I am always fascinated with history (though complicated romantic history is way out of the equation HAHA!). Though I’m not totally geeking it out nor I have been making a career out of it, but there’s something about it – a special feeling of curiosity on how life was, few decades ago. So now, let me tell you a story about a 2017 heritage tour in one of Cebu City’s popular museum and heritage house – Casa Gorordo in Parian.
Remember my friend (Taina) who went with me in my Antique trip? It’s her birthday and so, laag time! This time, we decided to go to a museum. We love museums and she brought her smart and bubbly kid (Binoy) with us. These two are my buddies when doing heritage tour around the city. We already went to Museo Sugbo and Fort San Pedro (sorry, I haven’t provided write ups on it yet. hehe!). Anyway, we went there at 4pm, so it’s just perfect before the museum closes at 5PM.
Casa Gorordo Museum
Location: 35 Eduardo Aboitiz St, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines
Entrance fee as of 2017: 120 pesos (guided tour)
Museum Closes at 5PM.
We were actually surprised to know that the entrance fee to the Casa Gorordo Museum is 120 pesos (80 pesos for the kid). And that my friend leads us to the notion on why a lot of people have been queuing at this museum during the 2017 Gabii Sa Kabilin last May. (P.S., the ticket to Gabii sa Kabilin is only 150 pesos and that served as the entrance to all museums in the city including this one).
Upon paying, our kid was given an object hunt assignment. This one’s a pretty good idea to also entertain and educate children who are touring inside the casa.
While waiting for the tour guide, we were staying at this room:
This one looks like a children’s room.
They also have a spacious comfort room inside the waiting room.
Cebu City History in 3D
Is the 120 pesos worth it? Yes, it is! It’s a guided tour and everything you need to know about the ancestral house is properly discussed. I was so amazed with the 3D presentation of the old Cebu City. If only I was able to capture it in video (by the way, video recording, flash photography, and use of selfie sticks are not allowed inside the museum; however, you can take photos as long as there’s no flash).
Let me tell some of the topics discussed during the guided tour.
Division of Classes
Did you know that there’s a big river dividing the classes in the city way back then? According to the tour guide, the indios (commoner; pure Cebuanos) are living on the coastal area while the Chinese family are living in the river area (that’s now the estero in Gaisano Main, UV area). Casa Gorordo, which was built by Alejandro Reyes and later purchased by Juan Isidro Gorordo, lies on the rich class of old Cebu – Parian.
There are portraits of prominent Cebuano that have been displayed at the first level of the Casa. These include Vicente Sotto and Sergio Osmeña.
San Juan Bautista Parish Church
Did you know that there was a church built in Parian? Yes, the location of which the current Parian Fire Station & Barangay Hall lies is the exact location of San Juan Bautista Parish Church. I recently Googled it and I found that My Cebu PH has a write up about it. Read it at http://mycebu.ph/article/parian-church/.
The Transformation Of Casa Gorordo
The second part of the guided tour was a short film regarding the evolution of Casa Gorordo. Also discussed was the evolution of architecture from the early decades including the creation of Balay na Tisa like the Casa.
My eyes were really glued on the short film. It was properly presented. So I say, yes, 120 pesos is worth it since it’s a guided tour and the management did invest to get a proper visualization of the Cebu City’s rich history.
Tour Inside The Casa
As far as I remember, there are 6 rooms in the casa. There’s the master bedroom (that used to be the room of Archbishop Gorordo), a couple’s room, the kitchen, a spacious comfort room (that had undergone reconstruction), and more. There’s also the living room and then the dining table. In the early days, (especially for the prominent families), there’s a separate table for the children.
I am really not that good in describing the antiquity of the place, so how about see these photos instead?
Remember the object hunt that was given to Binoy before the start of the tour? It’s actually a sheet that contains stickers of the objects that are found on the prominent sections of the house. If you have children with you, please feel free to assist them as it is a great bonding moment too. It’s educational for the both of you. I did enjoy assisting Binoy in the hunt.
P.S. Please advise children to behave and be mindful of the fragile objects inside the casa.
Casa Gorordo Museum Shop & Cafe
The casa also has a souvenir shop and cafe. The shop sells memorabilia and some native products like woven bags and wallets.
We’ve bought a cute pencil with a sombrero (80 pesos), a keychain of the casa (90 pesos) and Cebu jeepney pin (60 pesos)!
Are you a fan of buying souvenir items from the places you have visited?
Parian Monument & Yap-San Diego Ancestral House
… before we went to Casa Gorordo Museum, we had a short stopover at the Parian Monument and passed through the Yap-San Diego Ancestral House, which are in proximity with each other. If you have the time, I really suggest you to visit these heritage sites too. These are walking distance to each other. If you have more time, you may also visit Fort San Pedro and Plaza Independencia. Please do read this page if you want to make the most out of your Cebu City tour.
Please see this vlog if you are too tired of reading haha! –>
… and remember:
splash that smile every mile!