The Casa Gorordo Museum was originally a two-storey house built in the mid-19th century in the historic Parian district of Cebu City. During the Spanish colonial era, the Parian district was the most prestigious section of the city and home to its most prominent families.
The house was built by Alejandro Reynes y Rosales and was later bought in 1863 by a Spanish merchant, Juan Isidro de Gorordo. Four generations of the Gorordo family resided in the house from 1863 to 1979. Among its residents was Juan Gorordo, the first native Cebuano bishop of Cebu.
The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. under its Cultural Heritage Program purchased the house in 1980. After extensive renovation and restoration works were performed on the house, it was opened as a public museum in 1983. The house was declared as a National Historical Landmark in September 1991 by the National Historical Institute. The museum showcases mid-19th century and early 20th century Philippine culture and lifestyle.
The house is a wood-and-stone type of house that was a typical architectural type during the Spanish colonial period. Locally called as “bahay na bato,” the house is built with coral stone blocks, molave hardwood flooring and terra-cotta roof tiles. Displayed inside the museum are elaborate antique furniture, period costumes, paintings and religious images, wood carvings, decorative art and household items, and tools for farming, kitchen and baking. It also has a gallery for contemporary art on the ground floor.
The patio on the ground floor of the house is a waiting room for guests and its furniture is partially made of bamboo and the ground floor also has a small gallery. The basement for food storage is located near the patio. Among the various artifacts in the museum are 18th and 19th century implements for agricultural and household use. Among the agricultural implements on display are plows and other plant cultivating tools that show the evolution of farming culture in Cebu during the Spanish era.
Among the displays are 19th century implements for clothes washing, which include large water basins made of hard wood and clothes wringers, dryers, and wooden iron for ironing clothes. Majority of the furniture in the second floor of the house are original fixtures displaying intricate art forms like wood carvings that divide the house into function rooms.
In the living room of the house are rattan sets and Vienna chairs accompanied by cabinets, tables and beds manufactured from narra or molave wood with delicate carvings on them. The dining rooms and kitchen display antique silverware, plates and cups, and 18th century water jars and cooking accessories.
Casa Gorordo Museum is a popular tourist attraction in Cebu City and is visited by thousands of local and foreign tourists every year. The museum is located at No. 35 Lopez Jaena Street, in Barangay Parian in Cebu City and is open to the public from Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. It is closed on Mondays and holidays.
Entrance admission rates are based on rates for international and local visitors. Foreign tourists pay Php70 for adults and Php50 for students. Local tourists pay Php40 for adults, Php15 for college students, and Php10 for high school and elementary students.For more information, you may contact this number: (032) 418-7234 loc. 532. (Updated 07/15/11)