What Does a Family Ancestral Home Represent?

6:09 AM

I have always had a preconceived idea of what an ancestral home should look like. Of course, it should be old-style preferably in the era of my childhood. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to think of our present home in such context.



These photos show a typical home of a bygone era and the quiet street in Manila where it was located. The old house of my husband's family was actually located behind this house. It has long been replaced by a residential building, just like the many other old houses that used to stand proud and lined the streets of Manila. 



Indulge me this moment as I try to explain what I think a family ancestral home represents:

The Roots of a Family

A family ancestral home can represent the roots of the family. This is the place where it all began and where relationships have been formed and nurtured. The location wherein the house is located is where the family comes from.

The Continuity of a Family

Ancestral homes are supposed to be houses that have been kept by families for many generations. In effect, it can represent family continuity especially if kept well-maintained and livable. There is something so broken about deserted and dilapidated family homes, almost as if reflecting the current state of family relations. I may have watched too many telenovelas for my own good so you have to forgive my dramatics sometimes. It's just that I can't help feeling that way.

The Bond that Holds the Family Together

An ancestral home can be the bond that holds family together. It can be that magnet which will keep on attracting the return of its former occupants who may already be based in other places. This is especially true if a parent still lives in it. In the absence of any living reason to come back, then good memories will serve the purpose.

My Say

As I was writing this, I realized that an ancestral home need not conform to any particular appearance or style. It is actually the essence of the house that matters more. 

That said, as we live our lives, we might find ourselves traveling far from our place of origin but there will always be something that will call us back. For many, the ancestral home and what it represents will be it.

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