Thursday, June 26, 2014

the secret museum in Parian, Cebu (Museo Parian, 1730 Jesuit House)

The entrance won't give anyone a clue. For the curious, the only hint is the signage that hangs on the high steel and cement gate that says this is a museum.

Hidden behind this mountain of steel bars, dust and planks of wood is an 18th century structure built by the Jesuits. Walking past the screeching noise inside the warehouse, the guide leads me to a seemingly secret stairway.

Breaking traditions, I get inside the museum through the kitchen which makes the tour sneaky at its best. 

The tour continues to the dining hall and flows toward the bridge that connects the comidor to the main house. The main house has the bedrooms. A few furniture were added to create a turn of the century feel. The piece de resistance is an Eduardo Ah Tay four-poster bed repro (Ah Tay was a very famous Binondo furniture maker in the 19th century).

The tour snakes down toward the centuries-old main gate that opens to what used to be a busy road during the 1700s. The road now is quiet and the gate is fortified with steel. 

The tour ends in the restored basement which now hosts Sugbu Gallery—a display/collection of artifacts found during the restoration process plus some other memorabilia found in different locations in Cebu.

Colon Street, the oldest street in the country. Photo taken during at the turn of the century:

Museo sa Parian (1730 Jesuit House) is located in Zulueta Street, Parian, downtown Cebu City. 

entrance fee: Php30.00/head
opens daily 9:00-12:00nn-1:00-5:00pm except Sundays

Museo sa Parian (1730 Jesuit House) telephone number (032) 255-5408 or 255-5409


  1. Cebu City is considered the oldest City in the country where the oldest street is still functional. And it has a lot of oldest buildings and a lot of historical places. Therefore, it couldn't be denied that there are still undiscovered places of history, buildings and museums to be discovered. I've been to Cebu several times attending job related seminars, but I've not been to this place. Someday I will visit this hidden "museum parian"

    1. the back story about the discovery that the house is a national treasure is equally interesting as well. before the conservation, it was used as warehouse for a construction store and at the same time as residence. according to the owner, they dug up coins way older than 1700s during the restoration of the main posts (weakened not by termites but damp). meaning, there could be an older house built in the same site.

      to complete your cebu tour, i would suggest you sign up in Ka Bino's heritage tour in downtown cebu. it's a healthy marriage between fun and history.


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