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Since I have nothing to share about our lives today, I decided to go back down memory lane and check old photos to post here. I hope you guys don't mind throwback travels and trips.
Today, let's go to Cebu's Hispanic home named Casa Gorordo. The word casa means home so Casa Gorordo means Gorordo house and Gorordo is a family name, one of the prominent names in the history of Cebu province.
Casa Gorordo has been renovated multiple times and is now owned by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. Its original owner was someone with the name Alejandro Reynes y Rosales and was designed as "Balay nga Tisa" which means a house with tiled roof and has the traditional Filipino house characteristics. In 1863, Juan Isidro de Gorordo bought the house and lived here with his family until their fourth generation including the first Filipino Bishop of Cebu, Juan Gorordo.
It is now turned into a museum in 1983 and has been declared as a National Historic Landmark by the National Historical Institute as it has survived World War II. The entire Cebu was bombed by both the Japanese and American army, all the ports of Cebu including this area, the Parian District was destroyed, most of the buildings, the houses, and other structures were down, only a few survived and that includes Casa Gorordo and another neighboring house named Yap-Santiago Ancestral House.
The museum provides a way for a new generation to look back at how 19th and 20th century the Philippines or Cebu culture and lifestyle look. So, let's go inside the house and I will give you a little tour.
Today, the house is filled with plants and trees, a beautiful Bermuda lawn is also present which gives the museum a beautiful contrast. They are always cut clean.
A two-story structure with a white veranda and tiled roof called tisa sits parallel to the lawn. It is also filled with green crawling plants like how a typical Filipino home should look.
It was built in the Spanish era and so, it has been designed with a lot of Spanish influence. A lower floor with coral stone blocks like that of old churches, the second floor has capiz shell windows and a wide spacious patio too.
Another building sits adjacent to it which is the Casa Gorordo Shop and Cafe for souvenirs and keepsakes as well as an eatery for guests.
We paid Php 150 each, there are packages as well for the tour, but we opted for the basic one. They have an educational package too.
I had expectations of course as this is a museum, I believe it to contain antiques and items which are not any more common at this time.
A typical Filipino house has a ground floor, it could be something that has walls or basic with no walls at all because before, they use it for storing harvests and even animals. The silong is a place of shelter for those animals during bad weather but it also is used to accommodate vehicles such as bicycles and tartanilla.
More importantly, it is also a place where guests would stay before the man of the house would invite them inside to the main house.
The silong or the ground floor of Casa Gorordo has walls and had been divided into several areas:
This is where guests are welcomed and have to pay for the tour fees.
3D Map section
The first part of the tour happens here where the map would give us a glimpse of the old Parian Street before the war. It has the structures and important areas which were devoured during the war.
This 3D Map gives the museum a high-tech medium to connect to the young generation in learning about our history.
Sound of Early Cebu
Another section in the silong area allows guests to listen to how Cebuanos talk during the 19th century. Unfortunately, there were no headphones available when we visited the museum. I would have loved to hear how the Cebuanos speak Spanish with a combination of the local dialect.
It would have been interesting!
Personalities of Cebu
There's a wall given for the prominent personalities of Cebu during the 1800s and 1900s. Some names that I could remember were Osmeña, Roa, Velez, and even Duterte. President Duterte, the current one is actually from Cebu.
Audio Visual Mini Theater
The storage area of the Gorordo family was turned into a mini-theater. It has a huge flat LED monitor, some benches, and comfortable pillows.
A video was shown here showing the simplicity and complexities of being a Filipino and a Mestizo. Today's Filipinos are not pure, we are already a mix of different blood.
Also, it overs an overview of Casa Gorordo, how it was designed and how it was inspired by the local bahay kubo.
Unfortunately, no picture or video taking was allowed here.
There's another section here with displays of miniature items like a train, tartanilla, carabao drawing a carriage, wooden tables and chairs, and a lot more.
I learned as well that a mini cannon was used before to fire a single cannon. During the old times, when someone prominent arrives in town, they'd be firing a cannon to give them a warm welcome.
A term for rest. Before going to the upper part of the house or the "taas", guests have to be brought to the receiving area. Here are benches for visitors to sit and wait for the family to accept them and bring them to the upper floor.
There are also hat and cane holders available for guests to put on their hats, canes, or umbrellas during their stay.
Silong was very interesting already and I have learned a lot. Up next is the upper part of the house, the "Taas", stay tuned!