Cebu, an island in central part of the Philippines known to be rich in natural resources, hospitable people and of course, highly industrialized environment and cities. The oldest city of the country, Cebu City, situated in this island which gave birth to Colon Street in the 16th century, the oldest street. Not known by other fellowmen, Cebu is proud to have the oldest defensive structures like Fort San Pedro in Cebu City, Liloan Lighthouse and the Bantayan sa Hari in Mandaue City. Flashing back our memory to our High School years through "Araling Panlipunan" subject, Cebu was hailed as Philippines's Capital City in 1565 by our invaders, the Spaniards. So much for these facts, Cebu owns the oldest remaining original stone Church, Boljoon Church which became the National Historical Landmark and National Cultural Treasure of our country and the oldest religious relic, The Santo Nino de Cebu. Indeed, Cebu is a true cradle of Culture and Heritage.
But do youngsters nowadays know or even aware what are those? where are they located and where are they from? Of course, they do and we do! This knowledge was brought back to our senses during the Gabii Sa Kabilin (GSK) last Friday night. This Cebu Heritage Tour brought to us by Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), is a Walking Tour to selected Museums and cultural sites in Cebu and its neighbor city, Mandaue. Also, participants had a chance in riding Cebu's treasured means of transportation, the Tartanilla Ride - another one of a kind.
It was a night of information overload but I was able to gain them slowly and surely ^_^ . Just like in Casa Gorordo Museum which is actually the residence of the first Filipino Bishop, Juan Gorordo, in Cebu. Various relics were displayed such as the traditional rice mill and other old kitchen stuff. Good thing that organizers had added features like Bugsay-making demonstration, storytelling with stage acts for children and other attractions. Some old Church documents were also shown to the public at Iglesia Filipina Independiente situated in Mabini, Cebu City. Meanwhile in Yap-Sandiego Ancestral house, it seemed everyone travelled to the past with all those Filipiniana and Barong Tagalog costumes worn by standbyers and some personnel in charge of the house. There was a traditional band in the street too, which guided the tourists with their folky yet lovely music.
Walking forward, in Museo Parian sa Sugbo, formerly known as Jesuit House, catered Cebuanos a wide range of exhibit via Sugbu Gallery. It showcased differnt kind of Galleon models, religious materials and around the house, you would notice the preserve tradition and culture that every "Bisaya" had. And for our National Hero, Jose Rizal, different keepsakes were maintained and saved inside the USPF Jose Rizal Museum.
To end the tour, I was able to witness the beauty that Cebu Capitol building can offer to the public at night. What romance can it caused to lovers in the street. I love cebu!
Now, even if an event like Gabii Sa Kabilin has always been successfully done, there is always a point to ponder and improve. How about making it "Mga Gabii Sa Kabilin"? Maybe two to three nights of Heritage Tour? At least those 22 main attractions can be visited and experienced by participants without even rushing themselves from one museum to another - if this is the case, then the essence and the beauty of our Culture and Heritage here in Cebu will not be properly observed and appreciated.
Remember this famous saying? "A person, who does not know how to look where he came from, would not be able to reach his destination." This quote always prompts in my mind everytime I take part on GSK affair and when i see educational field trip buses. Why? Simply because we cannot attain our goal if we don't know what or who is the reason why we are aiming such objective in life - why we are alive and why we are here in this era! They are the reason, our ancestors are the reason. Nobody can take care of their important keepsakes from the past than us who live today. So learn from them and go for gold!