Cebu News

Gabii sa Kabilin takes in National Museum, Freedom Park

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — The soon-to-open National Museum in Cebu, located near the Fort San Pedro and Plaza Independencia, and the Freedom Park in Carbon District will be joining Gabii sa Kabilin on October 21 from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight as featured sites.

Initiated in 2007 by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., Gabii sa Kabilin aims to celebrate Cebu’s rich heritage, cultivate a sense of identity and pride of place among Cebuanos, and help preserve local culture and heritage by encouraging Cebuanos to visit museums.

This year’s Gabii sa Kabilin will feature 20 participating museums and heritage sites in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Talisay.

According to RAFI, in their press statement, that although the National Museum in Cebu will not be operational on the day of the event, it will be mounting a special exhibit on the history of the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) along with a sneak peek of the museum’s future galleries.

The museum’s exhibit will also include findings from NMP’s archaeological excavations all over Cebu province since 1985 and an interactive display of archaeological objects and artifacts for children.

In 2019, after being housed in Museo Sugbo, the NMP found its new home in Cebu with the conversion of the Malacañang sa Sugbo (former Port of Cebu Customs House) as the new National Museum, thus strengthening and completing the agency’s presence in Central Visayas.

It can be recalled that the NMP signed a usufruct agreement with Cebu Port Authority on December 13, 2019, with approved funding from the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) of the Department of Tourism.

The rehabilitation of the century-old building commenced in 2021 and is set to be turned over to the NMP before the year ends.

Gabii sa Kabilin participants can also learn more about Freedom Park’s historical and cultural significance through an exhibit at the Senior Citizen’s Park beside Sugbu Chinese Heritage Museum.

The special exhibit, mounted by Megawide subsidiary Cebu2World Development, Inc., will also feature conservation efforts and archaeological findings in the area.

Freedom Park will be rebuilt on its original location as part of the historical commemoration of the Carbon District.

Once a space for gatherings and freedom of expression, the park eventually became part of the public market.

For just one P200 ticket, participants will have access to the participating sites and their activities, unlimited bus rides and a complimentary tartanilla or calesa ride.

Calesa regulation

Meanwhile, Cebu City Councilor Pastor “Jun” Alcover Jr. has proposed an ordinance regulating the operations of calesas in the city.

The proposed measure entitled “Calesa sa Sugbo Ordinance” was referred to the council’s Committee on Laws, Ordinances, and Styling; Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Culture; and Committee on Animal Welfare for review.

“There is a need to continue and regulate the operation of horse-drawn carriages as a source of livelihood for both operators and kutseros in the city while maintaining the preservation of culture and heritage as a tourism attraction,” read the proposed ordinance.

To effectuate the goals of this measure, at least five offices are given certain tasks.

The Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) shall coordinate with the horse owners and "kutseros" in conducting seminars to maintain the upkeep of horses or other necessary matters related thereof; the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) shall identify calesa routes that are in line with the heritage sites and its traditional routes; and the Cebu City Tourism Office shall be the primary office that will synergize the calesa sector, accredited tour guides, or other related organizations in promoting tourism programs involving the city's heritage sites and museums.

Also, the Cebu City Treasurer's Office shall be the primary office that will receive payments for the issuance of permits and other similar transactions in accordance with its functions under the Local Government Code, ordinances, or rules and regulations; and the Cultural and Historical Affairs Office shall identify all heritage sites and museums that will be part of the integrated routes for calesa tourism and cultural awareness program. — Mary Ruth R. Malinao, GMR (FREEMAN)


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