Feature Article

This Ancestral House That Turned Into A New Cafe in Iloilo Is Genius

Prepare for a nostalgia wave!

By: Mira Maestrecampo | February 16, 2022
Share this article
Facebook facebook
Twitter twitter

balay sueño, cafe, iloilo, ancestral house, cookie shop, cafe shop

A vintage place with tasty cookies and delicious coffee is Balay Sueño, Iloilo.

Images: Grapes Sevillo (L); Sunday Bake Night (R) Facebook pages

The well-loved province of Iloilo is home to a long list of heritage spots and ancestral houses leftover by wealthy ancestors back in the 19th century. These ancestral houses are also known to have existed since the booming sugar industry in the Philippines. Who would have thought that at present, these ancestral houses would house churches, families and even turn to modern cafes? Luckily for Ilonggos, Iloilo has this newly built and restored cafe and cookie shop to celebrate Iloilo’s rich heritage and history while having your favorite pastry treat. Balay Sueño will surely let you experience both vintage and modern vibes in one setting that is worth trying.

Balay Sueño: Iloilo Ancestral House Turned Into A New Cafe, balay sueño

Balay Sueño’s vast space lets you take Instagrammable, vintage photos.

Image: Grapes Sevillo

Nestled in the humble corner of Iloilo City is Balay Sueño, a 1940s heritage and ancestral house turned into a cafe that has j recently opened. Located along corner Benedicto-Washington St., Jaro, Iloilo, this cafe and cookie shop, once a two-story ancestral house, now brings a new and fresh look, bringing unique nostalgia to everyone who wants to dine chill. Almost every local and tourist in Iloilo love it.

In Balay Sueño, guests can dine in any wide spot—at the living room or sala, by the patio, the back terrace, and can also be the perfect location for special events and functions.

The story of Balay Sueño

Balay Sueño: Iloilo Ancestral House Turned Into A New Cafe, cafe

Need a spot to relax or read a book? Occupy space in Balay Sueño and sip your favorite coffee with you.

Image: Grapes Sevillo

The ancestral house itself was built by Don Modesto Ledesma, a haciendero who served as a mayor of Jaro, Iloilo, from 1920 to 1931. The ancestral home served as an iconic landmark in the area, near the plaza and the municipal hall. The ancestral house used to be called the “Balay ni Papa Kú, which was the term of endearment of Don Modesto’s family to him.

Until the year 1990, after the death of Don Modesto’s daughter, the ancestral house remained untouched and unoccupied, not until former Iloilo City Mayor Jose Espinosa III bought and owned the property in the year 2018.

Now with new owners, the Espinosa family renamed the ancestral house to Balay Sueño and preserved the memory to be once the dream home of Papa Kú. Sueño is the Spanish word for a dream that perfectly fits the story behind the ancestral house, now turned into a beautiful cafe and cookie shop.

The Espinosa family loved history and artifacts that inspired them to recreate the glory of Papa Kú’s ancestral abode, preserving the ancestral house’s stunning and unique interiors, its ventanillas, wooden floors, ancestral design, and classically vintage colors of white and gray. The humble family started to restore the house in 2019. Now, at present, Regine Espinosa, a designer of fine jewelry by profession and a baker by heart, turned a portion of the ancestral house’s first floor into a cafe shop and cookie shop, selling her tasty cookies and pastries. Regine thought about other countries turning ancestral houses into cafes, hotels, or food and beverage spots and thought of doing it in Iloilo.

Balay Sueño, a name that drew inspiration for dreamers like Regine, became a venue for people like her, who also love to dream. She said she wants to inspire and build a community of creative people, celebrate the history, and have a venue for artisans. For her restoring the ancestral house is a way to keep its memories alive and to share a slice of Iloilo’s heritage for the modern and future generations to come.

Newsletter Banner
About Mira Maestrecampo
Mira - with a long surname - is a girl who dreams of becoming a news anchor someday, in God's perfect time. She loves to read books and eat different kinds of cheesy or saucy food. A coffee addict and a dog lover, she loves long hugs, hot coffee on an afternoon break with friends, or simply sleeping all day with her stuffed unicorns.
Learn more stories on:
Location Tags:
Disclaimer: All articles in the Consumers Magazine of Yoorekka are for general information and entertainment purposes only. Although careful research has been made in writing them, Yoorekka does not make any warranty about the completeness and accuracy of all information presented in our articles. Our content is not intended to be used in place of legal, medical, or any professional advice.
Follow Us On:
About Us
Privacy Policy
Register My Store
HTML Sitemap
Submit My Favorites
XML Sitemap
Terms and Conditions
FAQ Page
Copyright 2013 - 2024 ShoppersGuide Marketing Inc. All Rights Reserved
This website uses cookies to enhance the user experience. For more information please see our privacy policy