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Showing posts from September, 2012

Casa Gorordo

Casa Gorordo
The Casa Gorordo in Cebu City is a fine example of an elegant Filipino home from the mid 19th century. It incorporates some architectural designs which are intrinsic to this period such as the zaguan on the ground floor which was used as storage space and carriage parking, the sliding Capiz shell windows, the statement staircase which announces the social and economic standing of the homeowner, the kitchen window with an area for drying plates and utensils, and the intricately carved arches dividing the rooms. The house also has a long azotea (terrace) which not only served as an extended living room, it also providied a natural cooling system for the upper story allowing the breeze to circulate freely through the rooms. 
Zaguan (storage space)
The Casa Gorordo was the home of four generations of Gorordos, one of whom was the first Filipino Bishop of Cebu, Juan Gorordo. The Casa has a little chapel so the bishop could pray there during the days he visited with his family…

The Marian Hills

Monastery of the Holy Eucharist
The Monastery of the Holy Eucharist or "Birhen sa Simala" as it is locally known is a 2 hour drive south from Cebu City through narrow roads and lush countryside. It's a slow ride considering tricycles ply the roads between the small towns along the way and occasionally, a fiesta or a school celebration may result in traffic jams.

In the barangay of Lindogon, the road leads uphill. My first impression when I saw the Monastery was that it seemed out of place in these rustic surroundings. The architectural style is more aligned with European cathedrals. There's no semblance at all to Spanish colonial churches which are predominant in the Philippines. That said, the interior of the church follows the traditional colonial Baroque style.

I was caught by surprise when a security guard stopped me from entering the Monastery grounds. He told me that sleeveless dresses were not allowed inside the Monastery.  I wasn't aware of any dress re…

The Brave Lapu Lapu

Lapu Lapu
How brave and valiant Lapu Lapu was! He stopped Ferdinand Magellan in his tracks right here on Mactan Island, Cebu on April 27, 1521, effectively repelling European incursion into Philippine shores (at least until 1565 when Miguel Lopez de Legazpi arrived in Cebu and established a settlement). Magellan and his men were armed with guns and swords. Lapu Lapu's warriors had bamboo spears.

The Lapu Lapu monument is located at the Mactan Shrine in Punta Engaño, Mactan Island. A marker indicates the spot where Magellan was killed by Lapu Lapu and his men. One of Magellan's men, Juan Sebastian Elcano, escaped the battle and continued the journey back to Spain. He arrived at San Lucar de Barrameda on September 6, 1522 marking the first circumnavigation of the earth.

There are stalls both inside and outside Mactan Shrine selling danggit (tiny salted dried fish, great with breakfast), local delicacies like ampao (rice crispies), dried mangoes, bukayo (shredded coconut mixed …