Two years after it was forced to close its doors due to the pandemic, Casa Gorordo Museum finally reopened to the public on Oct. 15. The reopened museum boasts a repainted façade of green and yellow to remain authentic to the late 19th and early 20th centuries—the first of many surprises for returning guests.
This house is one of the most significant ancestral houses in Cebu, particularly because it was declared a National Historical Landmark by the National Historical Institute in 1991. Four generations of Gorordos lived in this house since its acquisition in 1863, and all that history has remained at a standstill thanks to the efforts put in by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. toward the house’s preservation and the promotion of Cebuano culture and heritage.
With Gabii sa Kabilin 2022 having wrapped up on Oct. 21, it’s possible that you missed a few things at Casa Gorordo Museum. Here’s a comprehensive list of all the exciting features this museum has in store:
If you’ve been to Casa Gorordo before it closed two years ago, you may remember it used to have a dark brown exterior. Well, after some digging into the history of Cebu, researchers found out that houses like Casa Gorordo—otherwise known as “balay nga tisa”—had bright exteriors that allowed them to stand out against all other houses because of their resplendent color.
Now that Casa Gorordo has been repainted a “vivid ochre and green façade,” it now presents a more authentic glimpse into Cebu’s past.
Frequent museum-goers may remember that Casa Gorordo’s entrance used to be a little further down, closer to the café. Well, this revamped version of the museum surprised returning guests when it ushered them inside its walls through the first door nearest the gate. This new entrance provides a more direct flow for foot traffic because it leads guests to the staircase; the previous entrance would present guests with two options: Turn left and go directly to the second floor or turn right and take a look at the rest of the ground floor.
Moving the entrance ensures everyone gets their money’s worth and sees everything the museum has to offer.
Rearranged exhibits, artifacts
Casa Gorordo’s first floor now provides a more organized view of its exhibits and artifacts. Videos projected on the walls offer a glimpse of life back then, model carabaos pull carts filled with hay and rope, weapons and other tools hang from the walls, and labels sit close to the various exhibits and artifacts to provide more information about its history and use.
Authentic glimpse of Cebu’s past
While the first floor of Casa Gorordo’s interior resembles a museum, its second floor is a step back in time. Anyone who’s been to Casa Gorordo can attest to feeling the layers of history trapped within the walls, floorboards and furniture, especially when you climb the stairs and see the second floor. This area is where not much has changed—and for good reason.
Picture frames line the walls and callados—beautiful wood carvings descending from the ceiling—separate each room from the other, getting lower and lower the deeper you go into the house. Beds are neatly made and personal paraphernalia such as hairbrushes and teddy bears lie still, waiting for their owners to return. The azotea is silent, devoid of stories and chatter beyond that of the tour guides’, the dining table is set, ready for the next meal.
Gift shop, café
Casa Gorordo Museum’s gift shop is a sweet bonus after completing the tour. It offers an assortment of choices such as bags, magnets and books, to name a few. After the gift shop, guests can take the stairs down to the museum’s café, which is best known for its exquisite seafood pasta.
Since the museum’s reopening, there’s still no word about whether the much-awaited seafood pasta will return. However, Casa Gorordo has announced that it will be hosting Bo’s Coffee within its café starting Nov. 14. Here’s to hoping that it brings back that seafood pasta.
Casa Gorordo Museum is located on E. Aboitiz Street, Parian, Cebu City, and is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Regular app-guided tours are P100 per person and P50 for senior citizens, students and persons with disabilities. Groups of five or more may avail of special guided tours at P150 per person. S
MASTER BEDROOM. This bedroom is for the matriarch and patriarch of the household. Its close proximity to the “Lovers’ Corner” allows parents to supervise courtship between young adults.
CALLADO. Pictured above is a wooden carving called a callado, which is a beautiful wood carving that separates each room and descends lower the deeper guests walk into the house.
THE GRAND REOPENING. Executives from the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. and Mayor Michael Rama pose for a photo in front of Casa Gorordo’s repainted façade, together with members from a local dance troupe.
SOUVENIRS. The gift shop offers a wide range of souvenirs from magnets to bags to books.
October 21, 2022
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