The Casa Gorordo museum is one of the well-known museums in Cebu City because of its intricate showcase of style. The museum is located in the middle of the Parian district which is known to be among the old streets of Cebu. The Parian district was formerly the most prestigious section of the city and served as home to the most prominent families. The original house owner was Alejandro Reynes Rosales and the house was later bought by a Spanish merchant, Juan Isidro De Gorordo. The Gorordo family resided in the house from 1863 to 1979 until up to four generations. The museum is named after the house owner and the first native Cebuano bishop, Msgr. Juan Gorordo.
The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation currently runs the museum as a special project under the Cultural Heritage Program. They purchased the house in 1980 and opened it as a public museum in 1983. It is constructed using tugas (molave), narra, and bayong (mahogany) accessories. The two-storey building that holds the museum is a reflection of 1860s architecture and the elegant lifestyle of the owner of the house. It is a showcase of the culture and lifestyle at the turn of the century.
Casa Gorordo Museum’s ground level patio is the waiting room for its guests and is decorated with furniture made up of gallinera and hints of bamboo. The basement floor that is located near the patio is reserved for food storage. Among the various artifacts seen inside the museum, 18th and 19th Century artifacts encompass most of the agricultural and household materials. Plows and other cultivation tools displayed reflect the evolution of Cebu’s farming culture. Large basins made up of hard wood called duwang are displayed, along with 4 big palo palo, garment wringers, dryers and even a wooden plantsa to iron clothes.
The sala is full of rattan sets and Vienna chairs accompanied by narra or molave tables with delicate carvings on them. The dining room and kitchen display is full of kubiertos, antique plates, silverware and tazas that are all lined up. A view of water jugs and cooking accessories are in display as well in a wide balcony that extends along the entire stretch of the kitchen and dining room. Nearly all the furniture displays on the second floor of the house are original fixtures. Displays of intricate art forms like wood carvings are seen dividing the house into function rooms. Worth mentioning is the display of a saya collection found in the master’s bedroom. Because Juan Gorordo was a bishop, a room in the residence was to become a chapel for the bishop. Gorordo had his own chapel inside the house whenever he was visiting home.
Today, a beautifully landscaped garden is beside the Casa Gorordo Museum, along with a 19th Century architectural building. It is deemed as a popular tourist attraction in Cebu and is visited by thousands of local and foreign tourists every year. Certainly, the classic and historical appeal of the museum further adds to the visitor’s understanding of the history and culture of the city.