Under-the-radar historic sites

By Karl Aries Emerson F. Cabilao, FUAP

Cebu boasts of many buildings and places with a lot of history. The significant events that took place in them usually afford these sites some historical relevance that attracts the curiousness of many people, whether residents or visitors.

Historical buildings in the city have been tourism staples, as visitors usually flock to these places and attempt to know more about its history apart of course from taking social-media-worthy photographs. Some of these buildings and places may have been featured in newspapers, magazines and TV shows a lot of times already that whenever these places’ names were mentioned, people would easily recognize them.

However, just when you thought you know each and every historical destination in Cebu, think again. There are still places containing some rich history of Cebu that are not too popular and not many people have visited. These places may be low-key in terms of the consciousness of locals and tourists compared to well-publicized destinations like the Magellan’s Cross and Santo Niño Basilica, but these “silent-type” historical spaces have a lot of vibrant stories to impart. Perhaps Cebuanos and their visitors could give time to highlight these places in their summer itinerary.

Today, SunStar Weekend readers share some of their favorite under-the-radar historical destinations and as you read on, you might want to consider scheduling a visit to some of them.

Steffi Sioux Go, architect

“One day, I would love to be able to visit a rehabilitated or restored Compañia Maritima Building. Even in its dilapidated state, the building is a hauntingly beautiful site. It is a wish to be able to visit it one day no longer as a carpark, but as a preserved and revered artifact of Cebuano Heritage.”

Carl Nicko Ardiente, application support analyst

“I’d probably go to Mt. Manuggal where the plane carrying Ramon Magsaysay crashed. Besides the great view on top of the mountain itself and nature trekking experience, you also get to visit the monument of the ‘Champion of the Masses,’ President Ramon Magsaysay, who practically won the hearts of the Filipino people back then. It’d be nice to pay tribute to the late President Magsaysay and at the same time enjoy a stroll and camp with your buddies.”

Janelle Airene Moran, graduating architecture student

“One of the historical buildings that always interested me is the Vision Theatre in Colon Street. Without knowing its historical significance, the Vision Theatre was just a place for people to buy DVDs. But whenever I see it, I feel this strange nostalgia as if I’m being transported back in time when the theatre was at its peak. Despite how it’s being used now, the building speaks to me its story.”

Nheil Crisostomo, architect/college instructor/President, United Architects of the Philippines Cebu Chapter

“I’d go to the BPI Museum located at corner Magallanes and P. Burgos streets in Cebu City. It houses artefacts that supported the economic development of the Philippines. Some of these items date way back into the time of the Spanish occupation, which includes old bank notes, handwritten ledgers and many others. It is an interesting stop if you are within Cebu’s historic district.”

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