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Monday, July 30

Cebu Art and Sculpture: Heritage of Cebu Monument

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Depicting Cebu history and culture, Heritage of Cebu Monument in Cebu City is truly Cebu art and sculpture.

The Heritage of Cebu Monument in Cebu City (located originally in the Parian District) is a work of both art and sculpture depicting the most important events that happened in the history of Cebu. The sculpture signifies the time of Rajah Humabon up to the beatification of Cebuano martyr Pedro Calungsod. The Cebu Heritage Monument showcases the works of its artist Edgardo Castillo. It was constructed in 1997 and inaugurated in late 2000. Now, the Heritage of Cebu Monument serves as one of the many historical landmarks of Cebu City together with the ancestral house a few steps from it.

Heritage of Cebu Monument, Cebu City
Part 3 of Cebu Heritage Tour (A Beginner’s Guide to Cebu)

The Heritage of Cebu Monument was erected on a triangular piece of land at the intersection located near north end of Colon Street which was the oldest established street in the Philippines. It is a work of art made from both metals and concrete, showcasing the different events happened in the productive province of Cebu in the Central Philippines. To elaborate further, there is this big ship and statues of Ferdinand Magellan and his ship warriors who “accidentally” discovered Pilipinas in the 16th century. There is also Sto. Niño procession, the Battle of Mactan with Lapu-Lapu, Manuel Quezon and other bits of Cebu history.

The ship sculpture (depicting Magellan's arrival)
Other information will also tell us that prior to construction and clearance of the land there were old artifacts that suggest it was never Magellan who established civilization in Cebu. As a matter of fact, these artifacts such as jars, stone wares and human skeletons serve as hints that there was already a booming civilization even before Magellan came across in these islands, only that it was not written. I remember a documentary on TV about Filipino archaeologists who happen to “discover” human skeletons somewhere down south of Cebu island (not sure if that’s Boljoon) and that it was suggested that early before there was already a way of life and to testify about this, the scientists discovered that upon the dug graveyard, the burial was a tradition. The skeletons were never buried in a way they were just buried feet underneath the earth surface. Instead, the gestures, like putting their arms onto their chests were done. The skeletons and wares were dated centuries ago.

From the Colon Obelisk Marker, the Heritage of Cebu Monument was just a few more steps. Just beside the park is the San Juan Bautista Chapel and across the entrance was an old fire station. Crossing again the street to the other side will lead you to the one of the oldest ancestral houses in the Philippines, Yap-San Diego Ancestral House that is.

I found the Heritage of Cebu Monument an artistic Cebuano craft. It was done delicately and creatively. I hope the government of Baguio will also create one like this, but instead of historic roots like Magellan, Baguio culture will be shown, particularly Igorot way of life, some tourist attractions and of course Daniel Burnham. Or they will just have to recreate the Igorot Park.

San Juan Bautista Chapel near Heritage of Cebu Monument
The Heritage of Cebu Monument is an outstanding work of sculpture that showcases Filipino talents in the creative world. It is a historical landmark that not only depicts Cebu’s rich culture but as a whole nation instead. The Heritage of Cebu Monument is a tourist attraction we can always be proud of. And this Cebu art and sculpture is hoped to last the entirety, if not forever.

Cebu Heritage Tour (A Beginner’s Guide to Cebu) Travel Series:
Part 3: Cebu Art and Sculpture: Heritage of Cebu Monument

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