Tag Archives: Parian Cebu

#272 Casa Gorordo Museum

The Casa Gorordo Museum was originally a house built in the mid-19th century by Alejandro Reynes Rosales and bought by Juan Isidro de Gorordo, a Spanish merchant, in 1863. Four generations of the Gorordo family lived in this house, including Juan Gorordo, the first Filipino bishop of Cebu in 1910-1932.

Acquired in 1980 by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, the house was restored and later opened as a public museum. The Casa Gorordo Museum has been declared a national historical landmark by the National Historical Institute in 1991.

One of the three remaining old houses that dates back to the Spanish colonial period in the Parian district of Cebu, the Casa Gorordo is now a lifestyle museum that features altar pieces, antique furnishings, paintings and relics that gives visitors a glimpse of Cebu’s Spanish colonial era.

The lower floor of the Casa Gorordo Museum traditionally served as storage space. It now houses the offices of the museum, an area for the art exhibitions and a small store. The house is built using the massive and tough coral stones, which most century-old buildings in Cebu are made of. The roof is made of tisa clay. The second story has wooden floors and housed the antique furniture, costumes, books and memorabilia. (Source: text and photo from Mark Maranga travel blog)

Long live Casa Gorordo!

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#254 Parian (Cebu)

Cebu's Parian District

Parian was the original and affluent Chinese heartland of Cebu, founded as a de facto settlement in the middle of the 16th century. 

Today, nothing much remains of this district of fine houses and shops, except for a handful of old houses, like Casa Gorordo and the Jesuit Residence of 1730. Though it ceased to be wholly Chinese by the 19th century due to the rabid Chinese pogroms in the 18th century, Cebu’s Parian remained the enclave of affluent Chinese mestizos like the Borromeos, Cuis, Osmeñas, Velezes, Velosos and over 20 other families.

The center of the Parian was the church of San Juan Bautista. The fire station at the crossroads of Sikatuna and Zulueta streets is built on the foundations of the church’s convento. A small chapel nearby, dedicated to San Juan, is a mute reminder of this once impressive church.
The church was built by a mestizo Chinese secular priest in the 1700s. Jurisdictional conflicts with the convento of Santo Niño forced the bishop to demote the church from parish to the level of visita dependent on Santo Niño. 

In time, the church was abandoned and deteriorated. Its appurtenances went to other churches and to the Colegio de San Ildefonso, which inherited some of its furniture and statuary. The site of the church’s sanctuary was marked by a cross before World War II. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer, Other web sources)

Long live Cebu’s Parian district!

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