Monday, August 21, 2023

A Hundred Year Old House Made New

If you grew up in Silay like I did, you would remember the days of Lenten week processions and walking past the big houses, where the senior family members (and smaller kids) would be sitting in their balconaje watching their "carosas" pass by. One of these houses is that of Jose "Pitong" Ledesma, built in 1917 and now at more than a hundred years old.  

Lolo Pitong was my grandfather's first cousin and they were quite close, almost like brothers, until politics separated them in the early 60s. This estrangement resulted in the 4th generation (3rd cousins) not really knowing of each other's existence.  But being the oldest "apo" I knew, and I did meet some cousins who spent summer in Silay, even attending my 6th birthday party.  And then, nada.  Although I have always wondered why we were no longer in contact with the family in Mckinley St., it was of no consequence to me since I was just a child. My Lolo Angel's house in Plaridel St. was only one corner and a street away, and even though Lolo chose to break relations, my Dad was still in contact with some cousins. Of course, blood can be thicker than water, and many years later as adults, we did reconnect, realizing (not too late, thank God) that hey, we really came from one ascendant. 

But the house always intrigued me. I have very little memory of Lolo Pitong and Lola Anit and growing up, I don't remember it being open except during Holy Week processions. All their children have homes of their own, except for Tita K, so I guess that's why it looked closed up.  I was able to enter the house already as an adult and a doctor, to visit Tita K.  To my surprise, it was not a very big house compared to the other ancestral houses I have been to on this street, but I was always aware that it was a very important house. I can imagine how it was in the old days, visited by prominent and influential people from inside and outside the province, with so many big decisions being made.  It has been so quiet for so long that having it renovated and refurbished was like a sleeping "giant" being awakened.  If you want to see how it looks like today, visit  This house has had a colorful past and history.  It is now time for it to create new memories for the future generation.




Disclaimer: First photo retrieved from Wikipedia commons and the rest with permission from Nicholas Ledesma Jr.

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