Ancestral houses of the Philippines

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The ancestral house of Emilio Aguinaldo, declared a National Shrine in 1964
Edralin Ancestral house
Marcella Agoncillo Ancestral House, typical Bahay na Bato

Ancestral houses of the Philippines or Heritage Houses are homes owned and preserved by the same family for several generations as part of the Filipino family culture.[1] It corresponds to long tradition by Filipino people of venerating Ancestors and Elders. Houses could be a simple house to a mansion. The most common ones are the "Bahay na Bato". Some houses of prominent families had become points of interest or museums in their community because of its cultural, architectural or historical significance.[2][3] These houses that are deemed of significant importance to the Filipino culture are declared Heritage House by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), previously known as the National Historical Institute (NHI) of the Philippines.[4] Preservation is of utmost importance as some ancestral houses have come into danger due to business people who buy old houses in the provinces, dismantle them then sell the parts as ancestral building materials for homeowners wishing to have the ancestral ambiance on their houses.[5] These ancestral houses provide the current generation a look back of the country's colonial past through these old houses.[6]

National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009[edit]

In 2009, the Congress of the Philippines passed the National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009 or Republic Act. no. 10066 to further the protection the cultural treasures of the country which include houses under Built heritage. Ancestral houses that are declared Heritage House by the NHCP are still owned by their owners. The government is only declaring the heritage value of the structure, provide funding for its protection and preservation.[7] Ancestral homes that have figured in an event of historical significance like the Bonifacio Trial House in Maragondon, Cavite,[8] or houses of national heroes of the Philippines like the Juan Luna Shrine[9] in Badoc, Ilocos Norte are included among the categories National Shrines or National Historical Landmarks.[10][11] Historical markers are placed on the houses by the commission to indicate their significance.[12] The Philippine Registry of Cultural Property registers all cultural properties of the country.[11]

Bahay na bato ancestral houses being used for commercial purposes.

List of Heritage Houses of the Philippines[edit]

Partial list of ancestral houses declared as Heritage Houses by the NHCP, some with declaration dates, grouped according to the regions in the country.[13] many are of Bahay Na Bato architecture.

Region I[edit]

In the Ilocos Region the historic city of Vigan is the best preserved Spanish Colonial settlement in the country. It was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

Region III[edit]

Oldest house in Batanes a Sinadumparan

In Central Luzon, There are two historical town centers declared by National Historical Commission of the Philippines as historic town centers in the region namely the Malolos Heritage Town in Bulacan[14] declared in August 15, 2001 and City of San Fernando Heritage District in Pampanga declared in 2004.[15]

Bahay na bato Ancestral houses

Malolos Heritage Town NHL

Inside the old walled city of Manila

San Fernando Heritage Zone San Fernando, Pampanga

National Capital Region[edit]

The central part of Metro Manila was heavily bombed in World War II destroying historical structures and homes. Somes pockets of old homes can still be found in Binondo and Quiapo which were not affected by the war.[16]

Region IV-A[edit]

In the CALABARZON region, the center for ancestral houses can be found in the streets of Taal, Balayan, and Calaca, in Batangas and Sariaya in Quezon provinces. The town center of Pila, Laguna, with its Spanish and American-era houses, was declared a National Historical Landmark in 2000.

Pililla, Rizal

Region IV-B[edit]

Declared Heritage House in MIMAROPA region.

Region XVIII/NIR[edit]

Negros Occidental in the Negros Island Region, is the provincial capital and contains a number of fine ancestral homes.

The Ruins in Talisay, Negros Occidental.jpg
The Ruins in Talisay, Negros Occidental
Lizares Mansion Ancestral house

Bacolod City[edit]

Talisay City[edit]

  • Mariano Ledesma Lacson known as The Ruins (mansion) is the remains of the ancestral home mansion. The mansion was built in early 1900s and inspired by Italian architecture.
  • General Aniceto Lacson house in Hda. Matab-ang, is a fine example of a bahay na bato built in the 1880's that has a balcony that wraps around the entire 2nd floor giving a panoramic view of the surrounding hacienda as well as having its own chapel at ground level.

Silay City[edit]

Silay City, Negros Occidental in the Negros Island Region has the most number of declared Heritage Houses in the country.

  • Alejandro Amechazura House
  • Amelia Hilado Flores House
  • Angel Araneta Ledesma House
  • Augusto Hilado Severino House
  • Benita Jara House
  • Bernardino Lopez Jalandoni Ancestral House
  • Carlos Arceo Ledesma House
  • Claudio Hilado Akol House
  • Delfin Ledesma House
  • Digna Locsin Consing House
  • Dr. Jose Corteza Locsin Ancestral house
  • Felix Tad-y Lacson House
    Mercado Ancestral House
    Vega Ancestral House in Misamis is a fine example of Spanish era Bahay FIlipino that is not Bahay na bato but is rather fully wooden materials. The house is a Nipa Mansion, a "Proto-Bahay na Bato style".
  • Generoso Reyes Gamboa House
  • German Lacson Gaston House
  • German Locsin Unson House
  • Jose Benedicto Gamboa House
  • Jose Corteza Locsin House
  • Jose Ledesma House
  • Kapitan Marciano Montelibano Lacson House
  • Manuel de la Rama Locsin House
  • Manuel Severino Hofileña House
  • Maria Ledesma Golez House
  • Modesto Ramirez Hojilla (Carlos Javelosa Jalandoni) House
  • Severino Building/Heritage House
  • Soledad and Maria Montelibano Lacson House
  • Teodoro Morada House
  • Vicente Conlu Montelibano House
  • Victor Fernandez Gaston House or Balay Negrense

Other Heritage Houses in Region XVIII/NIR[edit]

Region VI[edit]

Heritage Houses in Western Visayas region:

Region VII[edit]

Heritage Houses in Central Visayas region:

  • German Ferraren y Geronimo Ancestral House in Ginatilan, Cebu
  • Ferolin Ancestral House in Ginatilan, Cebu

Region VIII[edit]

Heritage Houses in the Eastern Visayas region:

Region X[edit]

Heritage Houses in the Northern Mindanao region:

National Shrines and National Historical Landmarks[edit]

Felipe Agoncillo Ancestral house

Partial list of ancestral houses declared as National Shrine or National Historical Landmark by the NHCP:[10][13]

Other ancestral houses[edit]


  1. ^ "Filipino Culture" Archived November 30, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Filipino Planet. Retrieved on 2011-10-26.
  2. ^ "Best Filipino Ancestral Houses". Traveler on Foot. Retrieved on 2011-10-17.
  3. ^ Tacio, Henrylito D. (2010-10-12). "Ancestral Home in the City" Archived October 29, 2010, at the Wayback Machine. Manila Bulletin. Retrieved on 2011-10-26.
  4. ^ "Republic Act No. 10066 - National Cultural Heritage Act of 2009". Ivan about Town. Retrieved on 2010-10-27.
  5. ^ Henares, Ivan (2006-07-19). "Stop the sale of ancestral homes!". Ivan about Town. Retrieved on 2011-10-29.
  6. ^ a b "Villavicencio's Ancestral House: Taal's Gift House". Lantaw. Retrieved on 2011-10-29.
  7. ^ (2010-09-03). "No ownership change in ‘RA 10066 declaration’". Retrieved on 2011-10-26.
  8. ^ "Bonifacio Trial House". National Historical Commission. Retrieved on 2011-10-27.
  9. ^ "Juan Luna Shrine". National Historical Commission. Retrieved on 2011-10-27.
  10. ^ a b "Shrines and Landmarks". National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Retrieved on 2011-10-26.
  11. ^ a b Bonvito (2010-04-23). "Text of the Philippine National Cultural Heritage Law" Archived 2011-12-24 at the Wayback Machine. Time Traveling. Retrieved on 2010-10-26.
  12. ^ "Touring the Ancestral Houses of Silay, Negros Occidental". Travelog Philippines. Retrieved on 2011-10-26.
  13. ^ a b (2010-04-01). "Philippine Registry of Cultural Property - Built Heritage". Ivan About Town. Retrieved on 2011-10-26.
  14. ^
  15. ^ a b (2005-04-15). "San Fernando: a city rich in architectural heritage". Indung Kapampangan: Preserving our Kapampangan Heritage. Retrieved on 2011-10-29.
  16. ^ Gardner, Robert (2006–04). "Philippine architecture from bahay kubo to bahay na bato". Retrieved on 2011-10-29.
  17. ^ Philippine News Agency (2011-09-11). "Historical marker on Aquino ancestral house in Tarlac unveiled" Archived 2014-11-29 at the Wayback Machine. News 5 InterAksyon. Retrieved on 2011-10-27.

External links[edit]