MANILA, Philippines–Casa Gorordo Museum, a National Historical Landmark in Cebu and the city’s first public museum, is celebrating its 40th anniversary this December with a commitment to shaping cultural identity and impacting lives.
The anniversary event, scheduled for December 9, 2023, will highlight the role of museums in nation-building and tourism in Cebu City. This celebration aligns with the mission and vision of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI), the museum’s parent organization.
A major feature of the anniversary is the launch of “Out of Parian: Essays on Cebuano Heritage,” a book by local historian Gavin Sanson Bagares.
Florencio Moreño II, director of RAFI’s Culture and Heritage Unit, described the book as “a pleasant deciphering of many enigmas about Cebuano culture and society.”
“Out of Parian” is a collection of vignettes that Bagares categorizes as “history for dummies,” offering a fresh perspective on life in the Parian district, home to Casa Gorordo.
Built in the 1850s by Alejandro Reynes y Rosales, Casa Gorordo is a classic “balay nga tisa” located in Parian, originally a 16th-century Chinese merchant community in Cebu City. After changing hands, the house was acquired by RAFI in 1979 and opened as a public museum in 1983, with a focus on promoting Cebuano culture.
Casa Gorordo Museum has engaged the community and visitors through activities like the Sinug sa Casa Gorordo, participation in the Pasos on Holy Wednesday, Fiesta ni San Juan, the display of the Christmas Belen, and Gabii sa Kabilin.
Alongside The Kabilin Center, a recently-opened cultural hub, Casa Gorordo Museum continues to bridge the past with the present and foster a hopeful vision for the future.