CAMIÑA BALAY NGA BATO | ILOILO CITY ATTRACTION
About Camiña Balay ng Bato
The beautiful city of Iloilo is filled with a lot of history from the old churches and ancestral homes. One of these ancestral houses in Iloilo City is the house of Camiña also known as the Balay nga Bato or Stone House. If you are touring in Iloilo, make sure to add this place to your itinerary. The house will tell its story and you get to enjoy it with a cup of hot chocolate and snacks.
Quick Facts about Camiña Balay ng Bato
- The Camiña Balay nga Bato was built in 1860.
- It was strategically located beside the Iloilo River to have easy transportation of the family’s business of making hand-woven textile products during that time.
- The house was made to look like the Bahay Kubo. It is made of board walls, and its roof is made of bamboo and nipa. Twenty-four trunk pillars were used as the foundation of the house, which was considered as a status symbol during the time it was built.
- It is called Balay nga Bato because the walls were built using the river sand and limestone that helped in reinforcing the house.
- The first owners were Fernando Avanceña and his wife Eulalia Abaja.
- The Camiña Balay nga Bato is currently owned by the fourth generation of the Avanceña Family, Director Gerard Camiña and his wife Mrs. Luth Saludes Camiña.
The Camiña Balay nga Bato is always open from 8 am to 6 pm every day except during private events or family-related affairs, so make sure to check ahead with them before visiting. You can contact them in these numbers: 09478911467 and 09173055355
- Php150 per person
This includes the tour of the main house, heritage curio shop, and tsokolate with local bread and biscuits.
- Php200 per person, with a minimum of 5 people.
Same as the Php 150 tour with an additional Pancit Molo.
- Php500 per person, with a minimum of 10 people.
A buffet is included in the tour where you can enjoy the local cuisine. Reservation should be made at least two days before. If you are a walk-in and there are less than 10 people in your group, you can be accommodated if there has been a scheduled buffet during your visit. You just need to coordinate with the staff properly to get access to the buffet.
The Main House of Camiña Balay nga Bato
You can find the Almacen (Spanish for the word store) or most commonly known as Lola Rufina’s Heritage Curio Shop. There are a lot of items to discover and you can buy some of it to remind you of your visit to the Camiña.
The grand staircase of Camiña Balay nga Bato was designed to protect the house from thieves during the time it was made. It is very steep to climb but the majesty of it is stunning. On the top of the stairs, you will be awed by the two hardwood doors that were Japanese-inspired.
The family prayer area where old images and statues of saints are displayed.
This is the living room where you can find a mix of architectural structures. The windows were of Spanish influence. The ceiling is of Dutch origin with a bit of Japanese influence in it. And the other interior is mostly of French and English influence.
Dining Area and Kitchen of Camiña Balay nga Bato
Filled with tables and chairs, this is the place where you can enjoy a treat of tsokolate, local pastry, Pancit Molo or even a buffet depending on your reservation.
Lola Rufina’s heritage Curio Shop
The shop was named after the current owners’ Grandmother Rufina, who comes from the second generation of the family. Located on the ground floor, this store sells various handmade items from antiques to some modern goods. There are a lot of handcrafted items that you can truly admire. They also sell food in the store and baterol sets with tablea rolls in different sizes (small, medium, large and extra-large) for making the tsokolate. Taking home this chocolate goodness is something that you must not miss out on.
Tsokolatewith local bread and biscuits
Served after the tour of the main house and curio shop. The tsokolate or hot chocolate is something to look forward to since it is made from tablea or pure chocolate tablet. Paired with the local biscuits of Iloilo, this is a snack that you will fall in love with.
This is a dumpling soup that you will thoroughly relish. There are different contents for each dumpling which are pork, chicken, and shrimp. The broth for the soup is light and really delicious.
The buffet includes a number of appetizer, main course, and fruits selection. For the soup, they serve Pancit Molo. And they also serve tsokolate for the dessert. The beverage for the meal is Calamansi with cucumber. Just make sure you book ahead if you want to experience their buffet.
If you want to have the full Camiña Balay nga Bato experience, you must try out their food. Spending a few hours in this ancestral house eating will make you feel that you are living in the past. Camiña is a part of a great history that happened more than 150 years ago, do not miss an opportunity to visit it.
How to get to Camiña Balay nga Bato
The Camiña can be easily spotted in Osmeña Street, Villa de Arevalo, Iloilo City. Just ask your hired vehicle to drop you off at Panaderia de Iloilo since the Camiña is just next to it.
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