Iloilo is known for its Dinagyang Festival, La Paz Batchoy, colonial churches and old houses. And when we speak of this city’s old houses, they are are not just your typical ancestral houses or bahay na bato.
This city is home to many mansions built by sugar barons way back in pre-war era. Some are still standing with some old people or caretakers residing while some are now used as schools.
If you are traveling or visiting the City of Love, bring your camera and wear your most comfortable shoes and discover these old houses and mansions in Iloilo. There are many of them in the city and what I have here are just a few of them. I am featuring those famous old houses and mansions but it is easy to spot many old abodes as you explore Iloilo.
If you don’t know where to start, just go to the main plazas in the city – Jaro, Molo and Libertad. In accordance to the Spanish status quo, those living close to the plaza are the most affluent ones. So aside from taking shots or visiting old churches, you can also check out these ancestral and heritage houses of Iloilo.
Those located around Jaro Plaza are the grandest and there are still plenty of them. Still, you can see many old houses in Molo and even Arevalo. For this post, majority of these houses are located around the district of Jaro.
So here they are…
Ledesma Mansion or “Eagle House”
This old house is located in Ortiz Street close to Plaza Libertad. If you are heading to Jordan, Guimaras Island, this should be your landmark to the wharf where you will be taking a boat ride to the island.
Eusebio Villanueva Mansion
This well-preserved old house is located close to many government offices like the Provincial Capitol, Tourism Office, Atrium Mall, Hall of Justice and beside Castle Hotel. Thanks to one of my readers, Glenn. This house belongs to the Villanuevas. Verified with Demy Sonza when I attended a Tourism summit and it is the house of Eusebio Villanueva. Thanks Glenn!
Antillian House of Sanson-Montinola
Located along E-Lopez St., Jaro beside Collegio de San Jose. It was in this house that the Araneta clan gathered during their family reunion years ago. The Antillan House was built by Don Emong Montinola.
Note: This photo was used by a local newspaper without my consent..wth!
I consider this as the queen of all old houses in Iloilo. Named after the daughter of its original owners ( Don Vicente Lopez y Villanueva and Donya Elena Hofilena y Javelona) in 1928. The structure is patterned after Tara, the estate house of the novel, ” Gone With the Wind”.
Here is my separate blog post for Nelly Garden, ” The Grandiose Nelly Garden”
Jalandoni- Montinola Mansion
This house is located close to Jaro Plaza beside a pet shop store across RCBC bank. I got the name and some info of this mansion from Sir Laurence Montinola, one of their direct descendants and I quote..
The Montinola house beside a pet shop, is owned by Don Rodrigo Montinola, married to Dna. Felisa Jalandoni, they had three children, Estela Montinola Jaen, Lourdes Montinola Lachica (my mom)(deceased) and Dr. Simplicio Montinola (deceased).
It was built in 1928. during WWII, the family stayed in Baguio, it was said that the house was occupied by Filipino soldiers and was attempted to be burned down. Inside the house you will find family heirlooms and a lifesize statue of our lady of lourdes (a gift from lola felisa to mama) every february the family would have it loaned to the cathedral for procession.
Owned by Rosario Lopez Javelona and Don Luis Ledesma. I love this house but it was hard to find a perfect angle since in its front gate is a bibingka stand ( edit: the bibingka is no longer there) and there are some flyers of a review center hanging on its terraces. This mansion is located across Jaro Plaza.
Located right across Jaro Plaza, beside the Ledesma Mansion. Its windows are opened during the annual Jaro fiesta.
The Locsin House faces the exit of the Jaro Cathedral and right next to the Vito-Lopez House. I don’t have any information about this house. I would appreciate it if someone can enlighten me..:-)
The house built for Maria Javellana-Lopez or Mariquit, wife of former vice-president Fernando Lopez Sr. This house also served as a bank during its time.
Here is my separate blog post for Casa Mariquit, ” Night Tour at Casa Mariquit“.
The Mansion that used to be “Tienda Antigua”
Located in Benedicto St. in Jaro beside Tibiao Bakery approaching Tabuc Suba Bridge. The antique store, “Tienda Antigua” is no longer housed inside but I still prefer to call it as the “Tienda Antigua” House.
Villa Lizares comes next to Nelly’s Garden when it comes to its grandeur and present state. Visually awe-inspiring but stories behind it are as haunting as the word “hunted” that its stories has flown all the way to Negros. Still, Villa Lizares is one proof of the wealth of Ilonggos. It is now within a school property and this mansion houses Angelicum School’s chapel. During Christmas season, this house is lit up turning it into a wonder house. Read the story here.
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