“All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

Casa Gorordo: An Ancestral House in Cebu City

Cebu is fast becoming as progressive as Metro Manila, yet a few kilometers away from the giant malls lies a house that stood witness to the city’s growth. Casa Gorordo, the home of the first Filipino bishop of the Philippines, now showcases the domestic life of the well-to-do locals during the Spanish era.

Casa Gorordo’s welcoming green lawn was a misfit in a neighborhood currently brimming with houses and buildings. The azotea occupied most of the façade, with vines now providing a shade to the otherwise open terrace. Typical of most Spanish houses, the bottom floor was made of stone, while wood was used on the top floor.

Casa Gorordo Cebu

Museum Store of Casa Gorordo

Casa Gorordo Cebu

Casa Gorordo

Previously used as storage for carriages and horses, the ground floor was underwhelming with its scanty display of the various implements of farming. With this, I wasn’t expecting much when I climbed the stairs, yet I was pleasantly surprised. The intricate carvings found on the wall panels would surely fascinate everyone. The bedrooms were plenty, but most were simply decorated with a bed, a dresser, a chair, a chest of drawers and a shelf for pillows. The rooms were spacious though, letting the cool breeze flow freely from the outside to each part of the house.

Casa Gorordo Cebu

An almost empty first floor

Casa Gorordo

One old bedroom

Casa Gorordo Cebu

An old sewing machine

Casa Gorordo Cebu

Wardrobe and dresser

The wide hallway was narrowed by the vast display of the different styles of chairs. Musical instruments, portraits and chests also lined the corridor. The dining room and kitchen were presented mindfully — careful not to associate any modernity to the rooms. A prayer room also sat within the house, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knew that this was a home of a bishop.

Casa Gorordo Cebu

The long hallway

Casa Gorordo Cebu

Dining Room

Casa Gorordo Cebu

Casa Gorordo Cebu


Just as I was about to exit the house, I was shocked to find a bathroom. The display consisted mostly of huge jars and large clay pots, but this was probably the first time I was seeing a bathroom in a colonial house. Usually, the hygiene-related activities were done inside the bedroom, with the lavatory and chamber pots or commode mixed with bedroom furniture.

Casa Gorordo Cebu


All in all, I was fascinated not only with the size of the house, but with the tasteful furnishings found inside it. It shied from the extravagance commonly found in others of its kind and showcased a more natural atmosphere. Casa Gorordo was probably one of the best I’ve seen of ancestral houses. Make sure to visit it the next time you are in Cebu.

Craving for more historical places? Visit Yap-San Diego house nearby, with the Parian Monument in front of it.

Yap-San Diego House Cebu

Yap-San Diego House

More on Cebu next time. Happy travels!

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This entry was posted on August 28, 2014 by in Cebu, Philippines, Travel and tagged , , , , , , .
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