TRAVEL NEWS | A Look into the History of Cebu Through a Visit to Museo Sugbo

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Museo Sugbo Cebu

If you’ve read our extensive Cebu Travel Guide from 2017, then you’ll know why the city is such a wonderful travel destination to spend your vacation in. All the stories about Cebu’s lechon are true, and hopefully you’ve taken time to read some of our posts including our article Lechon for Breakfast at Lapu Lapu City’s Zubuchon.


If after reading those articles you still want to read more about the Philippines’ oldest city, then we are going to take a deeper look into Museo Sugbo, one of the city’s highly regarded museums. You can like their Facebook Page here and follow what events are scheduled.


Museo Sugbo “offers travelers a glimpse of Cebu’s rich history with artifacts like the remains of an American bomb and Japanese propaganda newspapers,” according to Philippine Airlines’ detailed travel guide on Cebu. The provincial museum is nestled in the heart of Cebu. It was once part of the Prison of Cebu acting as a detention and rehabilitation center before being turned into a museum. And this is in part, what makes Museo Sugbo’s backstory quite fascinating. It was designed by Cebu architect Domingo Escondrillas and was set to be the main prison in the Visayas District. Fast-forward to 2004 and it was turned into a museum, and one of the most visited in the city.


Museo Sugbo is a stunning building—a fortress in its time that would’ve been hard to escape. In 2010, it was the victim of one of Cebu’s worst ever earthquakes. The earthquake reportedly reached 7.2 which damaged some parts of Museo Sugbo. Luckily, the Philippine government recognized the museum’s importance to the loyal community and dedicated twenty million pesos to restore the building so that it could reopen.


Nowadays, it houses a slew of galleries inside its coral-stone walls. Lonely Planet states that Museo Sugbo holds an American-era gallery that “contains an interesting collection of letters and memorabilia from Thomas Sharpe, one of 1065 teachers known as Thomasites.” These teachers were sent by the then American President McKinley to ‘educate Filipinos’ after World War II. It’s a thrilling collection that showcases the realities of the American period and what the ‘teachers’ and locals went through during such a distressing time.


Additionally, there are two separate World War II galleries, one of which contains the aforementioned American bomb which was dropped on Cebu during the war and the Japanese propaganda newspapers that make for interesting reading.


One of the galleries proudly exhibits a “Purple Heart and Bronze Star earned by local Uldrico Cabahug,” as this Peanut Browas article reveals.


If you want to take some souvenirs home with you, then you’ll be happy to know that Museo Sugbo has an on-site shop and a café. There is also plenty to do in and around the museum, as it is only approximately four blocks from Plaza Independencia.



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