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