Visit the Oldest Ancestral House in Cebu City

Cebu’s first ancestral house, Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, has been in Parian for more than three centuries.

The Parian district played a crucial part in the history of Cebu City. This quiet neighborhood was once a center for trading and bartering before turning into a residential area for Chinese settlers in the 1600s.

Today, Parian has several historic sites, including the Parian monument, the Jesuit House Museum, and the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House.

The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is the oldest ancestral house in Cebu. It was built near Colon, the oldest street in the Philippines between 1675 and 1700. And it was first owned by a Chinese trader, Don Juan Yap, and his wife, Doña Maria Florido.

It is also known as the “Balay nga Bato og Kahoy” (which translates to “house of rock and wood”) because it was constructed from coral stone and wood. Its wooden floors and open windows are reminiscent of a bygone era you could only experience if you tried to live in provincial towns.

Nonetheless, it survived many natural disasters and never experienced massive damage for almost 350 years.

Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is located in Parian, a trading center that was pivotal in the history of Cebu City.

It is currently under the management of Don Juan’s great-great-grandson, Val Mancao Sandiego, who is an art collector and a Sinulog dance choreographer. Furthermore, it is now a private museum that showcases vintage antiques, such as religious images, statues, and household goods from the Spanish colonial period.

On the first floor, you can see figurines of Santo Niño (Holy Child) and other Roman Catholic saints, well-preserved paintings, and portraits of Don Juan Yap and Doña Maria Florido.

Also, there are three dining tables wherein one of them with a sungka, the Filipino version of the mancala game, placed in the middle.

Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House has several statues, portraits, paintings, and household goods.

One notable piece you might find is the statue of one of the most prominent figures in Chinese mythology—Sun Wukong the Monkey King.

A statue of the Monkey King, Sun Wukong, is one of the vintage antiques found in Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House.

The items on the second floor represent the lifestyle of the Cebuanos during the Spanish colonial period. You can see several dining areas and a bedroom—the walls and beds have braided silk cloths commonly found in old-fashioned Filipino interior designs.

The items in Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House depict the Cebuano and Chinese lifestyle during the Spanish colonial period.

Lastly, you can surround yourself with tons of plants and get some fresh air in the outdoor area, and you might want to try your luck at wishing well.

The outdoor area is full of plants that give off a relaxing ambiance.

Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House offers a short but meaningful tour of the lives of Cebuanos and Chinese settlers before Cebu became a metro. It is not only accessible but also affordable, making it a sought-after tourist attraction.

Moreover, the Parian district becomes lively during the week leading to the third Sunday of January because of the Sinulog festival, an annual celebration that honors the feast of Santo Niño. And Val Sandiego’s dance troupe always performs for Sinulog right outside the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House.

So, whether you are traveling around the world or you just want to learn more about the culture of Cebu, make sure you visit Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House—the oldest ancestral house in Cebu.



The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is very accessible since it is located near Colon.

If you are in Ayala Center Cebu, you can ride a jeepney that includes Parian in its route (e.g., jeepney route codes 13C or 62C). You can just tell the jeepney driver or conductor to drop you off at the Parian Fire Station or the Parian Monument. From there, you can immediately recognize the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House.

Or, if you are in SM City Cebu, you can ride a jeepney or a multicab that includes Parian in its route (e.g., jeepney route codes 01K or 12G). Same as above, just tell the jeepney driver or conductor to drop you off at the Parian Fire Station or the Parian Monument.

However, jeepneys, especially multicabs, can either be scarce or always full. So, if you get unlucky with Cebu traffic, you can ride any jeepney that includes Colon in its route. This time, you tell the jeepney driver or conductor to drop you off at the Colon Obelisk (you cannot miss it since all jeepneys from Colon always pass by it). Then, you can just ask the locals where the ancestral house near the Parian Fire Station or the Parian Monument is—it is a one to two-minute walk from there.

Operating Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday – 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM
Wednesday – 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Saturday – 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM

Entrance Fee:

₱50 (roughly US$1)

Exact Location:

Corner of Mabini and Lopez-Jaena Street and behind the Parian Monument.

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