I have heard so much about this historical house, located in the Parian district in Cebu, the oldest city in the Philippines, so this time, with the help of my brother, I was finally able to visit this “balay nga tisa” (“Balay” stands for house, while “tisa” means bricks). My impression was that of awe as I listened to the guide while she was explaining about the history and at the same time the customs and traditions during the 1850’s and 1860’s in Cebu. I found it really amusing to hear about how a Courtship could be during that period. “A boy who likes a girl would express his feelings to the girl with a “Harana” – singing a love song. If the girl likes him, she would drop a handkerchief from the window, which means, he can come up the house to talk to her. But not alone! Her mother would sit between them, thus, listening and observing everything between her daughter and her suitor. It is almost impossible for me to understand why the private/personal life of a woman could be controlled by her parents, as a child, as an adult and even after marriage! Women nowadays have more freedom to choose and to become what they want to be.
View of “Balay nga tisa” from the souvenir shop
The following are some images of the historical house:
A view of the piano and the dining room
Can this climbing plant be more than 200 years old?
A wood stove
“Silong” lower part of the house
A very beautiful historical house in the oldest city of the Philippines. “Balay nga tisa”. For me, this experience really made me realize how lucky I am to be able to have an insight of the life of the “Filipina” – a girl from the Philippines, in the past. Life is a never ending story. It ends only when it ceases to be.
“Tartanilla” – a two wheeled horse-drawn carriage, one of the means of transportation in the olden times and still in use in some areas in the Philippines.
Wishing everyone a beautiful day!