Cebu Walkabout Tour

Last February 14, I took the opportunity to partake in a Cebu walkabout tour. It sought to educate its tourists the history behind the first income class highly urbanized city

It's important to know the history of your country, but it's more important to know the history of the land you originated. Since this is my hometown, it would be a slap on my face if I have no knowledge about it. This is why I took interest on this.

Most of my companions in the tour were interesting young professionals who participated with the same purpose as I did. We gathered at our meeting place and headed to the bus, Then, the tour began.

We first had lunch on Zubuchon. And it's a feast for lechon, tagged as the "best pig ever!" by chef, author and TV personality Anthony Bourdain. There are different ways of preparing this dish. But in here, they use the old-fashioned natural and organic way. I can see that they want to bring their distinct, savory taste. And it tasted good upon trying it.

What remarked me was that they do it to help the local economy. In that way, profits would be increased and more job opportunities would be created. With Cebu placed in the map for its best lechon, it's a wide opportunity to help the place become its best in bringing its culture through food to the people.

Heritage Monument of Cebu
Our next stop was the Heritage Monument of Cebu. We saw sculptures that marked the history of the land. It was nice to know that Cebu became a center of commerce and trade in the pre-colonial times, and it's reflected today.

When we learned about Pres. Sergio Osmeña Sr. and his legacy to modern Cebu, there's no doubt that he marked the place's history. And he should be thanked for that.

When we learned of the Spaniards' arrival and their influence to the Filipinos today, I was saddened. It was where the Filipinos' identity was erased. The values of honesty, trust, courage, bravery and entrepreneuralism weren't instilled and we became the opposite of our glorious past.

There was a Lapu-Lapu who defended for us against Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan to prevent his ulterior motive to happen. But what happened along the way? What caused the country to be finally conquered? I didn't know the answers, but all I knew was a pain started to emerge.

Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House
Just a few walking steps from the monument, we visited the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House. It is one of the oldest existing structural residential houses in the Philippine made out of coral stones and woods.

I'm amazed to see that the house remains its structure with the time that has passed. One can grasp the architecture of those times as well as the lifestyle. I'm glad they continued to preserve these for the upcoming generations to see. In a way, it also marks the role of the Chinese community and how their impact is felt today.

 Sto. Niño Church
The Pilgrim Center of the Basilica
We headed to our next stop at the Sto. Niño Church. We visited its basilica, its Pilgrim Center and its convent. Then, we took a few steps from the church to be at the Magellan's Cross, the cross planted by Magellan upon arriving in Cebu. Within the area is Plaza Sugbo, a replica of a town being surrounded by the church during the Spanish era.

It's no doubt that the impact of Christianity the Spaniards introduced by the country is strongly felt. The Sinulog festival is one evidence. The Chapel of St. Pedro Calungsod is another one (which was our next stop after this). But the country's ongoing problems are present.

We were made to look at the city seal and saw a symbol of ourselves being on top of a symbol representing Spanish colonization. This pained me because we allowed our inferiority to our colonizers to seep into us. We chose to highly admire them and forget the cruelty and oppression they did to us. We chose to not appreciate the effort of our heroes who fought against them. It's no wonder why the current situation is that way.

Fort San Pedro
After the chapel, we proceeded to Fort San Pedro, a small military defensive structure built by the Spaniards to defend themselves from the enemies. Speaking of enemies, one of them is a hero in whom we all can be proud of. He is Leon Kilat.

After learning of his heroic deeds, I was glad to know that the seeds have planted for more heroes to continue the uprising. But I was saddened to hear his tragic end. He was betrayed and murdered 5 days later by his own men. He shared the same fate of General Antonio Luna. It was so hurtful. I couldn't understand why they chose selfishness and pride than their selfless love and sacrifice for their Motherland.

A street is named after the battle he lead, and a marker exists to describe the event. However, the writings were strange. Instead of being described as a hero, he was described instead as a rebel. He shared the same with Lapu-Lapu who was described as a murderer in his shrine. The sad part was it was written by our very own people. It goes to show that the Filipinos haven't overcome their inferiority. That's one of the things needed to be fixed.

The Chocolate Chamber
A cup of dark chocolate cacao

We ended our tour with a dinner at The Chocolate Chamber, a store that serves chocolate creations and chocolate-infused food. After learning of the story behind its sweet success, I saw this as a testament of the Filipino values of courage, determination, industriousness and persistence. I also saw this as a product of an ongoing advocacy for the country's chocolate industry to be boosted.

We tried several of their products and they tasted good. It makes me proud to say I've tried one of our very lauded by our own people and those outside. I hope their cause continues on.

Last Words
Towards the end of our tour, I learned about the Statue of the Sentinel of Freedom found in Manila. It is the Korean government's gift to the Philippines in appreciation and honor of the memory of the Filipinos who volunteered during the Korean War in the early 1950's to help save Korean democracy. It's a statue of Lapu-Lapu, and it means something.

We were given the manuscript to read. It talked about the Filipinos' need to remember the heroes who showed courage and bravery for not allowing colonizers to invade their land such as Lapu-Lapu and Jose Rizal. I felt like punching myself. They made efforts to remind us to remember our greatest heroes in history. They know our history more than we do.

We were also given a handmade bracelet made by Canadian adventurer Kyle "Kulas" Jennermann. It consisted of the colors of the Philippine flag. I felt I needed another punch. There are Filipinos who wish to be people from other races, yet there are people from other races who wish to be Filipinos. They love everything about our country more than we do. These broke my heart the most. But in spite of this, I felt an arising challenge, a challenge of loving my country, taking pride of it, and recognizing that my race is unique and is meant for a greater destiny.

Just when I thought that the places we toured were enough to know about Cebu's history, I was wrong. There were more to be visited, and a day isn't enough to talk about these things. If I need to be broken multiple times to discover more of our history, then I'm willing. When we have all the pieces of the puzzle to create the big picture and understand it, then there's hope for the country to restore its honor and dignity. This won't be the last, as I'm looking forward for more.


Post a Comment