Sunday, February 3, 2013

Touring Cebu's wonders*

27 January 2013. Cebu.

Kuya Jeremy met the company at Palazzo Pensionne. After dropping their stuff at the hotel, Kuya Jeremy whisked them off to see Cebu's wonders, the known and the hidden.

Taoist Temple

Located inside Cebu City's posh Beverly Hills Subdivision in Lahug, the temple was built in 1972 by Cebu's Chinese community. It has an elevation of 300 meters above sea level, so according to Jane, they had to climb around 500 steps to get to the top. The temple is open to worshipers and non-worshipers alike.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Langob Shrine

An image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is housed inside this cave. It is said that the image was kept inside this cave during the Spanish-Filipino conflict, and was later discovered by a resident of Kalunasan.

Heritage Park

Found in Parian Park, this monument showcases the events which happened in the island of Cebu; hence, Heritage of Cebu. According to my limited readings, the Heritage of Cebu was designed by artist Eduardo Castrillo, Architects Heradio Espanol and Ildefonso Santos. The Heritage of Cebu started in July 1997 and was completed in December 8, 2000.
Yap-San Diego Ancestral House

The house is located at 155 Mabini Street in Parian, a few meters away from the Heritage of Cebu. According to my limited readings, the house was built sometime during the 17th century, making it one of the oldest residences existing in the country. The house was said to have been built for Don Juan Yap, a Chinese merchant residing in Parian. He was married to Dona Maria Florido, with whom he had three children. In 2008, the house was turned over to Dona Maria's great, great grandson, and an advocate of Cebuano heritage, Val Sandiego. Under his care, the house was turned into a lifestyle museum, which could be visited daily from 9 in the morning until 6 in the evening, for Php50 per person.

Casa Gorordo

According to the marker, the house was built during the mid-19th century by Alejandro Reynes. It was bought by Juan Isidro De Gorordo, a Spanish merchant. From 1863 to 1979, four generations of the Gorordo family lived in the house, including the first Filipino bishop of Cebu, Juan Gorordo. In 1980, the house was acquired by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., and was opened as a museum in 1983. It was declared by the National Historical Institute as a National Historical Landmark in 1991. The museum is open every Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10 in the morning until 6 in the evening, for Php40 per person.

Fort San Pedro

For Php30 per person, one may visit the oldest and smallest tri-bastion fort in the country. According to my limited readings, the fort served as the nucleus of the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines. After the battle of Manila Bay, Commodore George Dewey turned the fort to the local Cebuanos, then it became an American Warwick Barracks during the American Regime which was later converted into classrooms where the Cebuanos received formal education. During World War II, from 1941 to 1945, the fort served as a fortification for Japanese soldiers.

Magellan's Cross

Probably the most famous landmark in Cebu, the spot were the Cross now stands was said to have been set aside to commemorate the erection of a Cross in Cebu by the Magellan expedition. According to the marker, the erection of the Cross happened when King Humabon of Cebu, his Queen, his children, and his 800 subjects we're baptized by Father Pedro Valderrama. The hallowed site was improved in 1735 by Rev. Juan Albarran, Prior of San Agustin, and in 1834 by Rt. Rev. Santos Gomez Maranon, Bishop of Cebu.

Basilica Minore del Santo Niño

Just a few meters away from Magellan's Cross is the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño, the first church and monastery to be established in the Philippines. According to my limited readings, the church is also the center of devotion of the oldest Christian representation in the country of Jesus as an infant king. Aside from the 480-year old image of the Santo Nino, the church also has a beautifully carved wooden altar with niches that contain Saints.

Lapu-Lapu Shrine

The bronze statue of Lapu-Lapu stands 20 meters, located in Punta Engano, City of Lapu-Lapu. It was erected in honor of Datu Lapu-Lapu, a native leader who defeated the Spanish soldiers. It is at this site where the Portuguese Ferdinand Magellan was killed during the Battle of Mactan.

Dinner after the tour was at Matias, a favorite barbeque place in Cebu. It is an open-air restaurant serving delicious food at very reasonable prices. The company spent a mere Php300 for their food. Kuya Jeremy charged a reasonable rate of Php1,800 for his services. His contact number is 09197638123. He comes highly recommended.

-*jrlee, as narrated by Jas and Jane