Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Casa Gorordo Museum and Yap Sandiego Ancestral House

October is Museums and Galleries Month in the Philippines, and what's a better way to celebrate than to visit historical houses (now museums) all within walking distance in Cebu's Parian district.

35 Eduardo Aboitiz Street, Cebu City
Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 5pm
Admission fee Php120 (Php80 for 12 yrs old and below)
facebook page: Casa Gorordo Museum

Casa Gorordo Museum is a well preserved Spanish Colonial house (with its size, it's more of a mansion!) that was built in the 1850s.

What I like about Casa Gorordo Museum is its guided tour. The tour starts at the ground floor with a digital presentation about the history and importance of the area (Parian), moving on to glimpses of old Cebu through photographs and soundbites of daily life, and photos of well-known Cebuanos, and a short video presentation before moving on to the second floor.

On the second floor are bedrooms, sala, a suitor's corner, prayer room, library, bathroom, kitchen, dining room, and a very spacious balcony.

The tour takes you to different parts of the house and each part of the house's function, even the subtle ones, is explained. For example, the slightly elevated landing between the ground floor and the second floor is where guests wait or rest for the owners to meet them, because not all visitors may be allowed to go up to the second floor of the house. On the second floor, by the stairwell is the suitor's corner which is a well-lit area with a door to the master's bedroom (don't do anything fishy, Dad is watching!). Along the hallway, one will notice the beautiful carvings that subtly divides the formal sala from the upper landing, or the upper landing from the common area, etc.

Formal Sala

Master's Bedroom

If you are interested in talks about history and culture, follow Casa Gorordo Museum's facebook page to get updates on their CGM Talk schedules.

155 Lopez Jaena corner Mabini Street, Cebu City
Daily 9am to 6pm
Admission fee Php50

The Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is estimated to have been built between 1675 to 1700. It was home for the Sandiegos up until 10 years ago. Now they continue to live in it on weekends. Like Filipino houses from the Spanish Colonial Period, this too is a Bahay na Bato (house of stone) made up of coral stones and wood.

If I remember my history lessons right, a Bahay na Bato's ground floor serves as a storage area, which explains the exposed flooring on the ground floor. Now that the house serves as a museum, they have placed some of the family's collection of antiques, religious icons, and old wooden furniture in this space.

Before going up to the second floor guests are provided with cloth shoe covers. This is to protect the wooden floor. On the second floor is the main dwelling place and it is where you can find the living room, dining room, kitchen, and bedroom. The second floor, too, is filled with the family's antique collection.

The bedroom on the second floor


A portrait of the current owners

There is a small garden off to the side of the house where we heard beautiful music emanating from a harp played by a man and from a ukulele played by a little boy.

A cozy nook in the garden

Museo Parian sa Sugbo
26 Zulueta Street, Cebu City

We went to Museo Parian sa Sugbo—also known as the Jesuit House because it was the residence of a Jesuit official in the 1700s (the house has a plaque bearing the year 1730)—just around the corner from the Yap Sandiego Ancestral House, but it was closed on a Sunday.


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