I am sorry to disappoint you because my promise to go to other sites during the Gabii sa Kabilin 2013 was not fulfilled. But I am definitely not sorry to say though that I had loads of fun and I strongly feel this was one of the most unforgettable and meaningful GSKs I have had.
First RAFI (Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.) invited me, and other bloggers and enthusiasts, to a talk called Reporting Heritage for Bloggers just a few weeks before the heritage night. The talk was not only in preparation for GSK but also to form a group that will make accurate and reliable history and heritage information more accessible to people via the internet. It was both inspiring and challenging. I mean, at least for me who is really not into such network of either bloggers or historians so to speak. But I welcome the challenge because in the first place the reason I created this wordpress page is to contribute to finding or reviving the Cebuano identity.
Until today, I could not believe how the development of my journey has grown. I am proud to say that my little contributions are so far paying off. By the way, the brainchild of the talk was the site http://kabilinsasugbo.com. I urge you to visit the page. It’s old and fresh, how’s that for a mix?
Going back to Gabii sa Kabilin
Waiting for the night was agony. I just got a new job and could not control the schedule changes. The entire week, I prayed hard and fortunately enough I was free after 6pm on Friday so we were off.
The next challenge was it was raining hard and some of those who promised to be with me couldn’t make it. The good part was my friend brought along her new friends who happened to be newcomers to Cebu. They were from Leyte and Iloilo. We even had to speak Tagalog to one another because we did not have any other common local language (since they speak Waray and Hiligaynon respectively).
The trip was so exciting. The buses were so efficient, there were almost no hangups. On that note, we commend the people behind GSK. The logistics has not been this organized, I simply loved the magazine maps if I may call them. And I understood the routes and the color codings so I think that was a major plus. 😛
I was the most “experienced” in the group when it comes to joining the Gabii sa Kabilin so I appointed myself as the night’s tour guide. Haha! Keeping the magazine/map that was handed to us, I made sure we were riding the correct buses, following the right routes and that we could ride the tartanilla before the event would end.
Really now, our visitors (or not really visitors since they are staying for work) simply looked forward to riding the tartanilla so as the self-proclaimed host, I would not want to let them down. Our first stop was the Cebu City Public Library and saw paintings of old and recent Cebu including the railroad that ran from Argao to Danao in the past. By the way, I apologize again for the lack of pictures because my official photographer had to attend an important family event.
We proceeded to the Chu Un Temple were our friends tried the calligraphy writing. They seemed to have enjoyed it so much. We went to the Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House and the group was awed by the sight and feel of the old residence. The next stop was Casa Gorordo then to the USPF Rizaliana Museum. The Rizaliana Museum, by the way was also a highlight for that night.
The resident guide was generous to share significant information about the USPF collection of Rizal’s belongings. He also said that Josephine Bracken got married to a Cebuano-mestizo (who lived in Carcar, but that is something I could not confirm yet) after Jose Rizal. His name was Vicente Abad. We were in for some treat as we tasted the favourite food of Rizal that included pancit langlang, ayungin (sinigang sa kamiyas) and tinolang manok. The USPF guys prepared them in the way the food were described in Rizal’s books and letters.
And finally the most awaited and the frenzied tartanilla ride. Our companions had fun, we could tell from their screams and shrieks. We could almost say they were on a roller coaster. We were laughing so hard with all the commotion we brought on the street.
Our feet got a little tired so we strolled inside Fort San Pedro and loitered. I then took the group to JRG Halad Museum. It was almost 12:00 when we arrived and did not catch the UV Chorale’s show. But we helped ourselves with the drums and the musical instruments anyway. The wonderful part was Ms. Audrey Tomada, the museum’s curator, was so kind to give us just one song from the chorale. We were so happy, it was the best way to end the night. I can’t keep saying thank you to JRG Halad Museum. It was an honor to be an audience of the famed UV Chorale.
I enjoyed being a tour guide, so I’d probably study history harder so I’ll become an efficient guide to whoever decides to join the tartanilla and the bus rides next year. Gabii sa Kabilin 2014, I think I am ready for the longer travels. 🙂
photos by Oh Dreya Darling, Linay, and Floyd