Saturday, July 5, 2014

When I Grow Up I Want to Be Like Ka Bino

I'm one step closer to turning into Ka Bino—I already have a mustache. Next, I need to buy me a hat. And then try to cram as much historical information as I possibly can into this little head of mine. It will take me a decade or a lifetime (or maybe never) to learn what Ka Bino already has in his head.

Ka Bino (left, photo by Mike Libby) and the wannabe

In the meantime, I literally followed Ka Bino's footsteps. Through his Colon by Night walking tour...which doesn't just explore Colon Street, the oldest street in Cebu City, but snakes through the streets of downtown to Carbon Market and back again, on another route, to Colon.

Colon by Night tour route

I'm on selfish mode now. If you expect me to tell you every little bit of information that came out of Ka Bino's mouth, sorry, I am not a recorder. Besides, I paid a gazillion for that walk, you pay your way too. Just kidding. I didn't pay a gazillion for it. And I am not that mean. Just a little bit. But really, I will not tell you the significance of each of the buildings and places that Ka Bino pointed out. You have to find out for yourself. But I will tell you this, the walking tour with Ka Bino brought me back in time, a time before my existence. It was fascinating to imagine all the hustle and bustle and grandeur of downtown Cebu before the mall era. It made me see the existing buildings covered in layers of dust and grime (which I have ignored in the many times I have walked the streets of downtown) in a new light.

Covered in years of dust and grime

While I am still in the process of transforming into a Ka Bino (but, beyond the mustache and the hat, I doubt I will ever become Ka Bungot), I encourage you to go ahead and go on a walking tour with Ka Bino. Sure, downtown may have lost its luster, but give it an hour and a half, and you will learn interesting history not found in boring textbooks. For this short time, downtown will have reclaimed its grandeur, if only through stories and words. You will not be disappointed. And you won't be bored. In fact, I would bet my shorts you'll laugh and smile. And wish you could go back in time.

Ka Bino currently has two walking tours: 
♦ Colon by Night (see map above)
♦ Old Cebu Walks — includes Magellan's Cross, Basilica del Sto Niño, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral and Museum, Rajah Humabon Park, Casa Gorordo Museum, Yap–San Diego Ancestral House, and Museo Parian sa Sugbo.
Book his tours (minimum of two guests) through or by calling 0917 716 9830.


  1. did you happen to spot any markers with QR codes? each marker has a bit of info about the site and the QR code takes you to more content about the place online. i'm not sure what historical sites are included, though.

    1. The markers along Colon don't have QR codes but other heritage sites in Parian have them - the Yap Sandiego House, the Heritage of Cebu Monument and the Museo sa Parian Sugbo. There could be more I hope.

      Now that you mentioned it, I'll revisit them and see what information shows up from the QR codes.