AFTER a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the night of celebrating the Cebuanos’ rich history, culture and heritage has returned.

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi) Cultural and Heritage Unit has partnered with 20 museums and heritage sites in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Talisay to bring back Gabii sa Kabilin on Oct. 21, 2022 along with participating cultural groups.

The activity will have more activities that will entice the younger generation to join.

Haidee Palapar, event director and head of Kabilin Center said in a press conference at the Sugbu Chinese Heritage Museum on Friday, Aug. 5, 2022 aside from the usual Heritage Hunt where guests need to complete a series of challenges in selected museum and sites, organizers prepared a vlogging and phone photography contest open to all categories.

“We hope that a lot of the younger generation would turn-up in Gabii sa Kabilin. We are also offering the contest since they are very techy such as vlogging contest, photography contest, and also the heritage hunt,” she said.

More details on how to go about the registration will be made available in September.

Palapar said this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin will have the theme “Padayon,” depicting the Cebuanos’ resiliency, optimism and ingenuity that have thrived amidst challenges and crises that come such as Typhoon Odette (Rai) and the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said most of their partner museums and heritage sites have already recovered from damages incurred at the height of Typhoon Odette last Dec. 16, 2021.

Activities

The special events on the day of Kabilin from 6 p.m. till midnight will include presentations, cultural shows, exhibits, Filipino games and contests, food fairs, and children’s activities.

Organizers will also offer free tartanilla rides (horse-drawn carriages) rides and there will be designated buses to ferry guests to museums and heritage sites.

In Cebu City, guests will have access to the Archdiocesan Museum, Archdiocesan Shrine of San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish, Archdiocesan Shrine of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Basilica Minore del Santo Niño Museum, Casa Gorordo Museum, Cebu City Museum, Fort San Pedro, Fo Guang Shan Chu Un temple, and Museo Parian sa Sugbo.

Additional sites in Cebu City will be the following: Palm Grass Cebu The Heritage Hotel, Rafi-The Kabilin Center, St. Theresa’s College-Sr. Ma Delia Coronel Folklife Museum, Sugbu Chinese Heritage Museum, University of the Philippines Cebu, University of San Carlos Museum, and University of Southern Philippines Foundation Rizaliana Museum.

Guests can also visit heritage sites in Mandaue and Talisay such as the Mandaue City Presidencia, Cebu Archdiocesan Shrine of Jesus Nazareno Heritage of Faith Museum and Museo de Talisay.

The ticket price remains at P200 with an early bird rate of P180 if the registration is done before Sept. 21. Senior citizens and students can also avail themselves of discounts using their valid IDs for verification.

Tickets are sold at the participating sites and the tourism offices of Cebu, Mandaue and Talisay.

“The ticket comes with a map to guide you throughout the night where the buses are, what are the participating sites museums and the contacts of these museums,” Palapar said.

On event night, organizers will releasing an online Gabii sa Kabilin Magazine to further guide participants with more descriptions regarding the sites and programs of the night, Palapar added.

Health protocols will be implemented during the night. The guidelines are still being finalized by the Inter-Agency Task Force in Cebu City and organizers.

Palapar clarified that moving the date of the annual event from the last Friday of May to October is only temporary for this year due to challenges brought about by Typhoon Odette and the recently concluded 2022 National and Local Elections.

This gave participating museums and sites more time for repairs and renovations and to prepare new and exciting activities and exhibits for guests to enjoy.

“For this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin, we will bring in even the heads of DepEd, so they could see the beauty of the event and how it could be included in their curriculum,” Palapar said.

Gabii sa Kabilin is an annual summer event initiated by Rafi since 2007. It aims to celebrate Sugbo’s rich heritage, foster a sense of identity and pride, while preserving local culture and heritage by encouraging not only Cebuanos to join but other people in the Philippines and abroad as well.