Aniano Adasa Ancestral House of Dapitan

Dapitan City in Zamboanga del Norte is a beautiful heritage town, one of a handful around the Philippines that has preserved many of its old structures. From the massive Spanish colonial era Catholic church to several of its ancestral houses. It was where Jose Rizal, considered a National Hero, was exiled with several of his works around the city as well as at the Rizal Shrine rebuilt and existing ones preserved. In the Dapitan Heritage Zone, one interesting and imposing heritage house is worth mentioning.

Aniano Adasa Ancestral House

A beautiful turn of the century wooden structure, the Adasa Ancestral House is one of the fascinating heritage houses in Dapitan and built by Don Aniano Cadavedo Adasa in 1900. An influential and prominent politician, he once served as the cabeza de barangay before the Philippine revolution against Spain. The ground floor is now the local tourism office.

The Aniano Adasa Ancestral House is a fine example of early American colonial period architecture. Like many Philippine heritage houses of the era, it still has elements of the traditional bahay-na-bato but without the stone walling of the first floor. The ground floor was originally used as a storage area. The family living spaces were at the second floor and reached through a staircase along Josephing Bracken Street. Tree trunks as main posts support the entire structure. A volada, an extended balcony, runs the length of the southwest and southeastern sides of the house. Curiously there’s a walkway above the second floor ceiling that gives access to the roof.

Aniano Adasa Ancestral House
The Aniano Adasa Ancestral House built in 1900 and is entirely made of wood.
Aniano Adasa Ancestral House
Wooden posts support the ‘volada’ as well as the halfway landing of the stairs leading up to the second floor
Aniano Adasa Ancestral House
The ground floor of the house is the office of the local tourism office
Aniano Adasa Ancestral House
Second floor landing. Note the ‘haligi’ made of tree trunks.
Dapitan Heritage House
The bare living room of the Aniano Adasa Ancestral House
Aniano Adasa Ancestral House
An interesting feature of the house is this walkway above the ceiling at the second floor that gives access to the roof opening.
Dapitan Heritage House
Corner view at the second floor. Note the stylized lyre shaped transom openings.
Detail of the wooden decorative elements at the ‘volada.’ Note the stylized lyre shaped transom openings that run around the structure.
Transom latticework that separates the rooms and the living room at the second floor.
Aniano Adasa Ancestral House
Lateral view of the Aniano Adasa Ancestral House