Things to Do in Cebu
Cebu's Basilica del Santo Niño (Basilica of Santo Nino, Basilica Minore de Sto Nino) was literally born from fire. In 1565, the church was built on the site where one of conquistador Legazpi's men supposedly found a miraculous statue of Jesus in the burning ruins of a hostile native village. The statue -- considered the oldest religious artifact in the country -- was completely unharmed. The building still houses the statue, even after burning down three times since its initial construction.
The basilica you see today dates back to 1737, and you can see the miraculous "Santo Niño," or Holy Child, within the aptly named Santo Niño Chapel inside the basilica. Each year, the Basilica del Santo Niño celebrates Cebu's largest annual event, the Cebuano festival of Sinulog, centered on this small Flemish statue of Jesus. The festival features a street parade with performances by brightly costumed dancers from all over the Philippines.
The Casa Gorordo Museum, located in downtown Cebu, was originally a private home built in the 1850s Alejandro Reynes Y Rosales and later owned by Juan Isidro de Gorordo, a wealthy Spanish Merchant. The residence was passed down through the Gorordo family, with a total of four generations living there, including the first Filipino bishop of Cebu, Juan Gorordo.
Today, the recently renovated house serves as a public museum and national historic landmark filled with antique furnishings, historic books and documents, decorative arts, household items, period costumes and memorabilia from the Spanish colonial period. As one of only three remaining houses from the colonial period, Casa Gorordo offers an insight into what life was like during Cebu’s early days.
The structure of the house itself is a fascinating study in architecture, as it draws from Spanish, native and Chinese influences.
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