“Why do we need to study history?” This is probably the question that is repeatedly asked by a student who finds History class very tedious to listen. To my history professors, I am sorry because I am guilty about it. But as years go by, I saw a lot of crisis and downfall not only in our country but to the world. In the near future, this will be written in the books and I will be a part of the history. With history, we do not only trace our roots from the past but we will also learn the mistakes of our past. So that by tomorrow, as the future hope of our country, we will do it better.
Gabii Sa Kabilin 2018: Balangay
Gabii Sa Kabilin or a Night of Heritage is an annual event which is set every last friday of May to celebrate Cebu’s History and Culture. The ticket only costs P150 and with this people can visit the museums and heritage sites. They can also take part in cultural shows, food fair (yum!), contests and many more. Moreover, there are free bus rides and tartanillas for the participants.
This year’s theme was “Balangay” which is a sailing vessel used in the Visayan seas before the Spaniards and Europeans arrived. It was mentioned that in the 16th Century that balangay is the oldest wooden watercraft found in the Philippines. It also refers to a group of people bound together by kinship and by communal bonds. This somehow explains where the word “Barangay” has originated. When the first Spaniards arrived on the same century, they found that balangay is also being used for the smallest political unit in Luzon. This year, Gabii sa Kabilin is paying tribute to the pre-colonial roots of Visayan culture with this theme.
Heritage of Cebu Monument
Heritage of Cebu Monument
It was my first time to join such event and I would love it to do it again. Thank you to Mister John Jay of wanderfeetph.com for the media pass. I was more ecstatic when I knew that some of the participants are from Cebu Blogging Community because it’s been months I haven’t seen them. One of the sites we visited is The Heritage of Cebu Monument which is a tableau of sculptures made of concrete bronze, brass and steels. The sculpture depicts the scenes about events and structures related to Cebu History.
1730 Jesuit House
Next destination was the Jesuits House. Jesuits are members of Society of Jesus which is a religious congregation of the Catholic Church in the sixteenth-century. A Jesuit priest and historian, Fr. Rene Javellana, S.J. has written on one of the history books that the house was once the residence of a Jesuit superior who was apparently assigned in Cebu. During the pre-colonial period, Jesuits are sent off to different parts of the Philippines to help spread Christianity.So what happened afterwards? In the 17th century, the Jesuits were forcibly put to an end in Europe and were eventually ejected from Spanish colonies which included in the Philippines. And so the house handed down to different owners throughout the years which can be seen on the walls of the house.
The Jesuit House showcase not only the story behind its structure but also shows the different antique collection from the different owners. The preservation of old materials and furniture gives an ambiance of the classic time. And here are my two favorite parts of the house, the master’s bedroom and their dirty kitchen. Their master’s bedroom has a birthing chair and a rocking chair on the corner. Their dirty kitchen gives us the idea on how our ancestors lived any electrical appliances.
Fort Sand Pedro
Another destination on our list was the Fort San Pedro which is located in Plaza Independencia. This used to be a functional military defense structure that was constructed by Spanish and Cebuano laborers. It was said that this construction was initiated by a Spanish conquistador, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The Fort San Pedro is a triangular shape which has two sides face the sea and the third side facing the land. This better seen during broad daylight so that you would be able to imagine the scenery you on all sides of the structure.
Pista Sa Mandaue
As we set our foot on our next destination which is Mandaue City, we were greeted with a live band and a traditional dance. I wonder if this is how our President is feeling when he arrives on different regions in the Philippines. Anyway, this is the farthest we can go outside Cebu City and what’s amazing about this place is that they have free taste of their popular delicacies.
To wrap up the night, we went to Museo Sugbo which was once called Cárcel de Cebú, the provincial jail of Cebu. This was constructed on the year 1871 and it was believed that the coral blocks are from the demolished Parian Church. It was said that this place didn’t only housed criminals but Katipuneros were incarcerated in gaol without trial and was eventually killed in the Carreta Cemetery. In the early American period, the carcel was served as stable for horses used for competition. But eventually, it was again as prison for the city and province. The carcel was first named as Cebu Provincial Jail and was eventually named as Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation center. It was only last December 2004, the CPDRC was transferred to a larger area and was then converted into a museum. It served as a warehouse of Cebu Heritage and my favorite part was the Museo Media Gallery where it displays old cameras, typewriters and the history of Media in Cebu.
Sailing back to the past and catching waves of stories gave me an overall amazing experience, most especially I am with the great people I know. I hope these brief histories of each destination I have been will entice more youth and people of all ages to visit the museums. This is to remind us what we have lost in the past centuries and how these things contributed in the present times. Like our greatest national hero said, “ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinangalingan ay hindi makarating sa paroroonan.” (He who does not look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.)