Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cloribel House: A grand ancestral home

The Cloribel House is located in Barangay Lourdes in Panglao Island, Bohol.  It was built in 1926 by Gaudencio Cloribel, touted to be the first lawyer in Bohol and in the entire Visayas.  To date, this ancestral home is still being used as vacation residence by some of Cloribel’s descendants who now live mostly in Manila.

Other than the usual concrete reinforcements on the ground floor’s foundation, this bahay-na-bato has not undergone any major renovations. 

The well-crafted wooden scrollwork, panelling, and hardwood floors came from two or three large trees cut down to build the house.  They truly enhance the sepia-toned photographs, mementoes, and portraits that hang on the walls.

As in most Spanish-style houses in the archipelago, the main living room is situated on the second floor. Large windows surround the upper floor.  

The window sashes still feature the original sliding panes of capiz and wood, easily shut tight during rainstorms. Vents above the windows, protected by the roof eaves, let air in even when it's rainy. 

Small shuttered windows below the large windows, called ventanillas, are screened with grillwork.  These can be left open when the large windows are closed.

Powered by rolls of punched-out paper, this “programmable” piano is a real collector’s item from the turn of the last century. It is one of the many furnishings in the house that gave the Cloribels much pride and joy

The family patriarch, Gaudencio Cloribel, eventually became a respected judge and friend to some notable historical figures such as the former president Carlos P. Garcia.  The chess table on which they used to play remains in the living area, but now used as coffee table, because a few pieces from the chess set are missing.

The majority of the furnishings in the house are original pieces acquired from the 1920s, but since they have been taken care of so well they don’t look so old and worn-out at all.

Not everyone in Bohol's tourism industry has access to this historical ancestral home.  Visits are arranged through the Cloribel family or through resorts like Amorita, because the Cloribels still use it as summer/vacation residence.


Suggested read:

* * *

Please note:
I very much appreciate my articles and photos appearing on fellow bloggers' sites, popular broadsheets, and local broadcast news segments, but I would appreciate even more a request for permission first.
Thank you!



  1. it's wonderful that this ancestral home is in good shape. the striped wooden floor is beautiful! lots of family memories here, i'm sure. i visited my great-grandfather's ancestral home in Silay City last year. you can check it
    here if you have time.

  2. it's nice that they've taken good care of the house and its furnishings. i love how it's not dark and creepy despite being such an old house. lucky for you that you were able to visit and take pictures :)