Category Archives: Heritage Nook

A Light Up North

In the northern municipality of Liloan, an old but beautiful lighthouse stands. Called the Bagacay Point Light (named after its home, the Bagacay sub-village), it towers to a height of 72 feet in an uphill area, overlooking the Mactan Channel. A narrative by Paul Perez at the website waypoint.ph states that “it sits on an elevated 5,000-sq m government property, 22 km from the main road.”

This white and octagonal tower was built in 1904 through an executive order issued on July 28, 1903 by William Howard Taft, who came to the country in 1900 as president of the Philippine Commission and later appointed US governor general. Continue reading

Classical Edifice for Commerce

The Prudential Bank and Trust Company building stands behind the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino, at the corner of D. Jakosalem and Magallanes Sts. It was built in the early 1900’s in the middle of what was still the city’s main business district.

A vintage photo from the Internet showed the building occupied by Singer before being utilized as a bank. In that photo, the canopy with the Greek bas-reliefs and ionic-style columns were not part of the building yet. Continue reading

A nuns’ convent

THE Metropolitan Cathedral Convent is a product of a typical construction from the Spanish Colonial period, that of the bahay na bato.

The two-storey building, which stands just beside the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, is made of limestone (for its walls on the ground floor) and timber (for the second floor).
Originally, the convent was home to the nuns of the Imaculada Concepcion. In the compound, one could find a garden with a well from where the nuns used to get their water supply. Continue reading

Cebu’s Own Palace

WHAT we now call as the “Malacanang sa Sugbu” was actually a former Bureau of Customs office. This was built during the time when the Americans colonized our country. This was also a time when efforts were made in coming up with a development for a new port here.

Adorned with classical ornamentations, the building is made of concrete. Its main feature is the 25-meter high parapet wall on its center. On that portion too is a third-level element with arched openings.

The building played a major role during the early 1900’s in giving importance to the Waterfront area’s trading and maritime. It had close associations with other significant buildings, also built in the early 20th century, along M.C. Briones St.

These buildings were done when the American colonizers also enhanced the port and communication facilities as well as the roads. It also housed the American officials who led the liberation of the Philippines during the Second World War.

Today, the old customs building serves as the second seat of power for the current Philippine President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. This is one of the honors she bestowed on Cebu as the province that gave her the decisive votes during the hotly-contested 2004 presidential elections. (Compiled by the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) Sugbu Chapter)