San Esteban Stone, also called Piedra Pinoy (Malinnag and Raras,2006) or Piedra China in reference to similar cobble stones used as ship ballast on galleons traveling from China to Philippines centuries ago (source). But to us natives, we simply call them “bato” or stone.
These stones has been used a few hundred years ago in construction of streets, houses and churches. The street in the UNESCO World Heritage Village and patio of St. Paul Cathedral in Vigan is paved with piedra china baldosa (tile). (read more)
Another UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Nuestra Señora de la Asuncion Church in Santa MAria, Ilocos Sur is perched up on a hill overlooking the town. The church was also used as a fortress during the revolution. The stairs leading to the church is also paved of piedra china. San Esteban was once a vista of Santa Maria, the stone carvers in San Esteban are probably the descendants of the those who worked on the construction of the church. (read more)
The stones can also be found in ancestral houses. An example of this would be Sitio Remedios in Ilocos Norte, where they re-create vintage Ilocano style houses and structures. (link)
These stone tiles and crafts last more than just a lifetime. Even you can leave a heritage that your descendants will enjoy and cherish.