Yap Sandiego Ancestral House

Yap Sandiego Ancestral House History

yap san diego house side

Discover the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House, a remarkable Philippine and Chinese history piece. Believed to be among the first old Chinese houses built outside China, this 17th-century structure is a testament to Cebu’s vibrant past during the Spanish colonial era.

It is one of the oldest houses beautifully encapsulates the blend of cultures.

Its unique Spanish and Chinese architectural details blend to offer a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era.

The construction showcases the durable and weather-resistant coral stones, a testament to the architectural ingenuity of the past.

The house, a product of love and prosperity, was erected between 1675 and 1700 by Don Juan Yap, a prosperous Chinese merchant, and his wife, Dona Maria Florido. It is a significant piece among the Philippines’ oldest houses.

Their three children – Maria, Consolacion, and Eleuterio – spent their formative years within its coral stone walls and wooden beams.

The house gained its moniker in the 1880s when Maria, the eldest daughter, married Don Mariano Sandiego, the Cabeza de Barangay of the Parian district.

The Yap and Sandiego families left an indelible mark on Cebu’s arts and culture, their influence extending to the development of the iconic Sinulog Festival.

Today, the house belongs to Val Mancao Sandiego, Dona Maria’s great-great-grandson. This choreographer and avid art collector has transformed it into a museum showcasing his family’s rich heritage.

Also, this is one of the best Cebu tourist spots you can check.

Entrance Fee

As of May 2024, the entrance fee for Yap Sandiego Ancestral House is 100 pesos per person.

How To Get There

The Yap-San Diego Ancestral House is conveniently located within the historic Parian district in the heart of Cebu City. Here are a few ways to get there: 

  • From Mandaue City: Take a Mandaue jeepney with a ‘Catedral’ or ‘Colon’ sign. These routes will take you near the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral. From there, the ancestral house is just a short walk on Mabini Street.

  • From Marina Mall: Hop on a multi-cab or jeepney with a ‘highway’ sign. Ask the driver to drop you off at Maguikay, then switch to any Mandaue Jeepney headed towards the Cathedral or Colon Street.

  • By Taxi or Ride-Hailing Service: Taxi and ride-hailing services like Grab are available in Cebu City. Search for “Yap-San Diego Ancestral House” on your preferred app.

  • Enjoy a Custom Tour Experience: Travel Cebu and Tours offers private tours, including the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House and other fascinating landmarks. 

    We’ll handle transportation and provide a knowledgeable guide to enhance historical exploration.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House in Cebu City is in the morning, ideally between 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM, to avoid the crowds and experience the house’s serene atmosphere. 

Weekdays, especially early in the week, are quieter than weekends.

For a more immersive experience, plan your visit during the cooler months from December to February, when the weather is milder and more pleasant for exploring the historic streets of the Parian District.

Opening Hours

8:00 AM to 7:00 AM

yap san diego outside signage

Yap Sandiego Ancestral House Location in Parian District

The Yap-San Diego Ancestral House is located in Cebu City’s historic Parian District, near the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and Santo Niño.

It’s located on Mabini St. and easily accessible from Colon Street and Marina Mall. Explore the rich heritage of this iconic landmark, showcasing a blend of Spanish and Chinese influences, and immerse yourself in the history of the Sandiego family.

Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House Photos

Yap San Diego Second Floor

Yap San Diego Inside

Frequently Ask Questions:

What is the purpose of Yap Sandiego’s ancestral house?

The Purpose of the Yap San Diego Ancestral House

  • A Family Home: Originally, the Yap San Diego Ancestral House served as the primary residence of Don Juan Yap, a prosperous Chinese merchant, his wife Doña Maria Florido, and their children.

  • It was built during the Spanish colonial era and showcases a unique blend of architectural styles in the historic Parian district of Cebu City.

  • Preserving Heritage: The house was passed down through the Yap and Sandiego families for generations. It stands as a testament to the Philippines’ rich multicultural history and the significant contributions of Chinese immigrants.

  • A Living Museum: Today, thanks to Val Mancao Sandiego, a descendant of the family and an avid art collector, the ancestral house has been transformed into a museum.

    Visitors can explore its antique-filled rooms, gaining a glimpse into the lifestyle of a prominent Cebu family from centuries past.

    Val Sandiego, the great-great-grandson of the original owners, has played a pivotal role in preserving the house as a museum, showcasing his ancestors’ history and his contributions as a choreographer and art collector.

How do you get to the ancestral house in Yap Sandiego?

To reach the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House in Cebu City, head towards the historic Parian District, renowned for its cultural significance. If you’re coming from Colon Street or Marina Mall, go to Mabini St., where the ancestral house is located. 

You can also take a Mandaue jeepney bound for downtown Cebu City, disembark near Colon Street, and proceed to the Parian District.

Once you’ve arrived, pay the entrance fee and enter the fascinating world of Spanish colonial architecture and Chinese craftsmanship. 

Explore the corridors adorned with majestic statues and admire the intricate details of the coral stone structure. Dive into the rich history of the Sandiego family, a prominent figure in Cebu’s cultural heritage.

What distinctive highlights can be found inside the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House?

Upon entry, you’ll be greeted by a magnificent Sto. Niño statue, alongside other religious figures adorning the space. Wander through the house to discover a collection of old family photographs and paintings, offering glimpses into the town’s early years.

At the heart of the house, a rectangular table proudly showcases a treasure trove of fine china dating back to the 1600s, once used by the family in their daily lives.

The historical significance and preservation of the wooden floors throughout the house add to the authenticity and charm, providing a glimpse into the architectural practices of the era.

Meanwhile, in the kitchen, you’ll find an array of traditional cookware and utensils passed down through generations, providing insight into the culinary practices of yesteryears.

Explore these captivating features and more as you delve into the storied past of the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House.

What attractions await outside the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House?

Step outside and explore the garden surrounding the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House, where intriguing historical elements await.

Take note of the freshwater well, once a vital water source for drinking but now repurposed to nurture the lush greenery.

Keep an eye out for a unique artifact from the 1800s: a vintage boat transformed into a charming flower bed, adding a touch of nostalgia to the outdoor ambiance.

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