Hidden behind a fast growing corn field along the way between San Juan and Lazi you can find the best preserved Ancestral house of the Island of Siquijor.
My tour guide and I ask Mr. Frederico Cuevas for permission to enter his home and we are welcomed by both his wife and son.
Ancestral houses on Siquijor are build on poles and underneath the house, livestock and supplies are stored.
Most houses found on the island are build between 1920 and 1950 and in deplorable state. Unlike the Suminguit family ancestral house and a few others that are carefully documented by the Siquijor Directory team.
Viewings can be done by appointment only, since all houses are still habited and used for daily life. But I must say it is worth a visit.
As volunteer working for the Siquijor Directory team, I had the honor to meet some of the owners and take pictures in the houses, and hear the love for their homes in the amazing stories they shared.
I've met special people, learned about the history and felt honored that I was allowed to roam around in their most private quarters.
Gladly the Cuevas family shared with me that the house was build in 1941 and during the Japanese occupation was at one time, used to accommodate war prisoners.
The dining area can seat 6 people and is amazingly large. You cannot tell from the outside how spacious the house is.
Build of Molave wood and bamboo the house can withstand time. Polished hard wooden flooring in the dining room is still original. And also the kitchen is still in its original state. Water in the kitchen is stored in original ceramic water jars, cooking is done on open fires inside the wooden house.
The only modern touch to the house are electric lighting, a fridge, sound system and a TV.
Water is provided through the outside private well, and pumped up manually.
The house has beautiful original features as wooden carvings and vent system. Some part show bamboo open flooring like the kitchen area which is very convenient for the chickens living below, they can pick up any spoiled food.
The Suminguit Family is a farming family. During our visit the lands surrounding the house are filled with new crops, pots and pans with seedlings are everywhere.
As I thank them for their hospitality they all gather on the small balcony-porch-like area at the top of the stairs that form the entrance to the house.
They feel honored I visited them and they are looking forward to meeting other people to show their beautiful house to.
The Suminguit family ancestral house is one of the few houses that open their door for interested tourist.
Too many houses are being abandoned left to the forces of nature to demolish them, or are restored in a way that destroyed all the old features.
Images by : Gwyn Tumulak Balolong
Content Contributor : JC from Holland
Address: Nomadic Blogger, solo female traveller
Website URL: http://leavingholland.com – http://imagenomad.com