To travel and to discover other places could widen your horizon and sometimes it changes your perception. In my travel to the Queen City of the South, Cebu City, my understanding was widened opening doors to ideas among others. For a person who was cooped up staying in Baguio City ( the farthest i’ve gone to was La Union) for 30 years i had an fictitious idea in my mind on what Cebu and its people are which were formed from stories of people. Well, that is the problem with just relying on stories, the picture you paint is based only on what you heard and not what actually is.
A Night At The Museums
During my stay, i was invited by blogger friends from Cebu to attend the Gabii sa Kabilin. I asked what it was and i was told that it is a night where all museums and heritage sites in Cebu are open to the public from 6pm to 12midnight. I thought to myself great! I will be able to explore more old heritage sites! I enjoyed my last heritage tour in Vigan way back 2011, all i can say when i visited heritage sites in Vigan was Wow, it was such a wonderful experience to go back in time looking at the exhibits. Although i was really tired at that time ( i was in Cebu for a conference) i reminded myself to grab every learning opportunity i got, this was one of them. So off we go to the event, we met up at the Casa Gorordo Museum where we bought the tickets for P150 pesos. The ticket would give you an all access pass to the participating museums and heritage sites, there were around 35 historical sites from the Cities of Lapu-Lapu Cebu, Talisay and Mandaue, aside from that you get to ride either a bus, pedicab or tartanillas (horse-drawn carriages) for free.
I Am Not Magellan But I Explored
In one night we were able to explore different museums and heritage sites in Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay and Lapu-Lapu. The most memorable for me however was a visit at the San Pedro Calungsod Chapel where we were greeted with an orientation about the chapel and about San Pedro Calungsod, upon entering the chapel the heavenly music of the choir filled the air. Although we were only given around fifteen minutes it was part of the tour that is worth doing. Many of the museums in Cebu showcased how the island is greatly influenced by the Spanish Culture, which reminded me of my visit to Vigan.
Another memorable part of the tour for me was when we toured the museum in USP where i got to see the museum dedicated to Jose Rizal. A little back story, when i saw one of the original copies of the Noli Me Tangere in Vigan i got goosebumps because it was one of my favorite books next to El Filibusterismo ( in high school i read it not because it was a requirement but rather because i was so interested with the story), so you must understand why a visit to this museum gave me more than goosebumps. I was able to see some of Jose Rizal’s clothings, from coat to pants. I also saw some of the postcards he sent to his family and of course another copy of the original Noli Me Tangere. That experience alone made my night but i was in for more, because some of our stops also held some cultural dances and short play about the discovery of Cebu by the Spaniards.
It was truly a night full of learning and a night rich in culture, although we were able to tour the different cities in Cebu we could only visit some of the museums. After that tiring tour our last stop was at the Talisay City Hall where our group tried out the famous Talisay Inasal, to my surprise Inasal was the term for roasted pig, I thought inasal pertained only to the grilled chicken. Anyway, Ms. Pam, our historian and guide told us that one of the best inasal is made in Talisay, i couldn’t argue as my mouth is stuffed with the pork goodness and rice.
The Gabii Sa Kabilin is indeed an experience that everyone should try should they be in Cebu during the last Friday of May. It does not only make you experience the rich culture of the Cebu and the Philippines but it also gives you a lesson in history, which most of us needed. Sometimes it is good to look back in history as it also helps widen your understanding which in turn makes you respect what our forefathers had done to ensure that we will have a better future.
I believe that Baguio City should have this kind of similar event as we too have some heritage sites that are worth showcasing as well as a culture and history that is not found in other places. If we in Baguio City genuinely would like to preserve our heritage sites events similar to the Gabii sa Kabilin would definitely educate the people of Baguio about the importance of our historical past and our heritage sites which will definitely drive everyone to give due respect to such sites and would make everyone be proud of their culture and history, maybe by doing this residents of Baguio would think twice before desecrating a heritage site with commercialization.