Cebu’s Centuries-Old Houses: 1730 Jesuit House

June 1, 2018
1730 Jesuit House Cebu
1730 Jesuit House
A house surviving the times since the 18th century. Wow!

Surprised, too, that I would enjoy looking at old houses. Amazed, how travels can lead to self-discovery, reminding me that once upon a time, it was a dream to be a historian thinking that championing history quiz bees may very well lead to that. Noticed the humble brag? ^_~

Museums are the closest things to time travel sometimes. The antiques inside the house have the power to absorb me as if wanting to tell me their witnesses to stories.

Maybe because I recognize some of the items I’ve seen in Cebu’s centuries-old houses in my own lola’s house. Some items I’ve seen in 1730 Jesuit House were items I actually saw being used in everyday life and not just museum display pieces. It was more of a seeing my own past on display, not necessarily seeing something new, or knowing something from the life of another person but the life of my own. Seeing the astonished reactions of Ate Guia and the aged couple who were with us on the tour, I know they feel the same way.

1730 Jesuit House was opened to the public in 2008. Excavations during its repair gave way lots of evidences (see photos below) that the house was built or was completed in the year 1730, making it the oldest house in the Philippines. As of our April, 2018 visit, the house is under more renovations and repairs as wood posts are corruptible and soon they may not serve as foundations anymore. A team of professionals were gathered on the ground floor discussing how to add more parts to the museum while still preserving the originals. Studies show that to last for more centuries, when old houses are repaired, they should be repaired with the same materials used as the original.

1730 Jesuit House is camouflaged by an existing and operational hardware. I forgive the taxi driver. At first, it looks like the house is competing for a space in the busy towing of lumbers here and there of the hardware. To enter the house, you would feel a slight need to grab a hard hat as you really have to find yourself a way to the entrance. We later on found out that the hardware is part of the centuries-old heritage of Jesuit House. Jesuit House survives and so does the hardware.

For the same entrance fee of Php50 like Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, a professional and adept sociologist accompanied us throughout the tour. Among the three houses we’ve visited, it’s the 1730 Jesuit House which showcased solid history lessons. One can learn from here how Christianity set foot in the Philippines and how the historical events which happened – on the same month and day when we were there – 500 years ago changed the course of our national history forever.

Some more  descriptions of the house is on the photos caption below. I didn’t tell much, I promise.

Cebu Old Ancestral Houses
Passing by the operational hardware before entering the house is a requirement.


1730 Jesuit House
We were in Museo Parian sa Sugbu exactly centuries later! Such a thrill! April 27, 1521 – Lapu-Lapu defeated Magellan; April 27, 1565 – Miguel Lopez de Legazpi established the first Philippine colony and named what is now Cebu as Town of the Most Holy Name of Jesus in Spanish.
1730 Jesuit House
On display are ceremonial tea Cups and bowl cover unearthened during the excavation for repairs. The items dates back from Ming Dynasty of China, intentionally buried during orignal construction of the house according to Chinese customs.
1730 Jesuit House
Upon excavation, artifacts were unearthened unintentionally. Inside the Museo Parian of the Jesuit House, visitors can find the actual photos during the excavation to further prove its claim.
1730 Jesuit House
On to the second floor
1730 Jesuit House
Every piece is a history.
1730 Jesuit House
Centuries ago, a kitchen looked something just like this.
Cebu Old Ancestral Houses
Seeing this old television set like this would surely unearthen lots of fond memories and stories, too.
Cebu Old Ancestral Houses
Like a stamp, it was a tradition to display the year when a house was constructed.

Last centuries-old house of Cebu city that we visited is also a must-see! Casa Gorordo is up next.

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