THE National Historical Landmark Casa Gorordo Museum, Cebu’s first public museum, marks its 40th anniversary in December, resolute about touching lives and shaping the future, serving as a guide to the world that shapes Cebuano cultural identity.
The anniversary event on Dec. 9, 2023, will emphasize the value of museums in nation-building and tourism in Cebu City, bearing witness to the mission and vision of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi), its parent institution.
A highlight of the celebration is the launch of the book “Out of Parian: Essays on Cebuano Heritage,” written by local historian Gavin Sanson Bagares. According to Rafi Culture and Heritage Unit Director Florencio Moreño II, the book “pleasantly deciphers many enigmas about Cebuano culture and society.”
“Out of Parian” is a compilation of well-researched vignettes that Bagares classifies under the realm of “history for dummies.” Seven years in the making, the book is a fitting retelling of life in the Parian district where Casa Gorordo is located. A classic “balay nga tisa,” the house was constructed in the 1850s by Alejandro Reynes y Rosales. Spanish merchant Isidro Gorordo bought the house from the original owners. It was acquired by Rafi in 1979 and opened as a public museum in 1983 to promote enjoyment and awareness of Cebuano culture.
Together with the recently-opened cultural hub, The Kabilin Center, Casa Gorordo Museum continues to connect the contemporary with its past and facilitates a hopeful view of the future.