When it comes to colonial or ancestral houses in the Philippines, the Luzon areas first comes to mind, particularly Vigan in Ilocos Sur then there’s also the Taal Town down south of Luzon. So I was pleasantly surprised to know there are few ancestral houses that can be found around the main town of Glan municipality in Mindanao. The group decided to do a mid-day visit to Glan from Gumasa White Beach and have our lunch there as well. Coco Beach was kind enough to drive us up to Glan with their pick-up truck.
I later learned from reading that Glan was the first Christian settlement from Visayas and Luzon migrants back in 1914. Along with them, they brought in the Spanish influence which also explains the rows of colonial houses in the area. We visited a few of them and a couple of even invited us into their house.
On the first house, the Adarna House, we were particularly impressed with the designs and patterns cut on the walls at the upper hall leading to the entrance. Even the upper wall patterns leading to the ceiling seems to have been inspired by the T’boli’s T’nalak patterns.
On the second house, Mrs Carino, gladly invited us inside to check out how many of the house old furnishings and antique collections were still there. The house definitely smells nostalgia as every bit of furniture and displays elicits the familiar images from way back. Like the round table revolver, I remember I used to play around when I was kid, or the old tv and electric fans by the wall.
Mrs Carino hopes to develop her place into a bed and breakfast or simply a place people could visit to when in Glan. Right now, I’m glad to know she plans to keep her house as is but I’m not sure about the other houses in the area. The place is not yet declared a heritage site which resulted to the deteriorating condition of the other houses.
Then again, some of these houses have really strong memories attached to them that the owners either still want to hold to or let go. What if heritage advocates wants to preserve a house yet the owner doesn’t for some reasons? I just hope they develop this place more as one Sarangani’s main attraction.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.