MANDAUE CITY, Cebu, May 28 The Gabii sa Kabilin (Heritage Night) last Friday night gave Mandaue City a chance to showcase the heritage sites it has maintained despite its rapid urbanization, a city tourism official said.
Louella Cabanero, head of the Mandaue City Tourism Office, said the activity also helped showcase the talents of its youth.
During the night tour, which is organized yearly by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., participants enjoyed cultural performances by students from different schools in the city, including the Mandaue City School for the Arts.
Participants got a glimpse of the citys history after being toured around the Mandaue heritage Plaza, the Bantayan sa Hari in Barangay Looc, and the National Shrine of St. Joseph.
Within the heritage plaza is the Mandaue Presidencia, or the City Hall, which was built in 1987 during the term of the Cebu governor Sotero Cabahug.
Also located in the plaza is the Rizal-Bonifacio Memorial Stage and library, which was inaugurated in 1954. On top of the building is a helix-like structure, giving it a distinct architectural design.
This plaza has always been a venue for cultural activities, Cabanero said.
Across from the plaza stands the National Shrine of St. Joseph, formerly St, Joseph Church, which houses a life-sized rendition of the Last Supper called Senor de Cena.
The structure was completed in 1848. It was damaged by an earthquake in 1922 and a bomb destroyed its roof in 1945. It underwent a full renovation in 1996.
The Bantayan sa Hari, which was a Moro watchtower, was built in the early 1800s to protect the residents from Moror marauders.
On the left wing of the Mandaue City Hall was a photo exhibit showing the citys history, heritage sites and prominent personalities and clans.
Participants of the tour also had a chance to watch high school students cook Mandaues delicacies such as bingka, masareal and tagaktak.
It was the third time that Mandaue City participated in the Gabii sa Kabilin, which started in 2006.
Mandaue has a rich history and cultural heritage, Cabanero said. (PNA)