What Does It Feel Like To Stay in a Heritage House?
Lory Joyce Andagan | January 21, 2020
Ever wondered how is it to live in a heritage house? Silay City in Negros Occidental has a variety of ancestral homes and museums perfect to bring you nostalgic flashbacks in these modern times, one of which is the German Unson Heritage House!
The great, great grandparents of Chell Lacson Jimenez originally owned the property. Their only daughter had three children and one of them was Chell’s grandmother, Fe Ledesma. The property, including the original house, was bequeathed to her. She then married German Unson. “The original house prior to this one does not look like this. When my grandparents got married, my Lolo German built this in 1938 which is why it is called the German Unson Heritage House,” says Chell.
As the generations passed, descendants of the family continued to occupy the house. In 2005, the last occupant, Chell’s aunt, passed away. Since then, the house started to deteriorate due to the lack of maintenance. “From time to time, we visit the house and we worried that time will come that this house will only be a memory to us. My sister, who is an interior designer, suggested that we fix the house in order to have relatives stay over and for it to be livable”. Her sister tried to keep it as close to what it looked like before for the purpose of the family also to reminisce the past.
The National Historical Commission has since inaugurated it as a heritage house, making it one of the most popular Silay City attractions. The local government suggested the family to make it into a Bed and Breakfast for the visitors who come to the city. “Tourists love seeing the museums and heritage houses in Silay so why not let them experience staying in one also? That’s when we decided to convert the house into one. We just added amenities for the guests to make them feel comfortable.” After renovating, the family opened the house on 11 June 2016, a date which coincides with their lola’s birthday.
The heritage house has four spacious rooms. One is the German – Fe room, which used to be the master’s bedroom. The other 3 rooms were named after the three children – Lourdes, Carmen - Cristina and Rene. Each room has a different touch inspired by its former occupants.