Though a massive feat to be proud of, the ship sank after a fight at sea because it could not carry its own cannons.

Aside from the historical exhibits, you will find vintage furniture and items on display. Old wooden chairs, tables, bed frames, vintage TV, radio, film cameras, jukebox, and other analog technology.

You will find all these on the second floor of the building. It’s a whole section that showcases the evolution of the Cebuano lifestyle throughout the years.

The living area on the second floor houses many vintage items and analog technology.

On the same floor, you’ll find the “dirty kitchen” which displays old-fashioned kitchen equipment like wood stoves and clay pots.

The dining room and kitchen showcase in the Jesuit House Museum is a must-see section.

The museum is also filled with religious statues, paintings, and photos of Old Cebu.

Like many museums in Cebu, Jesuit House has a special collection of paintings and pictures.

Whether or not this heritage site is indeed the oldest house in Cebu is up for debate. Regardless, its interesting features have already stood the test of time.

Places like the Jesuit House Museum give a glimpse of what the past was like. Since we can’t go back in time, it’s one of the closest things we have to a time machine. It offers a fun and memorable history lesson about the lives of Cebuanos in the 16th century.


  • 100 (inclusive of the tour)

The tour includes a museum guide who will lead you through the exhibits and give you a brief background of the artifacts on display. You may ask them any questions you have regarding the history of the museum.

The ₱100 entrance fee already includes a tour of the heritage house.


Exact Location:

Zulueta Street, Cebu City (near the Pari-an monument)

Operating Hours:

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM


The Jesuit House is located near the Pari-an monument. You can take a jeep going to Colon Street to get there. Get off at the Colon Market and walk to the museum. Your landmark should be the 7-Eleven convenience store. The museum is found on the street right next to it.

Other posts

Cebu Sinulog Festival

Generally, Filipinos never fail to observe festivals, and Cebu takes theirs to the next level. After celebrating New Year’s Eve, Cebuanos participate in a monthlong celebration in honor of Sto. Niño. This is the renowned Sinulog festival. Held every third Sunday of January, the Sinulog festival is celebrated by dancing,

Read More
Colorful chairs facing the sea at Mactan Newtown Beach

Experience Mactan Newtown Beach and Its Soothing Waters

Lapu-Lapu City has many beautiful beaches. Its numerous resorts and island hopping activities have made waves all throughout Cebu. One of its most famous is located in the city’s premier business center. With a good location, budget friendly rates, and a ton of exciting activities, Mactan Newtown Beach is a

Read More
Charlie's Cup, the Newest Balamban Tourist Spot

Charlie’s Cup, the Newest Balamban Tourist Spot to Visit!

Charlie’s Cup is a cafe in Cebu that offers a cool and refreshing vibe thanks to its cliffside location. The Cebu Transcentral Highway (TCH) has become one of the island’s best spots to check out the newest and most interesting cafes and restaurants with breathtaking views. The long, winding road

Read More
SM Seaside shopping mall’s famous cube

Where to Go for the Ultimate Shopping Experience in Cebu

Enjoy shopping in Cebu on your next visit. Shopping in Cebu is at another level. Anywhere you are in the metropolis, make no mistake that a shopping mall is just around the corner. Whether you are looking to buy souvenirs, shirts, accessories, or food, shopping malls in Cebu have it

Read More
The Cebu City Hall, the venue for the celebration of the Cebu City Charter Day

Cebu City Charter Day

Cebu City Charter Day commemorates another year of Cebu being considered a city. While the world recognizes February for Valentine’s Day and different concepts of love, Cebu City, the Visayan region’s Queen City of the South, embraces its cityhood, heritage, people, and economic growth within the same month. The 24th

Read More
Sinigang, a popular Filipino comfort food

Discovering Filipino Comfort Food

Try any of these Filipino comfort food when you’re feeling under the weather. When you’re feeling down in the dumps or a little under the weather, there is always that one dish that your mother makes that would always perk you up. There are also those types of meals and

Read More



Cebu Insights Logo (Island)-03-03

Seeking to learn more about Cebuano culture, or wanting to know what to do once you arrive, Cebu Insights is the travel guide for you in Cebu!

Contact Us

See other Articles

Festivals in Cebu Province Gather for the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo

Several towns in Cebu Province gathered to celebrate the Pasigarbo sa Sugbo. Cebu Province has an assortment of local festivals that celebrate the food culture, the endemic plants and animals, and the general lifestyle of the people.  These festivals are celebrated through a number of cultural dances that give you

Cebu City Revives the Colon Night Market in 2022

The Cebu City government has revived the famous Colon Night Market. Two years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, government officials have proudly reopened the iconic Colon Night Market. This weekend-only business strip brings dozens of budget-friendly products and food items to fellow Cebuanos, located along the oldest street

The Shoe Business Enterprise in Carcar City

The shoe business in Carcar remains essential to the city’s tourism and economy. Carcar City is known as the Heritage City of the South due to its many historical sites. It has one of the oldest churches on the island and several ancestral houses with centuries-old architecture.  You may have

Learn about Catholicism in Cebu at the Cathedral Museum

The Archdiocesan Museum is where you can learn more about the history of Catholicism in Cebu. The Philippines is predominantly Catholic. The church has had massive changes over the past millennia, but Catholicism is still the most practiced religion throughout the country. A museum in Cebu has a collection of

Torta: The Delectable Dessert Turned Cultural Symbol

Not only is it a delicious dessert, but it’s also an integral part of the culture of Argao. Many Cebu towns are associated with the special delicacies sold in their locality. The cities of Carcar and Talisay have their Lechon, while the municipality of Liloan has the Rosquillos. In Southern

Why Island Hopping Is Perfect for a Summer Getaway

Rent a bangka and visit the many islands of Mactan with your barkada. Cebu is a summer paradise. Abundant with beaches, mountains, and forests, it’s clear to see why it’s a top vacation spot in the entire country. Some popular activities on the island include canyoneering and snorkeling, especially in

Scroll to Top