Cebu is the oldest city in the Philippines and is know for its rich culture and heritage. Aside from the many attractions such as beautiful islands, white sand beaches, luxury resorts, it is also visited for its historical spots. It is considered the Queen City of the South and center for commerce in the Visayas .
The best time to visit Cebu heritage sites is during the Gabii sa Kabilin, an event that showcases Cebu’s rich culture through museums and historical buildings. Check out a few of the sites you can visit and how the spots look like during the night.
Yap-San Diego Ancestral House
This is one of the oldest houses in Cebu which was built in the late 1600’s. It was built by a family of Chinese merchants out of coral stones and wood. The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is now a museum and houses a lot of antique furniture. Because of it’s vintage look, it is mostly visited during heritage tours as well as photo shoots like wedding engagement sessions.
Cebu Heritage Monument
Just across the street from the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is the Cebu Heritage Monument. It is a work of national artist Edgardo Castrillo which was started in July 1997 and inaugurated on December 8, 2000. It depicts the history of Cebu which shows scenes of the city starting from the time during the Spanish colonization as well as the modern-day scenarios. It is a great piece of located at the end of the oldest street in Cebu, Colon Street.
The Cathedral Museum of Cebu is a museum situated next to the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, and not far from the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño. The building was one of the few extant structures in downtown Cebu City that was totally spared from the ravages of World War II. It was first the parish convent of the Cathedral, then a school of the University of San Carlos, then a cooperative store, and even as a temporary chapel during the renovation of the Cathedral.
The Casa Gorordo Museum is a 19th century lifestyle museum which was built in the 1850’s. It has a massive stone walls around and parts of the buildings were made of corals. You can see wide windows with translucent shells and huge posts of molave for a strong foundation. It has undergone several renovations to strengthen aging elements and preserve it as a National Landmark.
The shrine of Lapu-Lapu was erected to celebrate Chief Lapu-Lapu as the first Philippine national to resist foreign rule. It was when Ferdinand Magellan made a historic journey to the Philippines and convinced the locals to convert to Christianity. Eventually, there was conflict of interest that ended into a Battle in Mactan. Lapu-lapu then beat Magellan and killed most of his troops.
Though he is considered the villain at Battle of Mactan, Magellan is also honored for bringing Christianity to the Philippines. He brought the symbol of the Santo Nino (Child Jesus) to the Philippine islands and had a sucessful run in baptizing majority of the people to Christianity.
Fort San Pedro
Fuerte de San Pedro, also commonly known now as Plaza Indepedencia, is a military defence structure during the time of the Spanish colonization. It was built under the command of the first governor Miguel López de Legazpi. At the end of the 19th century, it was attacked and taken by Filipino revolutionaries which they used as a stronghold at the height of the Philippine Revolution.
University of the Philippines Cebu
The University of the Philippines Cebu was founded on May 3, 1918, ten years after the founding of UP in 1908. It is an autonomous unit of the University of the Philippines system which is located in Lahug. There are a lot historical events and stories about UP Cebu and that includes the spooky ones. It served as a camp during the war for American and British civilians and later occupied by the Japanese troops.
Cebu Capitol Building
The Cebu Provincial Capitol is the seat of the provincial government of Cebu located at the north end of Osmeña Boulevard. The building’s architectural style was designed by famous a Filipino architect Juan M. Arellano which is neoclassical in spirit. The most distinctive part of the façade is the central concave pavilion with an inscription, “The authority of the government emanates from the people. Erected A.D. MCMXXXVII.”
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