May 31, 2013
Remember the story of the Ghosts of Christmas? There were the ghosts of the past, the present and the future. Well, I can definitely relate our Gabii sa Kabilin experience with the said tale. All five adults viewing the relics of the past through our present selves and sharing it together with a one year old plus toddler, Willow, representing the future generation.
It was really a risk, I daresay, bringing practically a baby on what we expect to be a strenuous and a really physical journey through the past, not to mention also psychological, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, visual, theatrical, beatifical, sensical, and whatever "-al's" one can think of. Really, might as well trust us when we say it was indeed a combination of everything in just one night. And to bring a very young toddler would be triggering a fiasco, risking ruin of your plans, in short, inviting danger. But it's such a waste not to share something as grandiose, as celebrative, as enjoyable as this event to someone who has the capacity to see things beyond the oh so practical, rational minds of adults. It's uber hard to resist the temptation of seeing the past through the eyes of the future. The twist, the enigma, the challenge. Thus, the child has won.
In the past days and even weeks, we don't remember any rain pouring during the early hours of the evening and so we were all flabbergasted when it unexpectedly rained heavily at around 6 pm that night. The event's supposed to start at 6 pm until 12 midnight but we were already losing time waiting for the rain to stop as we only have one umbrella for all six of us. It was already 7 pm when the rain started to slow down and gave us enough leeway to run for the nearest museum, the Cathedral Museum of Cebu.
Here's a panoramic shot of the Cathedral Museum a.k.a. haven for wet travelers during that eventful night. We'd like to believe though that the rain was a sign of blessing from the heavens.
|Cathedral Museum amidst the sprouting umbrellas and the drizzling rain|
|Baby Willow holding an umbrella onward the Museum|
|Entrance of the Cathedral Museum|
Visitors heading back towards their respective buses
When at last, the rain had stopped, we immediately headed next towards Yap Sandiego Ancestral House and passed by the Plaza Parian - Aboitizland Handurawan sa Karaang Sugbo but didn't linger long enough as we were anxious to get indoors just in case the moody weather cries tears of rain again.
|Carrying the weight of the world, I mean, Willow all the way to |
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
Built in the 17th century, the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House is considered to be one of the oldest residential houses . It was originally owned by a Chinese merchant named Don Yap and his wife, Doña Maria Florido. They had 3 children, namely, Maria, Eleuterio, and Consolacion Yap. During the 1880′s, the oldest daughter, Maria Florido Yap, married a native from Obando, Bulacan, Don Mariano San Diego, who was Parian’s “Cabeza de ” at that time. Thus, the etymology of the ancestral house's title.
|Willow looking around the ancestral house|
|Sticking close to to the harp|
|Resting by the receiving area|
|Willow perusing the 2nd floor|
Willow was just as curious as us with all the antiques in its varying shapes and colors, but she was particularly mesmerized by the harps both on the 1st and 2nd floor. She couldn't help but strum her fingers along the strings and well, we just let her. At least, it diverted her attention away from the fragile glasswares nearby. Whew!
The vases and the rest of the ceramics were really lovely but it was the handsome Archangel Michael that caught Willow's eyes while she kept on pointing and repeatedly chanting "Angel! Angel!".
These cute figurines may be eye candies but these got us holding on to Willow for dear life lest she treats them as dolls.
Shown below is the family's bedroom. It was quite nice but off limits to visitors. Guess many just can't resist the impulse of sitting or lying on the inviting bed.
|Ambling around the garden & the wishing well|
Iglesia Filipina Independiente Cathedral of the Holy Child
"A little walk further will take you to the IFI Cathedral which was built in 1904 during the American Period. Donors for its construction included the prominent statesman Don Vicente Sotto. Inside the church is a gallery of religious items like antique images and relics, and old documents." - http://rafi.org.ph/publications/2013-gsk-guide/
|View of the church's interior from the entrance|
Althought the IFP Cathedral is quite smaller than the typical parishes in Cebu City, one striking feature it has, especially in the eyes of a child, would be the presence of an angel statue seemingly guarding the church, offering holy water to visitors before proceeding inside. In our case, there were two angels watching over the church as Willow refuses to budge away from the Angel's side.
Strolling around Pari-an & MJ Cuenco
Since our next destination would be the Museo Sugbo which is just over the next barangay, we opted to walk towards it rather than wait for the bus. We also passed by old houses and buildings along the way so the stroll was like still part of the Gabii sa Kabilin package. It was a nice experience walking through the older, not-so-travelled roads of downtown Cebu but that's considering that there were six of us. Not recommended for smaller groups though since there were a few dark alleys and well, we can never tell what lurks behind the shadows...
"Housed in the 1870 Carcel de Cebu, Museo Sugbu is the largest museum in the Province of Cebu. It houses 14 galleries thattrace Cebu's history from pre-colonial up to the Japanese periods." - http://rafi.org.ph/publications/2013-gsk-guide/
The facade of Museo Sugbu
|Reconnect with your heritage in Cebu's largest museum with six buildings|
& 12 fully airconditioned galleries
The smiling usherettes in colorful checkered dresses offered a stark contrast to the pair of canons positioned in front of the building.
Didn't know that canons are supposed to be intricately detailed. Just proves that art knows no bound and that even weapons of destruction can be its object. What do four females and this specific canon have in common? Well, they're both objet d'art and beautiful in their own right. Haha! Sorry, but the festivities got us quite giddy or something.
The place was already quite in a festive atmosphere when we arrived. The sound of the drums, the music, and all the dancing got Willow and the rest of us engrossed into the event.
Willow got so fascinated by the colorful show that she just ignored us despite repeatedly calling her name. And when it ended, she continued pointing at the dancers and hounding us to make them do it all over again. Poor Willow...or rather poor us! :p
Also found here are the regional branches of the National Museum of the Philippines and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines. Moreover, the museum offers a myriad of collections found in different galleries that tell the story of the province and its people.
A showcase of Cebuano pride and heritage. By this time, we were already very receptive to this year's theme of “Taoid: Weaving Our Stories, Threading Our Paths”. These articles are but samples of the past but each and every one of them offers a glimpse of the legacies our ancestors had started and how it remains to shape the present and hopefully the future.
This centuries-old structure was designed in 1869 and was conceived in 1870 by Domingo de Escondrillas, a Spanish architect in Cebu. It was called Carcel de Cebu originally intended to be the main prison for the Visayas. More buildings were added during its renovation in 1892. It became the Cebu City jail from 1946 to 2004. It served its purpose until the provincial government built a much bigger and modern prison.
From Museo Sugbo, we rode a bus towards the City of Mandaue and we were promptly welcomed by a beautiful presentation from the cheerful and lovely Mandauehanons. Talk about feelng VIPs! hehe
The National Shrine of St. Joseph Parish is reportedly the only church in the Philippines that has a life-like “Last Supper” with Jesus and his 12 apostles called Señor de Cena. It is one of the rarest religious relic in the orient.
We were also treated to free tasting of bibingka and other local delicacies which was especially offered by one of the lovely winners of the Miss Mandaue beauty pageant.
|An E-Car parking in front the Carbo sa Mandaue|
|A panoramic shot of Mandaue Presidencia and the Nat'l Shrine of St. Joseph Parish|
|Here are samples of Mandaue Images of People|
This is where the Mandaue City Council holds their session. And since this opportunity doesn't usually come often, we all took turns sitting on the presiding officer's chair and had our photos taken so as to show off to the world that we've been there, done that, sat on that. ;D
|Willow standing attentively in front of the flag; |
and she also took her turn "presiding" and pointing to just about anything
Built in the early 1900s, the Muelle Osmena currently serves as the docking port or wharf of ferries from Pier 3 of Cebu City travelling direct to Virgen de la Regla Church of Lapu-lapu City. It is also the name used for the three-storey lighthouse found in the area and just further up is the Nuestra Senora Virgen de la Regla Parish Church known for its miracles and numerous devotees.
|The different colors of Muelle Osmena|
|A happy Willow hopping alongside the candles & stepping up the stairways|
|Watching over the sea yonder|
The Mactan Shrine serve as a tribute in honor of Cebu's pride, Lapu-lapu, as the very first Filipino hero to have repelled European invasion.
|Light-bearing trees and shrubs|
As it was already midnight, we had no choice but to settle with the fact that this was to be our last itinerary for the night. We rode the bus back to Mandaue and from there, rode another shuttle towards Plaza Independencia as our last drop-off point. It was almost 2 am when we arrived at home but Willow was unbelievably still in high energy and didn't sleep until after more than an hour later. Guess her short nap while on the ride home contributed to it, but she was also apparently overwhelmed by all the sights and places that we've visited. She was more talkative than typical, chattering and pointing with her eyes getting rounder and brighter than usual. And thus we were struck by the realization that indeed we've made the right decision. This child is definitely coming with us again next year!
Just The First of Many More Journeys to Come
The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.'s Gabii sa Kabilin is one of the most brilliant ideas especially in promoting social change. This will help instill pride in our heritage, patriotism, a greater love for our culture and province which we believe is really one of the basic ingredient for the advancement of any society. It develops our sense of community, a oneness with our fellow Cebuanos and Filipinos alike, and instill a feeling of responsibility that we ought to preserve our rich heritage, the duty to continue the legacy of the past thru our heroes and ancestors which is to develop a better community, a stronger locality, a more progressive Province of Cebu. To forget the past is a huge mistake for it is like throwing away one of our greatest assets. The experiences, the stories of our ancestors are investments from which we can discover a myriad of lessons, thru which we can learn from the mistakes of the past, and on which we can build a strong foundation for our present and future social interests, and improve the well-being of our fellowmen.
Gabii sa Kabilin is one addiciting event that leaves you wanting for more. Every year, there are more museums added to the list, providing a challenge to take on, a mission to accomplish. For novices like us, this activity was really refreshing, a change from the usual bar-hopping activities that youngsters engage in, and even more festive. Elders, teenagers, and even toddlers (such as Willow) alike can greatly enjoy the sights and the learning experience of rediscovering the past, going back in time just like taking a ride on a time machine in the form of a bus, or tartanillas. ^_^