While you are preparing or studying abroad, there are people who are interested in the history of Cebu and want to know more about it!
The Philippines has been greatly influenced by Spain, the United States and China in the past. Cebu is the oldest city in the Philippines. It was the first colonial city built by the Spanish military in the Philippines and the number one city in the Philippines until it moved to Manila.
You already know that Cebu has beautiful beaches, resorts and a pleasant shopping mall, but did you know that there is also a museum where you can learn about the history of Cebu?
This time, I would like to introduce some of them to you. If you like history or antiques, don’t miss it!
Now a notorious downtown area, I visited 3 museums near “Colonnstreet” which once prospered as a commercial district of Cebu.
There is the “MUSEO Sugbo” which was once a prison, which has been converted into a museum, the “Casa Gorordo Museum” which is a luxurious mansion where the elegant life of 200 years ago is preserved, and the “Former House of Yap-Sandiego” which is one of the foremost old private houses in the Philippines, built 343 years ago.
Are you ready to go back in time to the old Cebu? Well, let’s go!
“museo” means museum in Spanish, and is the old name of Cebu Island “Sugbo”.
The building, which was built in 1871, is reminiscent of the Spanish rule period from its name and exterior.
It used to be a prison, but it was renovated and turned into a museum on August 5, 2008.
Admission is 30 pesos (Approx. ¥60) for Filipinos and 75 pesos (Approx. ¥155) for foreigners.
Go straight from the entrance to the courtyard. It is surrounded by a white one-story building in a square shape on the edge, reminiscent of a prison in the past.
Before entering the museum, the staff introduced me to the female university students in the picture. They are students currently enrolled in the tourism department of “Cebu Normal University” in Balanban City. During summer vacation, he was sent to this museum for work training (OJT).
That’s why they were my guides that day. I’m still in training, so I don’t have to pay for a guide fee, but since I was guided in English, I felt like I took a history class in English (laughs).
The first was before the country was named the Philippines, in the era of the “before Spanish rule”.
It displays important relics from the pre-Philippine tribal state, especially in Cebu, including vessels from graves and tools from a gold mine.
Moving on to the next pavilion “Spanish rule”, the exhibition starts with the landing of Spanish adventurer Magellan on Cebu Island on April 7, 1521, which upset the fate of the Philippines.
Later, the country was named “Philippine” after the then King of Spain, “Philip”.
Here are some of the most impressive exhibits. It is said that the general who colonized Cebu, Miguel Lopez, sent a letter in his own hand to King Philip of Spain in 1556, the sword of the Spanish army used at that time, the gun that was brought from Spain, and the dictionary of Visayan and Spanish, the local languages of Cebu which was published in 1878, are well preserved.
There was also an exhibition about the time when Spain left Spain, the time when America ruled the Philippines, and the time when Japan was involved in World War II. You can also see the things left by the Japanese army inside.
As for photographs, valuable relics from the war era are exhibited, including a city plan of Cebu Island drawn in 1913, a short sword used in the war era, old coins, and relics from the war era.
In another room, photos, signatures and achievements of successive Philippine presidents were on display. It is an important place where you can learn about the modern history of the Philippines.
a low and tall brick wall made of coral. I feel that time is at a standstill, being cut off from the changing world.
The number of relics on display at “MUSEO Sugbo” is relatively small, but the English explanation panel was solid and it was like getting into the world of history textbooks. If you want to know the history of Cebu Island and the Philippines, please visit.
•Open: 9 AM to 6 PM
•Admission: 30 pesos for Filipinos, 75 pesos for foreigners
•Time to complete: 40 minutes to 2 hours
•Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angmuseosugbo
CASA GORORDO MUSEUM
It means “casa” in Spanish. The building, which stands for House of Gorold, was built in the 1800s. This residence was purchased by “Juan Isidro De Gorordo” who was a Spanish merchant in 1863, and lived there for 4 generations.
The typical house in those days was a native house built with bamboo, so I can imagine how influential and rich the house was made of stone and wood.
Since then, a foundation was established in 1970 and it has been open to the public as a museum since 1983.
Various photographs and dioramas are on display on the first floor made of stone, and you can see the life of Cebu in the 19 century. The second floor of the wooden house offers a glimpse into the life of the Gorordo family.
This is the gate of the residence.
It’s about a 10 minute walk from “MUSEO Sugbo” but it’s not a safe area so I recommend you take a taxi.
Inside, I paid 120 pesos (Approx. ¥250) to enter the building. You can take pictures as long as you don’t use a flash.
In the corridor leading to the exhibition room, the history of this building and how Cebu developed at that time are explained in English.
This picture is also on the first floor and you can see the life of that time. You can see a unique culture that is a mixture of Spanish and American influences. Also, the faces of the citizens of Cebu, who participate in various events, felt more relaxed than now.
You can see the triangle that Spain built in the upper left, “Fort San Pedro”. This is a touch panel that shows Cebu City in 1870, 1920 and 1945.
Colon Street, where the poor of Cebu are now concentrated, prospered as the center of trade and commerce in the late 1800s.
Let’s visit the Gorordo family in the 19 century!
If you especially like antiques, this is your favorite space!
This is the stairs leading to the second floor. On the left is a very gorgeous mirrored cane stand.
When you go up to the second floor, this reception room will greet you first. Is your husband sociable? There are many chairs. The stripes on the floor and various shapes of the chairs are interesting.
This is a romantic room for newlyweds. The picture on the dresser shows the couple. There is a cute baby bed on the opposite side.
There was a space for tea like this in the corridor. There are many Chinese style furniture.
There’s a church in the house? It’s a prayer room. As the first Filipino bishop came from the Gorordo family, it is fully built.
What surprised me was that this was a maid’s room. There is a sewing machine in the room, so I’m sure it’s a good environment. The landlord must have been a nice person.
Next is the bathroom. It used to be outside the house, but the plumbing was built in the 1930s and installed inside the house.
This is the study. The bookshelves are packed with old books, showing the Gorordo family’s eagerness to learn.
This is the dining area.
At this table, which can seat about 10 people, perhaps celebrities of the time were invited to have luxurious dinners.
The tableware which is said to be gathered from China, Japan and Europe is very gorgeous and elegant. Also, there were many dishes lined up in the cupboard next to it, so it was fun to compare them.
And the kitchen where the meals were prepared. It has been renovated in a very modern way.
The upper left is an old, completely manual water purifier that uses principles learned in science class. The upper right is also a stove which made a fire with wood or charcoal, and the lower right is a sink which is quite similar to the modern one. The bottom left is a kikkoman soy sauce bottle which is interesting, so I tried it.
There are also many antique items in the house, such as a sewing machine, a gramophone, a typewriter, mahjong and card cards, so you can feel as if you have slipped back in time to the days of monochrome movies.
This is a spacious balcony on the second floor.
And from the balcony you can look down on this lovely garden.
I would like to introduce another building on the left.
There is a cafe like this on the first floor! It’s a good place to take a break during the museum tour. In addition, the bathroom was very clean, so I have nothing to complain about (lol).
Cacao nibs from Cebu, chocolates, guyabano extract, and other prepared in-seb snacks that are not found in regular supermarkets are sold in well-bottled form, so they may be a good souvenir.
Here is the menu.
We have coffee, tea, smoothies, soft drinks and cakes. And there is also a 10% discount daily from 4: 00 pm to 5 o’clock pm!
As I walked about, I immediately ordered an iced coffee and “Cassava Cake” a traditional Philippine sweet. The cake made from cassava, which is also the ingredient of tapioca, had a faint sweet potato taste and was chewy and delicious.
Once you charge your energy and go up to the second floor, you’ll find an authentic craft shop!
There are a variety of craft products labeled “CASA GORORDO” ranging from accessories such as key chains and coin purses to scarves, bags, accessories, containers and accessories.
Among them, the tableware that caught my attention was made of wood and shells. It felt natural and comfortable to use.
How was it? I feel that there are a lot of things because all the things that used to be scattered on the 1st and 2nd floor are now gathered on the 2nd floor for exhibition, but it was a good opportunity to see an elegant life in the 19 century just like a movie shooting scene.
•Opening hours: 9 AM – 12 o’clock, 2 PM – 5 o’clock
•Admission: 120 pesos
•Time to complete: 30 minutes to 1 hour
•Official website: https://www.casagorordomuseum.org/
•Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/casagorordomuseum/
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
It is a 2 minute walk from “CASA GORORDO” “Former House of Yap-Sandiego”.
The house, with its impressive Chinese-style lanterns, dates back to 1675.
It is said that it was built by a Chinese merchant couple “Yap” who planned to settle in Cebu Island at that time, and the eldest daughter married a Filipino named “Sandiego” and used the current family name. Believed to be the oldest home in the Philippines, the old mansion is now managed by the 10th generation Mr. “Yap-Sandiego” as a house museum.
Admission is 50 pesos (¥105).
When we went inside, a beautiful woman in a traditional Filipino costume gave us an overview of the house and some precautions.
There are faded wedding photos on the first floor and you can feel the old history.
Tables, chairs and tableware (Maybe the latest addition.) show that Chinese culture was deeply ingrained.
In the days when there were no cameras, they probably painted pictures of the family.
This is the toilet outside the house. The inside was completely modern with a toilet seat, but the exterior was decorated in Spanish style, which was interesting.
We will look around the rough first floor and go up to the second floor using wooden stairs.
On the second floor, we put these shoes on the shoes to preserve the floor. It’s very slippery and you have to be careful. The building was 343 years old, so I was a bit scared that it might collapse if so many people walked around like this every day (laughs).
This is the bedroom. The finely carved bed still looks luxurious and very nice.
Old tables, chairs and various tableware are placed in the dining room on the second floor.
And there’s a big oil painting on the wall of the living room. I hear this is old Colon Street. It’s a painting that conveys the flavor of the city that prospered as a planned city during the Spanish colonial period.
There are many other nostalgic things. It’s got an old-fashioned dial phone, a hand-crafted abacus, a still-sounding radio, a harp, and a piano.
The last picture is of the backyard. The couch with a cushion that says CEBU is probably the photo spot.
The development of Cebu Island is progressing everywhere, but I was also impressed by the fact that such historical buildings are protected by descendants. Why don’t you visit a different historical site from today’s Cebu?
•Open: 8 AM to 7 PM
•Admission: 50 pesos
•Time to complete: 15 – 30 minutes
•Closed: No closing days
•Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialYapSandiego