Lechon, Sinulog, Whalesharks, Magellan’s Cross. These are some of the most famous things that can only be tasted, experienced, and seen in Cebu. But who said Cebu is only about all of these? Have you ever considered the many historical museums that will help you get to know more of Cebu?
I have lived in Cebu for my whole entire life. I see tourists come and go, appreciating the beauty of my city, and spreading the good vibes to the rest of the world. However, I have tried asking myself. Do I really have enough knowledge about the island I grew up? Do I really know Cebu? In my 18 years of living here, is my knowledge about Cebu enough proof to call myself a certified Cebuana? Yes I have tasted the Cebu lechon a lot of times already, I have experienced Sinulog almost every year, I’ve been to famous tourist spots. But if talking about the history of Cebu, I only know a few. So to enhance my knowledge about the history of Cebu, I went on an adventure with 3 of my best college friends. MUSEUM HOPPING!
First stop is the very famous Museo Sugbo. From USC, we walked to Elizabeth Mall and rode a jeep that will take us to the place, specifically 01k. Museo Sugbo is located in M.J Cuenco Ave in the city of Cebu. It is awarded as the Best Museum of the city. When we got there, we immediately took pictures and paid the entrance fee of 10 pesos (one of the benefits you can get when you bring your school ID *wink*). In the museum, we saw different kinds of historical pieces, inside and outside the glass cabinet. We saw some of Dr. Jose Rizal’s work, some receipts from schools making business to other companies, a glass container full of old Philippine money, some guns and riffles used in the war, portraits of the past presidents of the country, some architectural plates and drawings telling the history of the museum, explanations of the war and some historical events, and what captured my attention the most was the Media Gallery. Inside we saw different kinds of cameras, journal printers and computers, and even a little room that has radio stuff inside! One of the activites that Museo Sugbo offers is painting in the Arts&Crafts center. In there we saw a lot of paintings from tourists and even local Cebuanos who came to visit the museum. We finished the tour with taking pictures and discussing about how amazed we were with the museum.
Second stop is the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House. It is located in 155 Lopez Jaena corner Mabini Street in Pari-an, Cebu City. It is said to be the oldest existing house in the city and it is known as the first house built by the Chinese people in the late 17th century. And it is indeed true. When we got to the place, we saw how old it was by just referring to the view outside. It was not like any other modern houses we see nowadays. We paid the entrance fee of 30 pesos and started to look inside. On the first floor, there you can see the dining room, the kitchen, and a room full of figurines/statues of saints. I also took a picture of a very big statue of Mama Mary holding baby Jesus in the dining area. In the backyard or somewhere outside the house, there is a small garden with a wishing well and a table that has a sungka. Moving into the second floor, the first thing that you would notice is a family picture hanging on the wall. There are a lot of those that are all over the room. You can again see a dining area, a bedroom, and a somewhat like room full of antique materials. When we got outside, we saw this old lady who asked us to take a picture of the signage together with her. Immediatey we gathered around and followed her request. She explained a little bit of history of the house and after we were contented, we left the ancestral house.
Third stop is the Rizal Memorial Library and Museum. It is located in Osmeña Blvd and just near the Cebu Provincial Capitol in Cebu City. From USC, we rode a jeep that will pass by the museum (any jeep that goes to Capitol). There was no entrance fee for the place was open to the public. When we got inside, one of the students, Kuya Kenneth, who also happens to have his OJT in the museum, told us that there is not much for us to see for they have cleared the place for an upcoming art exhibit. There were still paintings hanging around the wall and some on the standees and those were enough for us to take pictures with. There was this one amazing painting by a Filipino who tells a story about the war in Tres, Katipunan way way back in time. The painting was really amazing and it looks like a photographed picture. One of the things that I noticed inside the art museum was that a lot of the artists have the same outputs. Farming, the life on the mountains, and different crops and plants. All the paintings in the art museum brings flashbacks to the days when there were still no technology and what people were fond of was living a simple life.
The last and my favorite stop is the Fort San Pedro. It is located in Plaza Independencia. Fort San Pedro was said to be the oldest and smallest fortress built by the Spaniards under the command of Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. We got there by around 5 in the afternoon so they already lit up the place — turned on the christmas lights — which made it more breathtaking. Entrance fee for students is 20 pesos. As what I have noticed, Fort San Pedro is a triangular-shaped landmark. There were flowers everywhere which you can be familiar with only by telling its structure and scent regardless of the signage they provided. There were also pictures of the old Fort San Pedro which was made of wood before it is what it looks like in the present. There were some explanations to why they built Fort San Pedro and why they had it in a triangular shape. They also provided a room where you can see and read about the history of Cebu. Almost everything was about the fortress and the Spaniards. We took a lot of pictures inside and allowed ourselves to learn and discover more about the city.
So that was it! That ends my Museum Hopping adventure. I learned lot, discovered a lot, and knew a lot of things. On the rate of 0-100 percent, I rate myself 60% as a certified Cebuana. I only visited 4 of the many museums in Cebu and I still have a lot of time to visit the rest one by one. For now, I feel satisfied with my adventure and I hope you guys learned something too. Don’t be afraid to discover Cebu. Go and have some fun while you learn something about the city you grew up in. I promise you will never feel tired nor bored but it will let you feel satisfied and at the same time, you’ll enjoy.
Discover Cebu and to all the things it has to offer. Life is too short to stay at home and do nothing. Be adventurous and give your life a meaning because in the end, everything’s gonna be worth it. See you in my next adventure!