Casa Gorordo is a house museum located in the historic Parian area of Cebu, the oldest city in the Philippines. It is owned and managed by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) under its Culture & Heritage focus area. The house was acquired by RAFI from the Gorordo family in 1979, renovated and enhanced, and opened to the public as a museum in 1983.
In recognition of its historical and social significance, the National Historical Institute (now National Historical Commission of the Philippines) conferred on Casa Gorordo Museum the title “National Historical Landmark” in 1991.
It recently underwent a two-year enhancement project to elevate the visitor experience it offers to patrons by incorporating interactivity and digital age technology in its presentation.
Casa Gorordo Museum evokes the lifestyle of a family experiencing the transformation
of the Philippines from a colonial to a modern society. Within its walls and objects are
stories from centuries past which we love to share with each visitor who comes to us.
We tell these stories through innovative means to stimulate interaction, imagination,
learning and enjoyment. All guests are hosted by guides who are friendly and have
well-rounded knowledge of the history of Casa Gorordo and of Cebuano culture.
We continue to live out the traditions of the Gorordo family.
These embody many aspects of the culture of the old Parian
community and Cebu. We invite people to participate in these
so they themselves enact these rich heritage traditions.
We engage our varied audiences through tailored museumbased activities.
These come in the form of fun-oriented crafts learning sessions, cultural events,
forums and curriculum-focused tours. Our preference is to co-create activities
with our audiences to let meaningful experiences happen. Let us know if you
have an activity or experience in mind that you want have with us!
Complete your museum experience at our shop and café.
Bring home stories from local culture woven into carefully
selected items at our shop. Unwind first at our café and have
asampling of Cebuano delicacies before exploring other
heritage sites in the downtown area.
Our role in the New Normal
The term “New Normal” has become a household name in the last six months. I find that it can be a little misleading. It’s as if a new form of normal has set in. The truth, however, is that it’s our feeble way of describing a frighteningly rapid and disconcerting series of changes in our way of life that is not going to slow down in the foreseeable future.
Museums, at present, are challenged not only to adapt to this revolution but be visible enablers of people who are trying to survive and make sense and meaning out of it. The French phenomenologist, Paul Ricoeur, wrote that crisis is like the riddle of the Sphinx: answer or be killed. Throughout its long history, Casa Gorordo has witnessed the families who have lived in it and their community withstand several crises that threatened their existence.
As a program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), CGM is propelled by a larger vision of “touching people, shaping the future.” For this reason, the museum has been the site of relief operations of RAFI in response to several social crises before. The current one is not an exception.
But we are dealing with an impact of the pandemic at work in a less visible level: cultural displacement. It is in this aspect that CGM and other museums can be most relevant and effective. So, CGM has tasked itself to bring out the best stories from local history and culture, and convert these to become sources of awareness and inspiration for Cebuanos in these most trying times.
The answer to the Sphinx’s riddle is simple: the human being. Our hope and capability to prevail over this crisis is certainly within us. It is found in the stories we remember, create and pass on. These stories we share are our virtual “agbay” to Cebuanos as we push on in the New Normal.
Florencio A. Moreño II
Curator, Casa Gorordo Museum
Aug. 30, 2020
Copyright © 2020. Owned and managed by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)