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My tour in Yap-Sandiego, Cebu, Cebu City, Philippines

 
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ultimatetravel's pictureby ultimatetravel review
added on 16th of May, 2009

My students and I waited for a few minutes for the tour guide whose name is Mr. Val San Diego, the owner of the house himself. While waiting for him, the guy who was sort of a caretaker (a relative perhaps) there told us to sign up the guest book. He even told us that one of the best singers in the Philippines, Christian Bautista came by the house to visit. So we were intrigued, as we scan along the pages of the guest book we never saw his name, what we saw is the different names of people who have visited the house I saw people from Australia, Korea, etc. There were some sorts of people there who signed up.

My students signed up the guest book. Then, minutes after I have heard that guy was talking on the phone, he was telling the person over the phone that there are 11 students who are on tour who would like to see the house, etc. The guy told me that the owner can't come and he will be the one to tour us around. He said to me that he thought I would call before we come. Now, I know why he wanted me to call so that the owner can prepare and be there when we arrived. I talked to this caretaker the day before, yet it did not popped up to my mind regarding call him before we come.

Oh well, he explained as much as he could about the house. What he explained to us first are the four paintings mounted on the wall.

As what I can remember there was a painting of the Yap-San Diego Ancestral Home, the San Juan Bautista Church whose picture looked some sort of destroyed (if I remember it right), the Old Colon Street with the different houses lining up.

He even show us the picture of the couple who are currently the owners of the house, Mr. Val San Diego and his Wife. Val, is the 10th generation of the Yap-San Diego Clan.

The guide even explained, back then the Yap-San Diego Clan are one of the richest family in Parian, and beside their house is the San Juan Bautista Church. The house is called as "bahay na bato" which means a house made of stones.

The ground floor, we definitely saw the stones and what the guide said made out of coral stones, there was no cement back then, what they used to stick the coral stones was purely egg white and that's about it. The posts inside the house was made out of Mahogany and a mixture of other trees, it was so sturdy and hard. The different pieces found inside the house (ground floor) were the original pieces from the clan.

We were even told that the house was once a boarding house, and it was in 2008 that Val converted it into a museum. Quite a young museum but with full of treasures and culture to offer.

We went upstairs, what we saw is an image of Mama Mary (i think it is made out of wood) decorated with flowers made out of fish scales. The guide said they just painted out the flowers. When you glance the flowers they don't look like fish scales but when you touch and take a closer look they are indeed fish scales.

We went to a room on the right side of Mama Mary, there was a room with a table, and other memorabilias of the family. Quite old and I was very scared to touched them, I don't want to ruin the antiques there. On the right side of the house we saw something covered with a curtain, we were scared to open it up it might be something scary. To our surprise it was the room of the family. The bed? Was centuries old as well as the style, cabinet etc. The modern stuff inside it was the refrigerator and the aircon and that's it. The floor was shaking when we moved faster.

The guide told us Val and his family slept every night inside that room. No wonder it has aircon and also he sleeps on the ground floor I forgot where though. After which we went out from the house and went to the garden. We saw a well there, he said that was the source of water for the family 15 feet deep but as of today they use the water for the plants alone.

The guide told us, when it's December they will light up lanterns outside and then if it's Chinese New Year they will dress up in Chinese costumes and have some dragon dance outside.

My students took some pictures along the way, when we were touring inside the house. It was all worth it my students felt a little scary, me as well since we were inside an old house and centuries old there might been some spirits living there. One student of mine asked the guide if there are spirits inside the house and he said there was nothing scary or spirits. It is just before the boarders who stayed inside the house open the windows quite small and when they see a shadow or something they will think of it as a white lady.

Judging by the house, and how guide narrate it all to us and even told us they are sleeping there every night, the Yap-San Diego Ancestral Home is not haunted at all. It looked like an ordinary house but with a Spanish style that is.

 

Things about Cebu City you may be interested in

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A visit to Yap-San Diego Ancestral Home - overview

1. May 15, 2009 My tour in Yap-Sandiego, Cebu (Cebu City)
2. May 16, 2009 Yap-Sandiego, the treasure of Cebu (Cebu City)  (* 2)
3. May 16, 2009 Why to visit Yap-San Diego Ancestral Home (Cebu City)
4. May 16, 2009 A 'must see' in Cebu (Cebu City)

Start from beginning1 - 4          Journal overview


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