Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gabii sa Kabilin: Museums, Museums and Museums

On the day typhoon "Chedeng" left the Philippines (Friday, May 27, 2011), I was eagerly awaiting for "Gabii sa Kabilin" which was on it's fifth season this year but that was to be my first.  There were some 'leftover" rain and some wind, but that did not stop people from coming to the event.  It was to be a museum galore night!
Gabii sa Kabilin
There was a Eucharistic mass at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral at 4 in the afternoon followed by a Santacruzan.  The Santacruzan actually passed right in front of our office so i had fun watching it for the first time.
Santacruzan, Gabii sa Kabilin
The Santacruzan is a novena procession to commemorate the finding of the Holy Cross by Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, and her Royal Regiment in the year 324 A.D.  Santacruzan is the culminating activity of the Flores de Mayo -a Catholic festival held in the month of May in honor of the Virgin Mary.
Santacruzan, Gabii sa Kabilin
 "The procession is accompanied by the steady beat of the rondalla, playing and singing the Hail Mary ("Dios Te Salve"). The devotees walking with the procession hold lighted candles in their hands and sing the prayer as they go along." (Wikipedia)
Santacruzan, Gabii sa Kabilin
After the Santacruzan, the opening ceremony was held at the Cebu Normal University and by 6pm all the participating museums opened its doors to the anxious visitors - Tourists and foreigners, families, heritage enthusiasts, curios Cebuanos and first time attendees like me.
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
Our first stop was the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, which was just a walking distance from our office.
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
It was all lit up for the occasion and it was a sight to behold.  An antique house all aglow in the darkness of the night.
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, Gabii sa Kabilin
Inside the house were timeless treasures.
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, Gabii sa Kabilin
Furnitures, chinas, chandeliers, religious images and statues, paintings and lots of other cool antique stuffs.
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, Gabii sa Kabilin
And there is a wishing well too.  I was totally floored in my amazement.  I passed by this seemingly "old rugged house" everyday not knowing that it hold treasures beyond my years.
The Heritage of Cebu Monument, Gabii sa Kabilin
Then we walked towards the "Heritage of Cebu Monument" which was located at Pari-an Cebu, just across the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House.
Pari-an Fire Station, Cebu (Gabii sa Kabilin)
Beside the Heritage of Cebu Monument is the Pari-an Fire Station.
San Juan Bautista Church, Pari-an, Cebu (Gabii sa Kabilin)
There was an exhibit of pictures of Cebu now and then and also a program was going on presenting the participants of the Santacruzan earlier and the Pari-an Church or the San Juan Bautista Church can be seen just beside the stage.
Sacred Heart Art Gallery, Gabii sa Kabilin
We can actually go to the Casa Gorordo museum or the Jesuit museum which were just of walking distance from the Heritage of Cebu Monument, but we opted to go first to the museums located far from where we were in an attempt to cover all the 18 locations. So we took a free bus ride to the Sacred Heart Alternative Art Gallery and there we were greeted by the sounds of a local band.
Sacred Heart Art Gallery, Gabii sa Kabilin
Inside the gallery were modern artworks and paintings of Cebuanos.
Sugbo Museum, Gabii sa Kabilin
We just stayed there for a while then we took another free bus ride to the Sugbo Museum located t M.J. Cuenco Avenue.  It was another museum i just passed by everyday and that was to be my first visit there.

Sugbo Museum, Gabii sa Kabilin
It has a grand view outside with all its lights aglow.  Not bad for a place known to be a prison then.

Sugbo Museum, Gabii sa Kabilin
You'll be greeted by two cannons outside the main entrance.  There are different rooms showcasing different parts of the History of Cebu. It was another museum which took most of our time because there were lots of interesting information we gathered and displays we saw. It was like a library and a museum in one.
Sugbo Museum, Gabii sa Kabilin
We were particularly amused with the World War II memorabilia, just great treasures and reminders that these things we knew in history classes did actually happened.

A beautiful fountain will greet you going to a huge courtyard where more museums could be found.  As we hurriedly left to get to more museums, rain began to pour down but it did not stop the people from coming as buses came and went towards Sugbo Museum.  
Fort San Pedro, Gabii sa Kabilin
We took a free bus ride to Fort San Pedro and Plaza Independencia which is just beside the Fort. 
Fort San Pedro, Gabii sa Kabilin
We were greeted by a tribal musical group and guards dressed as Spanish soldiers.
Fort San Pedro, Gabii sa Kabilin
We really couldn't enjoy much of Fort San Pedro as the rain played the 'killjoy" part.  It was okay as i have been there before but too sad for the first timers.  We had a big dilemma because it is almost 11:00 pm and we have to decide if we should go to the Mandaue City Plaza which is very far or go to the nearer museums.  So we chose to go to the nearer museums. A bonus awaits as we get to ride a tartanilla - a local horse drawn carriage which was a common transportation then.  We just passed across Plaza Independencia then went to the Metropolitan Cathedral.
Fort San Pedro/Plaza Independencia (Gabii sa Kabilin)
We were so thrilled to ride the tartanilla.  It's not everyday that we can do so.
Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, Gabii sa Kabilin
Then we just went around the Cathedral as it was already closed.
Cathedral Museum, Gabii sa Kabilin
We were quite lost because we thought the Cathedral museum was inside the Church but we soon found out that the Cathedral Museum was just beside the Cathedral.
Plaza Hamabar, Gabii sa Kabilin
Across the museum is Plaza Hamabar.
Cathedral Museum, Gabii sa Kabilin
The Cathedral museum showcased the religious aspect of the History of Cebu. It was a great honor to see the vestments of past Cardinals and Bishops. There was a big garden at the back of the museum with big bells and a well too.
USPF Rizal Museum, Gabii sa Kabilin
Then we walked towards USPF-Rizal museum which is just beside the Cathedral museum.
Jose Rizal Museum, Gabii sa Kabilin
It has displays of the old clothes of Jose Rizal.  It was a just a very small museum and we just stayed there for less than 5 minutes.
Colon Street, Gabii sa Kabilin
Then we walked towards Colon Street- the oldest street in the Philippines, then towards Pari-an area our starting point.
Museo Parian sa Sugbo, Jesuit House of 1730
In that area was the Museo Parian sa Sugbo - Jesuit House of 1730 which housed the Sugbo Gallery, another walking distance from the Heritage of Cebu Monument.  It was another great experience as we learned a lot from the tour guide.  
Casa Gorordo Museum, Gabii sa Kabilin
Then we decided to forego Casa Gorordo museum which is on the street opposite the Jesuit House because we want to go the CNU museum and the Cebu City Museum, but couldn't find a bus ride available. As it was already past 11:00 pm and no bus in sight we went to the Casa Gorordo museum instead.  It was the only museum that we went into that did not allow taking of pictures inside.  The museum somehow told us that a rich family or a person of high profile used to lived there.  It was really beautiful.
Balut, Gabii sa Kabilin
Then we waited again for a bus, but it never came so we were left with three museums and a heritage site that we were not able to go to - CNU museum, Cebu City Museum, Basilica del Sto Niño museum and the Mandaue City Plaza.

With more museums and heritage sites participating this year, time was just not enough to visit all these sites.  So we ended the tour by having snacks at the Pari-an Plaza - fishballs and the native "Balut" 
Buko (Coconut), Gabii sa Kabilin
and some coconut juice.  Apparently our stomachs craved for more, so we went to a famous fastfood restaurant and had our dinner at 12 midnight.

It was the first time i felt so safe walking in the streets of Cebu City at night.  Lots of police personnel and barangay tanods were placed on almost all corners of the streets of Cebu, specially where the museums are located.

I will be joining next year for sure but i will try to plan my schedule and set a time limit for each museum so that i can visit all of them.  It is also best to come in groups as there will be a tour guide who will entertain you and tell you about the museum.  It is also best to start early so that you can have time to spare to watch the presentations.

So, see you all for 2012 "Gabii sa Kabilin".


Anonymous said...

wuhoo.. nag tour xd mi dha.. :)

Bai Rai said...

Anonymous. Glad to know that. hope you can join next year. Hapit na raba. Time flies so fast. You'll enjoy it with more people

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