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The second floor of Casa Gorordo is quite interesting as it has been very accustomed to a variety of cultures and beliefs of the Filipino Mestizos.
This part of the house is made of a wood, strong and flexible type that can sustain typhoons and earthquakes. It's amazing that even to this day, the house stood with almost 75% of it from the original house.
Back in the 1800s, a house's staircase usually is designed to complement a family's status in society. So when you are part of a prominent and rich family, you must have a bigger staircase, it must be clean and shiny too!
This is true with Casa Gorordo's, a shiny, wide, and ample staircase that brings guests to the second floor. It has 12 to 15 steps I guess, clean and spacious enough for four to five people to walk side by side. This is the original staircase, nothing had been changed so the materials are quite sturdy!
A huge Venetian mirror welcomes guests, it also has picture frames hung on the wooden walls. A painting of Spanish merchant Juan Isidro de Gorordo is also included. He was the original owner of the house and was then sold to the Gorordo's.
This is the formal receiving area for guests. From the descanso, the guests will be entertained in this room. A huge window as well is necessary for guests and the entire household to have a view of the things happening in the streets.
Gift Receiving Table
There's even another interesting part of the house, a gift-receiving table! Who does that? There wasn't even COVID during that time, hehe. I bet they also disinfect the gifts? I wonder but its height is not of a normal dining table. It's taller and big enough for huge boxes to be placed.
It has been accessorized with crochet and guests have to put their gifts for the family here during their visit.
The largest bedroom in the entire house, the owner sleeps here with his wife, no one sleeps here anymore today though of course so no mattress but only pillows and some crochet bedsheets.
It also has huge windows allowing the owner to see the street as well as the lawn for him to find the house helpers and the family and the catch is that it has a secret door to access the suitor's table, aha! I bet the parents indeed would want to know what the suitor and their lovely ladies are doing!
The bed has an intricate headboard design and it also compliments the room's cabinet and mirrors too. I noticed though that it isn't that accessorized compared to the other rooms.
Beside the master's bedroom is a corner with a table and chair intended for suitors and the women of the family. They'd stay here when a young man visits.
In the early days, a young man has to do a show in front of the family and impress them. It's like a talent show and I believe those gentlemen who have the courage to really court a young lady before would do multiple practices at home before coming to the lady's house.
This can be in a form of poetry or playing an instrument or singing a song for the woman's family. It was a total turn-off if the man makes mistakes during his presentation. Imagine how stressful and very hard it was to court a young lady back in the day.
A very interesting part of the house is where the newly wedded couple of the family stays. When someone from the family gets married, the elders and the rest of the family would stay at the formal sala which is next to the lover's room so they can hear what the couple is doing. I feel like it is an invasion of privacy but that's the norm before.
The next day after the first night of the couple, the grandparents and parents will then check the mattress for any bloodstains. If there's a bloodstain that means, the bride was a virgin and it is a proud moment for the family. If there isn't any bloodstain, there are two cases: either the bride was not a virgin anymore or else, nothing happened during their first night.
As the first bishop of Cebu lived here, they also made a specific room where the family can hold masses. The room has a painted ceiling, painted by the Argaoanons, a proof of Filipino artistry and craftsmanship.
Plates and utensils were all displayed here, all were imports because back in the days, Cebu was a trading hub. The table can accommodate ten adults. Children were usually separated at another table distant from the main dining area.
It's a custom before that children should not interfere with the businesses of the adults. It's quite different today because we would often want our children to be with us at the table while having our meals.
I have to mention as well that there were antique Japanese cups found in the house's tableware collections.
The wide kitchen has the basic Filipino items like "kudkuran" or coconut scraper, clay water containers but it was also remarkable how wide the silverware and tableware of the family as displayed in their transparent cabinets.
The kitchen has been renovated though, it has a dirty kitchen look before as the family uses wood and clay pots for cooking before.
The end of the tour happens at the veranda or Azotea. This is a very wide space too so to accommodate family activities such as washing clothes, rope making, and even siesta time.
There are wooden rocking chairs or locally called "Butaka" used for siesta time. There are huge martaban jars as well filled with water and placed near the windows to cool the breeze that enters the house.
There's access towards the shop and cafe while a sliding door is for accessing the main house.
I had a great time during this tour. It is an educational one and every Cebuano or even those from other provinces must pay a visit to learn about some history and interesting facts. It was a great idea coming here, I was with my husband and we both had a fulfilling stay. We even ate some snacks at the cafe and bought some souvenir items like ref magnets and surely, we took a lot of photographs!
I'll show you around the museum's cafe and shop too in the next article!