Yap-San Diego Ancestral House, one of the oldest houses in the Philippines, is also said to be the first ever Chinese house built outside of China. Made during the Spanish colonial era, it is a 17th-century structure with the combination of Spanish and Chinese influences.
Built between 1675 and 1700, the house originally belonged to a wealthy Chinese merchant, Don Juan Yap, and his wife, Dona Maria Florido, together with their three children, Maria, Consolacion, and Eleuterio. In the 1880s, Maria, their eldest daughter, married the Parian Cabeza de barangay, Don Mariano Sandiego. The house got its name from their marriage.
The family had become significant members of the society during that time, especially in the field of arts and culture. As a matter of fact, they have taken part in the step by step creation of Cebu's Sinulog Festival.
The house was passed down to Dona Maria's great great grandson, Val Mancao Sandiego, and his wife, Ofelia in 2008. Val Sandiego is the choreographer of the Sandiego dance company as well as an art collector. He turned the house into a museum that features his ancestors’ history.
Upon arriving at the terminal of Cebu City, hire a taxi or ride a multi-cab to Marina Mall. From Marina Mall, ride a multi-cab or jeepney that bears a 'highway' sign and tell the driver to drop you off at Maguikay. From there, ride any Mandaue jeepney with a 'catedral' or 'colon' sign that will drive you to Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral or Colon St. Yap Sandiego Ancestral House is walking distance from there.
It is best to visit this ancestral landmark during off-peak season as it tends to get crowded during the holidays. Yap Sandiego Ancestral House is open from 9 AM to 7 PM.
Visitors have to pay a minimal fee to enter the ancestral house.