5 Historic Houses in the Philippines to Visit at Least Once

Molo Mansion in Iloilo City

Being home to many residential hotspots, the Philippines is a treasure trove of many iconic houses and lots. Some of these houses served as the homes of prominent historical figures and are now repositories of their glorious past. Others were reconstructed and transferred to Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar, an open-air heritage museum in Bataan that features a wide array of ancestral homes.

Fortunately, many of these homes are open for visitations. Most of these historic houses are in Luzon, so it’s easily accessible for both local and foreign tourists. For those who are staying in Metro Manila, you may want to try these staycation hotels before visiting these historic places.

Should you decide to take a trip down the historical path, consider visiting these five ancestral homes:

Casa de Segunda

Casa de Segunda

Also known as the Luz-Katigbak Ancestral House, this traditional Bahay na bato was built in the 1880s and remained in its original spot at Calle Rizal in Lipa, Batangas. Back then, the house was one of the prime residential properties that characterize the enviable wealth of Lipa. The house also served as the home of Doña Segunda Solis Katigbak, Dr. Jose Rizal’s first love.

Molo Mansion

Molo Mansion
Molo Mansion, one of the heritage houses in Iloilo City.

As the first Queen City of the South, Iloilo City has plenty of heritage houses that give life to the city’s historic sites. Plus, it gained its nickname City of Mansions because of the huge number of preserved houses in the city. One particular mansion you should see is the Molo Mansion or formally known as the Yusay-Consing Mansion.

Compared to most ancient homes that have Spanish influences, the Molo Mansion boasts of American-Colonial-style architecture with neoclassical and subtle art-deco touches. Its historic glory contrasts with the modern style of many Pag-IBIG foreclosed houses for sale in the area.

After touring the town plaza, drop by the mansion and explore its preserved beauty. Then, grab lunch and refreshments at Cafe Panay on the mansion’s ground floor.

Juan Luna Shrine

Juan Luna Shrine

Juan Luna is one of the most distinguished painters and heroes of the Philippines. Many of his original paintings are housed at the National Museum of Art. But if you want to know more about the life and personality of the painter, visit his ancestral home in Badoc, Ilocos Norte.

The Juan Luna Shrine is a two-story stone house that contains every element of a traditional Bahay-na-tisa home. A fire destroyed the house in 1861 after the Luna family moved to Manila. Then in 1977, the house underwent a complete restoration as a collaboration between the National Historical Institute and the Department of Public Works and Highways. Today, the Juan Luna Shrine houses replicas of the paintings by the deceased painter. Several memorabilia that show how Juan Luna lived his childhood until adulthood are also displayed.

Marcela Agoncillo’s Ancestral House

Marcela Agoncillo’s Ancestral House

Marcela Agoncillo is notable for sewing the first Philippine flag. If you want to know more about the heroine, visit her house in Taal, Batangas. The Agoncillo ancestral house is considered the oldest house in Taal as it was built around the 1700s. When visiting the home, you’ll notice that many of its original furnishings, wooden halls, and flooring are well-preserved. You’ll also see several relics of the Agoncillo family protected in glass to be preserved forever.

Villavicencio Wedding Gift House

Villavicencio Wedding Gift House

For some, real estate property is a suitable wedding gift. It is also an investment that many new spouses should consider venturing into. One example is the Villavicencio House–formally known as Casa Regalo De Boda–which was Eulalio Villavicencio’s wedding gift to his bride, Glicera Marella.

Back then, the Villavicencios were supporters of the Philippine Revolution. They also financed the publication of Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo; you’ll find early-edition copies of the novels displayed in the house. It is also reported that secret meetings of the revolutionaries were held in this historic home.

These real estate properties represent essential parts of our colonial history. They enshrine artifacts that reveal the lives of our forefathers. After travel restrictions are lifted, consider visiting these five historic houses and appreciate their preserved beauty.


About Nonoy Taclino

Nonoy Taclino is a pioneer blogger and social media manager in Iloilo, with 15 years of experience under his belt.

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