Forum on baluartes and rap contest to mark 123rd Philippine independence

Cebu historians, a Tausug scholar, and an Augustinian priest will delve into the Moro raids and Spanish fortifications in the late 16th to early 19th century Cebu/Visayas in a panel discussion on Independence Day. Cebu rap artists will also physically perform their bars with the theme on unity. Entitled “Baluarte (Fortress of defense and reconquest):…

Cebu Archdiocese ties up with Smart, InnoPub for historic exhibit

A chronicle of the richness of the Archdiocese of Cebu’s historical patrimony, the Panaw sa Pagtuo: The Journey of Faith at 500 Years of Christianity Travelling Exhibit is set to be launched on April 11, at SM City Cebu Northwing. One of the major activities in Cebu to celebrate the fifth centenary of Christianity in…

Scholars, women advocates to tackle precolonial Visayan women power in bed and politics

Dominance of women in religion, culture, politics, and sex in precolonial Visayas is the focus of a panel discussion among scholars and women advocates during a blended Valentine cultural event. To celebrate #Cebu500 years of being part of the first circumnavigation of the world, a Visayas historian, an anthropology professor, and a New York-based journalist…

Scholars to trace roots of Sinulog dance, 500 year-old Cebuano devotion to Sto. Niño

Cebu scholars and an Islamic Studies Tausug professor will look into the origins of the different versions of the Sinulog: the war dance and the candle vendors’ Sinulog in a blended event today featuring an online panel discussion with live audience and performances. The former Executive Director of the University of San Carlos (USC) Cebuano…

Educators, heritage advocates, youth groups to celebrate 1898 Cebu Independence

Officials of the Department of Education-Region 7 (DepEd-7) and Cebu island school division superintendents will participate physically while those in other Central Visayas provinces will join virtually the blended celebration of the 122nd year of Cebu independence from Spanish rule. The educators, with Cebu heritage organizations, youth, tourism institutions and groups, a community theater, an…

Lapulapu was ready to submit to the King of Spain just not to Humabon: historian

Far from the simplistic and nationalistic recounting of the Battle of Mactan as local warriors repelling foreign invaders, what happened had more to do with local infighting over control of the Mactan channel. Historian and National Artist Resil Mojares said Lapulapu had offered to submit to the King of Spain upon Ferdinand Magellan’s demand but…

Digital tools to help revive PH tourism in new normal

After several months of lockdown in various parts of the Philippines, efforts are underway to revive economic activity. This includes the tourism industry which is a top job generator for the country. For this purpose, a two-hour web forum titled “#TravelSmart: Safe and Sustainable Tourism in the New Normal” will be held on July 16,…

Tech bridges heritage conservation to the ‘new normal’

Technology not only helps in the preservation of heritage, it can also do wonders in reinventing how we experience it. The Cebu Archdiocesan Commission for the Cultural Heritage of the Church (CACCHC) in partnership with start-up tech company InnoPub Media, and Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), have started working on a mobile application that would facilitate…

1918-1919 influenza pandemic: the 2nd wave was a tsunami of deaths

The second wave of the trancazo pandemic in 1918 will be less severe and only the very young and old are vulnerable, health officials said in a story on Manila Times published on October 27, 1918. They were gravely wrong. “This official announcement is interesting not only for its dismissive tone and lack of seriousness,…

Spanish Flu pandemic deaths in the Philippines: an interactive map

The 1918-1919 influenza pandemic claimed more than 80,000 lives in the Philippines. As in other parts of the world, the contagion came in three waves, with the second surge being the most virulent. Areas hit by the first wave of infections in the middle of 1918 had fewer deaths during the more virulent episode at…

Bantayan is under the patronage of St. Peter; how did St. Paul get into the picture?

Upon its turnover to secular priests at the dawn of the 17th century and for 400 years, the Bantayan parish was under the patronage of St. Peter and only under him. When the parish celebrated its 400th founding anniversary, it did so under the patronage of the fisherman held by Catholic traditions as the first…

Sinulog a spectacle for tourists, ‘not authentic’ representation of indigenous roots: historian

The Sinulog grand parade is a spectacle for tourists and locals and devotees should just stay home and let visitors enjoy it, a historian said in a forum tracing the roots of Sinulog yesterday. It is not authentic but a commercial celebration designed for outsiders, said Dr. Jose Eleazar Bersales, an anthropologist at the University…

Cebu Archdiocese, CBCP to focus on first baptism, spread of faith in 2021 celebration

2021 EVENTS. Officials announce the official activities for the 500th anniversary of the Christianization in the Philippines. Present during the press conference in Oakridge Business Park are (from left) Fr. Mhar Vincent Balili; Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles, who is also the CBCP president; Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, designer Kenneth Cobonpue, who heads the Visayas Quincentennial Committee; and Cebu Auxiliary Bishop Midyphil Billones.

The baptism of Cebuanos led by Rajah Humabon will be the focus of the Archdiocese of Cebu and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in their celebration of the 500th year of the Christianization of the Philippines On December 1, 2019, the church will start a 500-day countdown to April 14, 2021, the…

Lapulapu statue implicated in deaths of Opon mayors

In the old town center of Opon, the old name of Lapu-Lapu City when it was still a municipality, stands a statue of Lapulapu carrying a staff. Far from being the warrior that is depicted in the bigger and more popular statue in Liberty Shrine eight kilometers away, this Lapulapu looks less menacing. He’s more…

Marica! Bisaya words in use when Magellan was in Cebu

I’ve long been curious about the word marica, which I first heard when I relocated to Cebu more than 20 years ago. I never heard it growing up in Polomolok, South Cotabato where we talked a patois that was a mix of Cebuano and Ilonggo. For us, it was “dali” or “adto diri” or “ari…

Magellan’s Cross offers indulgence to Catholic faithful

Augustinian friar Santos Gomez Marañon, who served as bishop of Cebu from 1829 to 1840, granted the Magellan’s Cross plenary indulgence to those who pray before it every Feast of the Triumph of the Cross on September 14. The indulgence is gained by praying the Creed. For those unfamiliar with Catholic teachings, an indulgence is…

In Oslob, Fr. Bermejo looks out to sea he protected in his lifetime

Just outside the compound of the Inmaculada Concepcion parish church in Oslob, southern Cebu, stands a forlorn statue of a slightly hunched priest holding a cross — as if to offer a blessing — while looking out to the open sea. The statue is that of Fr. Julian Bermejo, an Augustinian priest who played a…

Is the original really encased inside Magellan’s Cross?

No, according to several historians. The panel placed at the foot of the cross makes two astonishing claims: that it contains the original Magellan’s Cross and that it was planted by the Portuguese explorer on that very spot. Neither claim holds up to close scrutiny. It is also interesting to note that the commemorative marker…

Rizal Memorial Library and Museum

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)

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,…

Gabii Sa Kabilin 2015 sites: A walkthrough

Gabii sa Kabilin Map

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…