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More People Flocked in Gabii sa Kabilin 2010

More than 1,800 people participated in this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin, almost double figure from last year’s. They flocked the nine participating museums, which kept their doors open from 6 p.m. until midnight last May 28. These museums—Casa Gorordo Museum, Cathedral Museum of Cebu, Basilica del Santo Niño Museum, Fort San Pedro, Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, Museo Sugbo, 1730 Jesuit House, USPF-Rizal Museum, and Sacred Heart Alternative Gallery—opened their collections to the Cebuano public who usually could not visit during daytime. Tartanilla and bus rides were also offered for Gabii sa Kabilin visitors.

Gabii sa Kabilin, organized by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. in partnership with Visayas Association of Museums and Galleries Inc., prides itself as the only museum and cultural event of its kind in the Philippines and Asia. It was held in celebration of the International Museum Day last May 18 and of May as National Heritage Month. The opening of Gabii sa Kabilin was held in Plaza Hamabar where guests witnessed the reenactment of the execution of the Philippines’ national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, as well as a showcase of dances performed by the University of Southern Philippines Foundation Dance Troupe.

After the opening, other museums started to feature their own activities that include dances, songs, art fairs, and other cultural presentations.

At the Casa Gorordo Museum where long queues of visitors also came, highlights featured were the musical pieces by the Marigondon Children’s String Orchestra, Cebu Heritage Fashion Walk, Cebuano songs by renowned singer Izarzurri Vidal, dances from the Sama Badjao community members, and balitaw, awit and balak performances by the Dumanjug Artist Guild. Shangri-la’s Mactan Island Resort and Spa offered museum visitors delicious dinner at downtown prices.
Gabii sa Kabilin has again proven itself as an enjoyable learning experience where one was able to see and experience the museums as more than mere repositories of “dead” objects.

Other participating agencies and groups include the Cebu Provincial Government; Cebu City Government; Cebu City Police Office; Cebu City Traffic Operations Management; Barangays Parian, San Roque, Señor Sto. Niño, Tejero, Tinago, Cogon Ramos, T. Padilla, Day-as, Zapatera; Aboitizland; Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort and Spa; and City Savings Bank.

Mexican Ambassador to the Philippines Tomas Javier Calvillo Unna and National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) President Dr. Ambeth Ocampo joined about 1,800 people who participated in the 4th Gabii sa Kabilin.

Unna and Ocampo visited Cebu’s famous heritage structures, looked at museum collections, and witnessed cultural performances staged during the Gabii sa Kabilin, like the balitaw performed by the Dumanjug Artist Guild at the Casa Gorordo Museum.

The distinguished guests lauded the annual event, noting the long queues of people visiting the museums and the active involvement of the local government units, especially the barangays.

Nine barangays in Cebu City—Santo Niño, Tinago, San Roque, Tejero, T. Padilla, Cogon Ramos, Pari-an, Zapatera, and Day-as—deployed their tanods to secure the routes as well as volunteers to man information desks and drive designated buses back and forth selected venues.

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