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Category: History

Rizal Memorial Library and Museum

Along the modern urbanscape of Osmena Blvd. stands the pre-World War II neo-classical building the Rizal Memorial Library and Museum or commonly known to Cebuanos as the Cebu City Public…

Along the modern urbanscape of Osmena Blvd. stands the pre-World War II neo-classical building the Rizal Memorial Library and Museum or commonly known to Cebuanos as the Cebu City Public Library.

The structure grew out of contributions from civic-minded residents way back in 1939 and is named after the country’s national hero and multi-talented scholar, Dr. Jose Rizal, who immortalized the phrase “the youth is the hope of our fatherland.”

Fronting the building is the statue of Jose Rizal with a book spread on his lap as he reads with two little children.

Rizal Memorial Library

BUILT FROM CONTRIBUTIONS. During the war in the 1940s, the Rizal Memorial Library was used as Japanese headquarters while the books and all were dumped in a nook at the Capitol building. (Photo used with permission by the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos)

Contributions by Cebuanos

The monument’s plaque reads. “To the memory of the most outstanding Filipino educator, patriot, and martyr who is conscious of the importance of education, the people of Cebu voluntarily contributed to the construction of this memorial.”

The contribution came from the net proceeds of the literary-musical programs and carnival-expositions periodically held since 1919 in celebration of Rizal Days.

A committee composed of Cebu’s prime movers invested the money from the activities in the Cebu Mutual Loan Association, where, forgotten in later years, it was earning dividends.

Rizal Memorial Libray

The Jose Rizal Memorial Library today. (Photo from the Gabii Sa Kabilin app)

Japanese headquarters

In 1935, Governor Sotero Cabahug led the construction of the building, which on Dec 30, 1939 was inaugurated and christened as the Rizal Memorial Library.

During the war in the 1940s, the library building was used as Japanese headquarters while the books and all were dumped in a nook at the Capitol building. In 1953, the institution was reopened due to public clamor. The Cebu City Government appropriated a budget for the library collection and other operating expenses.

In 2009, the library was closed for the renovation of a cultural museum which is now located in the second level of the building. It resumed its operation in 2009.

The library is open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Gabii Sa Kabilin 2015 sites: A walkthrough

Gabii Sa Kabilin or Night of Heritage is the year’s most-awaited cultural and heritage event in Cebu. On this day, which is always the last Friday of May, museums, churches,…

Gabii Sa Kabilin or Night of Heritage is the year’s most-awaited cultural and heritage event in Cebu. On this day, which is always the last Friday of May, museums, churches, temples and heritage houses in Cebu stay open until midnight. To preview and plan ahead your Gabii Sa Kabilin route on May 29, check out the story map we created below. To get a mobile guide to the event, which also serves as portable resource on heritage sites in Cebu, download the Gabii Sa Kabilin app for Android. The iOS version is still coming.

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Going on Visita Iglesia? Download a handy guide to Cebu’s heritage churches

Are you planning to visit seven churches this Holy Week in observance of the religious tradition Visita Iglesia? Cebu-based journalism startup InnoPub Media, in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc. and…

Are you planning to visit seven churches this Holy Week in observance of the religious tradition Visita Iglesia?

Cebu-based journalism startup InnoPub Media, in partnership with Smart Communications, Inc. and the Archdiocese of Cebu, provides you a handy guide to the heritage churches in Cebu with the release of an updated version of its Visita Iglesia mobile phone app.

The app is available for download on iOS, Android, and Windows devices.

If you’re planning to observe the traditional Visita Iglesia or simply after visiting Cebu’s Spanish period stone churches, let the Visita Iglesia app guide you to where the structures are located in the province.

Visita Iglesia App

Visita Iglesia App. The app, available for iOS, Android and Windows Phone, is a handy reference to the heritage churches of Cebu.

Historical information

The app also provides historical and current information on centuries-old churches scattered across the whole span of the island, from its southern to northern tip.

Learn more about Cebu City’s Basilica del Sto. Nino, Boljoon’s Nuestra Patrocinio de Maria Church, or Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Bantayan as you visit these structures during Lent or any other time through the information provided in the app.

The VisitaIglesia app’s first version was released last year in time for Holy Week, when devotees visit seven churches, a tradition known as Visita Iglesia, typically during Maundy Thursday.

More churches are featured in the app’s latest version.

Digital Tourism program

The Visita Iglesia app is released as part of the nationwide Digital Tourism program of telecommunications leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) and Cebu-based new media startup InnoPub Media. Digital Tourism harnesses mobile technology to deliver tourism, cultural and historical information.

The program includes the production of mobile phone apps and ebooks that are offered for free download to serve as guides to tourists. The program also includes the installation of interactive tourism markers that contain a QR or quick response code and NFC or near-field communications sticker to trigger the download of historical, cultural and tourism information into mobile devices.

Digital Tourism was pioneered in Cebu but is now also in Iloilo and Baguio City and is set for launch in Albay and Intramuros. The program was commended on mass motion by the Cebu City Council in January 2012 as an “ingenious way” to deliver tourism and historical information. It was also a recipient of an Anvil Award of Merit during the 49th Anvil Awards held last February 26, 2014.

Download the app

download-on-the-app-store

Android app on Google Play

Download from Windows Phone Store

 

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TBT: Fuente Scandal

It’s hard to imagine today but the Fuente Osmeña circle was considered dangerous in the 1900s because it was far from the city center. Fuelling the fear in that period…

It’s hard to imagine today but the Fuente Osmeña circle was considered dangerous in the 1900s because it was far from the city center. Fuelling the fear in that period was what author Lucy Urgello-Miller described in her book “Glimpses of Old Cebu” as a “scandalous, melodramatic case” that happened in the area.

On the morning of March 22, 1915, two bodies bearing multiple stab wounds were found near Fuente Osmeña, Miller recounted in her book. The two were identified as Ramon Santiago and Natividad Garcia Reyes.

Santiago was single. Natividad, on the other hand, was married to Carlos Reyes, whose family owned Bazaar Rizal, which Miller described as one of the biggest stores in Cebu at that time. The two were rumored to be having an affair.

Carlos was in Manila during the killings. His brother Elias, friend Isidro Jureidini and three of Elias’s servants were accused of the murder.

Fuente Osmeña history

Fuente Osmeña. This Cebu City landmark was built in 1912 to mark the opening of Osmeña Waterworks, now known as the Buhisan Dam. This photo was taken in 1915, close to the time of the murders discussed in this article. These three, it must be said, had nothing to do with the killings. (Photo used with permission of the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos)

Sensational case

“It was a sensational case where the people of Cebu attended the packed trial faithfully for two years,” Miller wrote in her book.

A tartanilla driver later testified that he brought Natividad to Fuente, where Santiago was already waiting to bring her to the thickets. Another tartanilla driver testified that he brought Elias, Isidro and 2 other men to Fuente. Miller, however, wrote that the latter kept on switching his story.

The judge later convicted all the suspects and sentenced them to 17 years in jail, save for Sergio Orias, one of Elias’s servants. They appealed their case to the Supreme Court and were exonerated on January 22, 1917 because the magistrates found that the testimonies of witnesses were tampered with. They were subsequently released.

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#TBT: Traffic much? Colon traffic and the ‘Best Trafficman of the Year’

This photo taken in about 1930 shows trafficman Pio Alo manning traffic on Colon Street. According to the information that accompanied this photograph at the Cebuano Studies Center archives, Alo…

This photo taken in about 1930 shows trafficman Pio Alo manning traffic on Colon Street. According to the information that accompanied this photograph at the Cebuano Studies Center archives, Alo was named “Best Trafficman of the Year” in the year this photo was taken.

Photo by Jose Martinez. This image is part of the Cebuano Studies Center collection at the University of San Carlos and is used in this site with permission from the center.

Photo by Jose Martinez. This image is part of the Cebuano Studies Center collection at the University of San Carlos and is used in this site with permission from the center.

Alo is shown inside a traffic box that was in use at that time. The box had an umbrella to shield trafficmen from rain or the heat of the sun.

At left is Vision Theater, where you can see a line of taxis from the Checkered Cab. Next to the theater, according to the photo info card, was the residence of the late Don Sergio Osmeña. It is now occupied by Eden Theater.

Across Vision theater was Cebu Lunch, a popular eatery at that time.

Here’s Colon Street today, in a photo taken by by USJ-R intern Nel Mozol just yesterday, January 15, 2015, at the general area of the photo above.

#TBT Colon

Colon today. (Photo by USJ-R Intern Nel Mozol)

 

 

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