Have you been to the Casa Gorordo Museum Shop lately? You might be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
Since January of this year, I've visited Casa Gorordo several times particularly their museum shop. And every time that I'm there I don't leave the place empty-handed.
I love going through the merchandise especially the Filipiniana books that they have. Most of the titles spotlight Cebu history and culture. It has become a ritual of mine to spend some time at the house in the Parian when I feel the need to have some 'Me' time. It also doesn't hurt that the Museum Cafe also serves good food.
You don't have to go through the tour in order to get to the gift shop. The shop and cafe are housed in a separate building that is connected to the museum by a passageway from the Azotea. As you enter the shop, it's well-lighted and organized. The staff is knowledgeable and helpful.
I've found photo postcards that showed the Philippines during the American Period. Learned more about Cebuano history through the books by Resil Mojares and Concepcion G. Briones. And maybe in the future, I'd be able to purchase those coffee table books that I've been eyeing since I started going to the shop.
It's a wonderful thing that there is a shop because museum guests after touring the place would like to know more about what they've experienced. Having a museum shop ties all of this together. It is nice to have a piece of history to bring home.
I actually created a vlog episode about my unexpected discoveries at the museum. You can watch it here.
The Casa Gorordo Museum has been a Cebuano landmark since the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Incorporated (RAFI) opened its door as a museum in the 1980s. Casa Gorordo became a historical landmark in 1991.
The Bahay na Bato (stone house) became prevalent during the Spanish Colonial period. Made of locally-sourced materials (tisa, coral stones, kamagong, etc.) and patterned after the Nipa hut where the living quarters are located on the second floor, the bahay na bato was a symbol of one's wealth.
The end of the Manila-Acapulco Galleon saw an emergence in the merchant class. If before the trade was relegated to a Spanish monopoly, a more homogenized sector became involved. Thus, more and more Filipinos became successful and wealthy.
The main structure of Casa Gorordo was the result of this newfound prosperity. The house was built in the Parian district of Cebu which was originally a conclave for Chinese merchants. But as they immersed in Philippine society, they produced the Mestizo class which slowly dominated the Parian.
This bahay na bato in the Parian district of Cebu is just one of the few which is in existence. Majority of the houses were destroyed during World War II.
In the 1850s, Alejandro Reynes y Rosales built the house and eventually sold it to a Spaniard, Juan Isidro de Gorordo in 1863. The Gorordo family would live in the house for generations. One of the family's progeny was Juan Bautista Gorordo, the first Filipino Bishop during the American Period.
Casa Gorordo is open from Tuesdays-Sundays, 10AM-5PM. Their address is 35 Eduardo Aboitiz St. (formerly Lopez Jaena), Cebu City. You can contact them at (032) 255 5645.
Scroll down to see photos of the Casa Gorordo Museum Shop and Cafe.
|My unexpected discoveries at the shop|
|My favorite section of the shop|
|The Cafe which is located on the ground floor of the building.|