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The Heritage House from Bais: A Fascinating Tale of Preservation and Restoration

Have you ever seen a house being transported from one place to another? It's an interesting sight, to say the least. But what if we told you that there was a historical property that made its way all the way from Bais City to Dumaguete? That's right - this ancestral home underwent quite a journey to get here, but it was all worth it in the end.

A number of culture and heritage advocates aimed to salvage this house from total ruin after it was home to Senor Marcelo Rotea in the 1930s until after the Japanese occupation. Although it took a lot of time, careful planning, and hard work, this ancestral home finally made its way to Dumaguete.

It is not often that a centuries-old ancestral home is saved from ruin. When it does happen, it is an amazing story of preservation and restoration. Such is the case with the Ancestral Home from Bais, which was transported piece by piece from its original location in Bais to Dumaguete. This house has a fascinating history, and it was through the hard work and dedication of business developer Andre that it was saved from total destruction.

Andre is a business and property developer. It was his notion to move the home brick by brick from Bais to Dumaguete, re-erect the structure, and restore it. The most distinctive feature was an antique hardwood that couldn't even be identified by a local woodworker. Familia Rotea, who still owned the family home at the time, was contacted and informed of the plans. The two parties had reached an agreement, and work began.

Sensitivity to heritage and culture preservation was always in play while restoration and transformation were being plotted. It will be a place where its daring history, along with all that it has to offer, will be a talking point for everyone who visits The Heritage House regardless of whether it is going to be a heritage site for local and international tourists, a museum, or a milestone event location, or anything else.

But first and foremost, get the house transported. The complexity of all activities where there's a lot of fine print is logistics. The home had to be dismantled one brick and board at a time. If only to assure that all parts are in the correct locations when rebuilt in Ausejo, its new home, markings on all wood from the steps, walls, windows, balusters, doors, and floors had to be done meticulously, just as pieces of a puzzle.

History of The Heritage House

With no records kept, the date the house was built is unknown. However, we know that Senor Marcelo Rotea purchased the Heritage house from a Chinese man in 1929. Therefore, it's estimated that the Heritage House is around 100 years old.


Before the war, this house had been a lumber yard. When the fighting began and the Japanese came, Senor Marcelo's four sisters were taken captive by them and turned into their garrison. Tragically, three of those sisters were never heard from again; however, one sister miraculously escaped unharmed back to Senor Marcelo.

After the Japanese were defeated in World War II, Senor Marcelo and his sister moved back to their family's ancestral home and started over.

Senor Marcelo had two sons who resided in the Heritage House while they were growing up. The original Old House contained three bedrooms on its second story. Its bathroom was reminiscent of most old houses during that era, located outside of the main dwelling. Additionally, there was a kitchen built next to the house itself.

The Urban Legend

After all the years of being a mystery, the legend of the gold underneath the Ancestral Home from Bais has been revealed. And while some people were believers and others were non-believers, it was an event that everyone watched with anticipation to see what would happen.

The tale of the secret gold in Bais' Ancestral Home was little more than fiction. However, even if there was no buried fortune beneath the home, saving this historical property is more important than anything money could buy and it should be kept for future generations.

Welcome to the Heritage House, which has been transformed into a cultural restaurant and one of Dumaguete City's most popular tourist destinations.

On December 16, 2021, everyone was invited to the Heritage House for the re-opening of Buglas Isla Café, which offered indoor and outdoor dining.

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