For hundreds of years there has always been close cultural ties between Filipinos and Chinese. We locals we love to call them “chinitos” and “chinitas” for men and women respectively who have a mix of Filipino and Chinese descent. As for the people of Cebu, we will soon be having our first Chinese museum, a Cebuano-Chinese heritage group said. This is for all Filipino-Chinese.
Mr. Bob Gothong, the Chairman of the Sugbu Chinese Heritage Museum Foundation Inc. (SCHMFI), said that they aiming to convert nearly a century old Gotiaoco building which is located just across Cebu City Hall into a Sugbu-Chinese Heritage Museum. They want to realize this plan this year.
In order to materialize the plans it will probably take around two years for restoration and renovation works to finish and the development for the museum conversion will start on the third year after the implementation of the project. The restoration plans for the old Gotiaoco building was presented to the media by Mr. Gothong during a press conference held in a hotel in Cebu City.
“We want this museum to be of the highest standard as this will showcase the long history of the Chinese community and its contributions to the growth of Cebu,” he said.
Architect Maxwell Espina is working with Sugbu Chinese Heritage Museum Foundation Inc. for the restoration works of the Gotiaoco building.
Clement Liang, Secretary of the Penang Heritage Trust in Malaysia, is also helping them comply with requirements to make Sugbu-Chinese Heritage Museum into a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Penang Heritage Trust is a non-government organization that promotes conservation of Penang’s heritage and history. Once completed, Gothong said the museum will put on display the donations from more than 15 Cebuano-Chinese families to build the structure.