The Philippines, a country made up of 7, 107 islands, rich with history and culture. This was my destination for the past week and where better to visit than the old capital, Cebu and where this nation’s history began, Bohol. My next few entries will give you an insight into the six days I spent here trying to first understand the nation’s history before appreciating its’ culture and the nature bestowed on this beautiful country.
My first stop in this city was to understand the nation’s history and what better way than to visit the Cebu Provincial Museum also known as Museo Sugbo. This museum was built upon the grounds of the old prison, infamous for having dancing inmates which went viral on youtube.
The visit here gives you a crash course towards understanding the rich history of the Philippines. From the arrival of the Spanish Gallileon whereby Magellan had came to ‘discover’ Philippines, to how Legaspi discovered Santo Nino right down to the cultures of pre-Spanish colonisation and their ironic independence (cause they were sold to the Americans), to the Japanese Occupation as well as to modern history of their politicians and the man whom all Filipinos celebrate, Jose Rizal. This should definitely be the first stop for anyone visiting Cebu.
From there, I visited the Casa Gorordo Museum, home to Philippines first Bishop, Bishop Juan Gorordo. One would discover the magnificent architecture of the home built upon egg whites amongst many other items as well as relics used in the home and the cultural past of what used to happened in the home. You’d also find a room dedicated for prayers and be amazed at the many statues of Jesus Christ and Santo Nino.
You’d also want to visit Fort San Pedro, the first fort built in Cebu on the arrival of the Spaniards to protect their camp. There you’d see more relics, including an old Spanish flag, weapons and a vest belonging to one Hipolito Labra, a Katipunero during the anti-Spanish revolution in Cebu believed to be able to make one wearing it, invincible.
One should also not miss visiting Basilia de Santo Nino, the first Cathedral in all of Philippines and appreciate the untouched Spanish architecture as well as coming up close with THE Santo Nino. Here, you’d also be able to find the spot where Magellan had planted the cross.
In my visit there, I was lucky enough to have been able to observe how celebrated Santo Nino was – you’d see replicas of Santo Nino in every street and corner. I also attended my first Church mass albeit halfway and observed how Roman Catholics break bread.
Not far from Basilia de Santo Nino is THE FIRST street in Philippines, Colon Street. I don’t think it has anything to do with biology but along this street, you’d find facts about the place and its’ history. Take a stroll and enjoy reading each signboard placed to give you more information about what that street used to be all about.
Visiting Cebu and its’ museums wouldn’t be complete until you visit the San Carlos University Museum because there are some information only available here which can’t be found in Museo Sugbo. I’ll keep the information to myself cause it’s a very interesting piece of information which could send some shivers down your spine!
With that, you’d have completed your history crash course class of Cebu, no exams required, only appreciation and here’s what you can look out for in upcoming entries!