One event that should not be missed in Cebu this May is the annual Gabii sa Kabilin, which is bigger this year since it will involve 21 heritage sites and include children’s activities as well as an exhibit of Cebuano delicacies.

Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)-Culture and Heritage, said they are aiming to attract 10,000 people to the May 25 event that will start at 6 p.m. and end at midnight.

Tickets cost P150 and allow participants access to the 21 sites where cultural performances, exhibits, art fairs, food markets, and interactive demonstrations will be held.

TOUR THEMES. Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)-Culture and Heritage, says this year's Gabii Sa Kabilin offers different tour themes. Click on photo to enlarge. At right is Cebu City Police Office Director Ramon Melvin Buenafe, who assured participants of their safety. (PHOTO PROVIDED BY RAMON ABOITIZ FOUNDATION INC.)

TOUR THEMES. Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)-Culture and Heritage, says this year's Gabii Sa Kabilin offers different tour themes. Click on photo to enlarge. At right is Cebu City Police Office Director Ramon Melvin Buenafe, who assured participants of their safety. (PHOTO PROVIDED BY RAMON ABOITIZ FOUNDATION INC.)

Different tour themes

Since there are many cultural and historical establishments that have joined this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin, organizers have decided to offer the following tour themes:

* Museums
* Art Galleries and Alternative Spaces
* Heritage Structures
* Historic Educational Institutions
* Churches, Temples, and Sacred Places
* Public Spaces

Guests may choose to follow one or several suggested tours or map one of their own. They can also board for free any of the Gabii sa Kabilin buses designated to carry participants from one cultural or heritage site to another and get one tartanilla ride in Cebu City’s old district.

Aside from the themed routes, there will also be a walking tours along heritage sites that are near one another.

Among the places that will be part of such tour sthis year are the 1938 VECO Building, Asilo de la Milagrosa, Matilda Bradford Church, Cebu Provincial Capitol Building, Cebu Puericulture and Maternity House, Compania Maritima, early warehouses along M.C. Briones Street, Fuente Osmeña, Gotiaoco Building, Iglesia Filipina Independiente Cathedral, Malacañang sa Sugbo, Mother of Perpetual Help Parish Church, old Southern Islands Hospital, Plaza Hamabar, old bridges of Sikatuna and Zulueta streets, Oriente and Vision Theaters, Plaza Sugbo, Plaza Hamabar, University of the Philippines-Cebu College, and
Yutivo Building.

QR Code Hunt

Another first this year is the holding of the QR code hunt, a race held at the same time as the event that involves asking teams to answer questions, solve puzzles, and complete tasks related to Cebuano culture and heritage.

An added attraction to this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin, which is initiated by RAFI as well as its partners and sponsors like Smart Communications Inc., is a set of children’s activities that will be held from 6 pm to 8 pm in seven sites, and these include storytelling and carroza decorating at Casa Gorordo, hat and basket weaving at Ayala Center Cebu, beadwork and rosary stringing at the Cebu Cathedral Museum, and sungka games at Fort San Pedro.

According to Gerra, Gabii sa Kabilin started in 2007 with three Cebu City museums and one heritage site and is inspired by Germany’s Lange Nacht der Museum or Long Night of the Museum. It’s held in May since it is National Heritage Month and because International Museums Day fall on the same month.

The event is aimed at developing an awareness in Cebuanos of the significance of museums and heritage sites in the creation of a cultural identity. It also seeks, added Gerra, to rally public support towards the protection of culture and heritage sites and places.

This year’s main attractions are the following museums and cultural sites in the cities of Cebu and Mandaue:

1. Aboitizland Heritage Pocket
2. Ayala Center Cinema and The Terraces
3. Fo Guang Shan Chu Un Temple
4. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Museum
5. College Assurance Plan (CAP) Theater
6. Cathedral Museum
7. Casa Gorordo Museum
8. Cebu City Museum
9. Cebu Normal University (CNU)
10. Fort San Pedro
11. Jose R. Gullas Halad Museum
12. Mandaue City Plaza
13. Museo Parian sa Sugbo
14. Museo Sugbo
15. Plaza Independencia
16. Sacred Heart Parish Church
17. Alternative Contemporary Arts Studio
18. Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño
19. University of San Carlos Museum
20. University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Rizaliana Museum
21. Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House

Tickets to the event are sold starting May 10 at the 21 participating sites as well as at the Ayala Center Cebu concierge.

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