Exploring Sorsogon – Monje Ancestral House


I spent considerable time in Talisay since my mom’s sister lives there. That side of Talisay, I am familiar with (the other side is the coastal area along Sorsogon Bay).

One of the interesting sight in the said barangay is the ancestral house of the Monjes. I call it “ancestral” because it’s simply old and it’s been there as far as I can remember; of course, someone can argue about its architecture (seems to be early 20th century) and building materials (capiz, wood).

I know 3 members of the Monje family – one is my classmate in elementary, Eugene, Monsignor Monje and Dr. Monje, who happened to be my auntie’s colleague back in the Sorsogon Provincial Hospital. But I can’t remember if I ever sep foot on their front lawn even.

It would be interesting to know the story of this house. Maybe the next time I go home, I will drop by – this is another one for my bucket list.

Lately, I became more interested on old houses. So when I passed by the old house, I took a couple of pictures.

Perhaps when I get old, I want to buy one and convert it into a library.

Another perspective of the Monje residence.

The house is located in Brgy. Talisay.

 

——————-

A feedback from a reader:Monje house is already part of brgy. Bitan-o. An boundary san Talisay is an creek after san house nina Ma’am Jimenez. After that, it’s already Bitan-o. Sa Highway near Capitol, an boundary an house ni Dr. Estrellado. After that, Bitan-o-Dalipay na. Sa Centro, an St. Peter and Paul Cathedral an boundary. The church is still part of Talisay, after that…Sirangan na. .”

Author’s note: The comment came from somebody who lived and grew up in the vicinity, thus, can be considered reliable.

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18 Responses to Exploring Sorsogon – Monje Ancestral House

  1. gideon300 says:

    I grew up in Bitan-o so we always passed by this house everytime we stroll at rompeolas. In 70’s katapat nito ay dating bulangan.

    I now frequently visiting your site hoping to read more stories about sorsogon. Please keep posting…. 🙂

    • sorsogoncity says:

      Wow! Cockpit in front of the Monje’s place? I didn’t know that. I am familiar with Talisay, at least around the area near the poso. But cockpit house, that’s new!

      Honestly, I am running out of stories since I am not staying in Sorsogon anymore. But I am visiting again sometime February. Please do share this with other Sorsoganon friends you have.

  2. judith says:

    Monje house is already part of brgy. Bitan-o. An boundary san Talisay is an creek after san house nina Ma’am Jimenez. After that, it’s already Bitan-o. Sa Highway near Capitol, an boundary an house ni Dr. Estrellado. After that, Bitan-o-Dalipay na. Sa Centro, an St. Peter and Paul Cathedral an boundary. The church is still part of Talisay, after that…Sirangan na. You may also feature the old house san mga Leocadio sa corner san Colegio. It’s an interesting subject…lalo na it has significance kun Holy Week.

    • sorsogoncity says:

      Judith,

      Thanks for the additional comment. I will update the article to reflect the additional information.

      I am actually fond of old houses. Though, I have no idea how to request time for an interview from the owners. I also know this old house at the back of the Fatima. Nonetheless, the old house of the Leocadio goes to my bucket list of old houses. The Monje is still incomplete, perhaps I will ask my auntie to link me up with the owners.

      And I thought the cathedral is part of Sirangan.

      Sorsogon City

  3. Ann says:

    Hi! I just came across your site. We’re doing a paper on Cultural Tourism, and I’d like to ask if you know any specific / unique culture that Sorsogon has? If there are any festivals they might have 😛 My mom was born is Sorsogon, but grew up in Manila so I couldn’t ask her, but I’d really appreciate it if you could give us some info! Thank you sooo much! ^^

    • sorsogoncity says:

      Hi Ann,

      Thank you for your interest on Sorsogon. Sadly, this is part of my bucket list. However, let me name a couple, at least for the province and Sorsogon City – Kasanggayahan and Pili Festival. I am not sure if the latter is provincial wide, but the former is definitely province wide. The former is held on October, while the latter is held on December. It’s been a while since the last time I attended the former, while the latter I haven’t a single event.

      The highlight for Kasanggayahan is the parade, wherein there’s pantomina sa tinamp, where the people dance on the road while being part of the parade itself. You can check on the net if Pantomina is native to Bikol, but I think it is. Each town has its rep and it’s actually a contest.

      I know there’s another native event in Gubat (there’s a link on this site, under related links). Other source is from Facebook, just look for “sorsogon” or “sorsogon city”.

      Out of curiosity, from what area/town did your mom come from?

      I hope you find the content you need. I will also check and see if I can find add’l stuff for you. There’s a link on this site if you want to PM me.

      Regards,
      Sorsogon City

    • sorsogoncity says:

      Hi Ann,

      Here’s a site that I found this morning. I hope that helps.

      Maray na aga sa imo.

      Sorsogon City

      • Ann says:

        Thank you so much for the information! It really helped a lot. I’ve seen a lot on the net, but I wasn’t sure when the festivals were, so thank you for that as well! I think my mom was from Bulan. (Although I’d have to check with her again, to be sure!) I only visited Sorsogon once in my childhood, so I really wanted to use this opportunity to return there and research about it 😀

        Ahh. My Bikol is quite rusty, almost non-existent, but I’m asking my mom to teach me and I’ve started picking it up again. And I did see the E-mail link! But it redirects to me having to set up the Mail thing on my laptop (which I have no idea how to do) I do have Hotmail account though.

        Thank you very much again for the information! We have to get it approved from the professor *cross fingers*

      • Ann says:

        Our topic on our paper has been approved! It’s the Pili Festival. I saw on a site that it’s this June, although I’m not sure about that. We’re going to go to Sorsogon this weekend! Thank you very much for your help! Godspeed 🙂

  4. sorsogoncity says:

    No problem. If you don’t mind, I would appreciate if you can share your paper with the site so that others can also read it (of course, with appropriate credit goes to your group). Enjoy your trip to Sorsogon.

    Sorsogon City.

  5. Pingback: Exploring Sorsogon – Mella Ancestral House | Sorsogon City

  6. eugene says:

    good day…you can ask my titas for more info regarding our ancestral house,as i know it was buil during japanese regime,

  7. eugene says:

    Sorsogon Update

    Tuesday, August 23, 2005
    THE OLD HOUSES OF SORSOGON CITY Part II
    As promised…here’s now the continuation of my articles regarding the Old Houses of Sorsogon City. You’ve enjoyed reading the story of the old house of the Gillego Family, how it survived the test of time. The three remaining old houses of Sorsogon City are……

    THE OLD HOUSE OF THE MONJE FAMILY
    Located at Barangay Bitan-o…this house was built in 1937 by Alejandro Monje and Marta Jesalva Monje. According to Tia Sasay Monje, the daughter of the mentioned couple, she was only two years old when their house was built. She and her other siblings grew together in the said house.

    Tia Sasay told me that during those days, Sorsogon is very different than how it looks today. In Bitan-o there are just but a few houses in the neighborhood. The road near their house up to the site of Colegio de la Milagrosa is not yet cemented but just a pathway of soil. But inspite of this very simple living, the people of Sorsogon are definitely happy and contented during those days.

    The worst nightmare of every Filipino came to reality when World War II exploded. Japanese troops invaded Sorsogon Province and controlled it. Sorsogueños leave their houses and evacuated in fear of the Japanese soldiers. The Monje’s felt the same way so their parents decided to flee at Castilla, Sorsogon and leave their house behind.

    Four years of Japanese occupation, and the Monje Family has nothing to do but to hide in the mountainous part of Castilla. According to Tia Sasay, her father receives a news that their house has been occupied by the Japanese soldiers as their quarter. Life during the Japanese war was so mesirabale…Tia Sasay said.

    Finally, war is over. It was year 1945 when the Philippines was liberated by the Americans from the claws of the Japanese occupation. Filipinos hiding for four years…came out and went back to their own place and houses. Indeed the aftermath of Japanses war are unforgettable. Some houses we’re burned and destroyed, bridges and roads are devastated….but the Monje family has something to cheer up…because their house stood still amidst the terror of war.

    The Family decided to go back to their house at Bitan-o. Four years of absesnce plus the occupation of the Japanese soldiers makes the house so messy. Tia Sasay told me that their Family don’t give up on that matter but rather started to rehabilitate the said ancestral house.

    Three years passes and the life of the Sorsoganons slowly came back to the normal situation. Another catasthrope came to test the strength of the Monje’s old house but by this time it’s a natural calamity. Sorsogon was hit by the strongest storm they can ever imagine that will gonna happened. Thypoon Trex devastated the Province in 1948. According to Tia Sasay that was the strongest thypoon she ever experienced during those times. What happen to the Monje’s house? When the storm was over the following day…to their amazed it still standing

    Five decades had passed away and here we are to the new melinium…but the old house of the Monje’s is still standing. As a proof, if you are here in Sorsogon City, try to pass by at Bitan-o and you can see this old house that I am telling you. Inspite of the changes of our society today

  8. eugene says:

    Sorsogon Update
    Tuesday, August 23, 2005
    THE OLD HOUSES OF SORSOGON CITY Part II
    As promised…here’s now the continuation of my articles regarding the Old Houses of Sorsogon City. You’ve enjoyed reading the story of the old house of the Gillego Family, how it survived the test of time. The three remaining old houses of Sorsogon City are……

    THE OLD HOUSE OF THE MONJE FAMILY
    Located at Barangay Bitan-o…this house was built in 1937 by Alejandro Monje and Marta Jesalva Monje. According to Tia Sasay Monje, the daughter of the mentioned couple, she was only two years old when their house was built. She and her other siblings grew together in the said house.

    Tia Sasay told me that during those days, Sorsogon is very different than how it looks today. In Bitan-o there are just but a few houses in the neighborhood. The road near their house up to the site of Colegio de la Milagrosa is not yet cemented but just a pathway of soil. But inspite of this very simple living, the people of Sorsogon are definitely happy and contented during those days.

    The worst nightmare of every Filipino came to reality when World War II exploded. Japanese troops invaded Sorsogon Province and controlled it. Sorsogueños leave their houses and evacuated in fear of the Japanese soldiers. The Monje’s felt the same way so their parents decided to flee at Castilla, Sorsogon and leave their house behind.

    Four years of Japanese occupation, and the Monje Family has nothing to do but to hide in the mountainous part of Castilla. According to Tia Sasay, her father receives a news that their house has been occupied by the Japanese soldiers as their quarter. Life during the Japanese war was so mesirabale…Tia Sasay said.

    Finally, war is over. It was year 1945 when the Philippines was liberated by the Americans from the claws of the Japanese occupation. Filipinos hiding for four years…came out and went back to their own place and houses. Indeed the aftermath of Japanses war are unforgettable. Some houses we’re burned and destroyed, bridges and roads are devastated….but the Monje family has something to cheer up…because their house stood still amidst the terror of war.

    The Family decided to go back to their house at Bitan-o. Four years of absesnce plus the occupation of the Japanese soldiers makes the house so messy. Tia Sasay told me that their Family don’t give up on that matter but rather started to rehabilitate the said ancestral house.

    Three years passes and the life of the Sorsoganons slowly came back to the normal situation. Another catasthrope came to test the strength of the Monje’s old house but by this time it’s a natural calamity. Sorsogon was hit by the strongest storm they can ever imagine that will gonna happened. Thypoon Trex devastated the Province in 1948. According to Tia Sasay that was the strongest thypoon she ever experienced during those times. What happen to the Monje’s house? When the storm was over the following day…to their amazed it still standing

    Five decades had passed away and here we are to the new melinium…but the old house of the Monje’s is still standing. As a proof, if you are here in Sorsogon City, try to pass by at Bitan-o and you can see this old house that I am telling you. Inspite of the changes of our society today
    The Old House of the Monje Family is the evidence of strength of Filipino craftsmanship that will be rermembered through out the times.

  9. Jun Geronga of Bulan says:

    Greetings! I wonder if you have materials to share with me regarding with the Escudero-Lapuz war? I’m so interested with what happen and now I’m doing a research for my Thesis.
    Taga-Bulan tabi ako. Sa B.U. nag-eskwela taking up BA. Salamatonononon!

    • sorsogoncity says:

      Hi Jun,

      You can visit the prov’l library for history books about Sorsogon. I have a book written/compiled by the late Mr. Jamoralin, which title i cannot remember; unfortunately, I am leaving the country today. However, try dropping by the prov’l museum, they might still be selling some copies.

      Hope that helps.

      Sorsogon City

  10. Ma. Theresa Monje says:

    Hello! Love to visit the house someday 🙂 My last name is Monje too from Iloilo. I’m quite eager to see the place and maybe to meet the family too and discover more stories of Monje ancestry. 🙂

  11. Hello! Nice place:) I love to visit the house someday. You know I’m a Monje too from Iloilo and I’m quite eager to see the place , meet the family and know more about Monje Ancestry. 🙂

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