Ever wondered what happened to the old facility that used to be the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center on M. J. Cuenco Avenue? Well, it’s undergone a major facelift and has transformed itself into what we now know as Museo Sugbo.
The facility was designed in 1869, by a Spanish architect named Domingo de Escondrillas. He also designed a parish church in Pardo, Cebu City, named after Sto. Tomas de Villanueva. It is relatively large because it was intended to be the principal prison complex in the Visayas region.
The CPDRC structure was built in 1871. Back then, it was also known as Carcel de Cebu, and it served as the main prison in the province. Among its many incarcerated criminals are members of the Katipunan during the Philippine revolution and some World War II guerillas.
In 1892, the CPDRC was renovated. More buildings were built behind the main structure. Into the 21st century, the facility continued to serve as a prison until the provincial government transferred CPDRC to a more modern and more spacious prison complex in Kalunasan, Cebu City.
Following the transfer, the facility was temporarily occupied by the Department of Education until the provincial government decided to convert the place into a museum showcasing Cebuano’s heritage and history. The facility is now known as Museo Sugbo, or the Cebu Museum.
The museum, which highlights Cebu’s political history, is considered a replica of the National Historical Institute’s Museum of Philippine Political History. It was declared open to the public in 2008, during the 439th founding anniversary celebration of the province of Cebu.
For a small fee of Php 30.00 for adults and Php 10.00 for students and senior citizens, one can already bear witness to the heroism and unique culture of our ancestors, as evidenced by the artifacts they have left for us. The museum has four galleries, each presenting a political period of Cebu. The artifacts on display include a copy of Ang Suga (the first Cebuano newspaper), the Brownie (a spy camera used during the Japanese-American war), and a Christmas card written in Cebuano by former president Manuel Quezon.
(Updated 02/27/2012) You may connect with Museo Sugbo through http://www.facebook.com/angmuseosugbo with e-mail address [email protected] or call telephone number (032)239-5626 to contact the museum.