An authentic Spanish mansion with period furniture, Casa Gorordo freezes in time the lifestyle from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. It was the home of Cebu’s first Filipino bishop.
The house was owned by the Reynes-Garces family before it was bought in 1863 by Juan Isidro Gorordo, father of Juan Gorordo–who served as bishop of Cebu from 1910-1932.
The stone and tile structure, restored and maintained as a museum, is one of few remaining houses called balay nga tisa/house of tiles, which was the building of choice of Cebu’s local elite in the 1800’s.
The house’s lower floor walls are made of coral stones, and it bears all features typical of a balay nga bato: spacious interiors with ventanillas or vents below the window sills, sliding Capiz windows, and tugas posts and 12-inch wide floorboards.
An arch with intricate carvings of plants and birds separate the dining room or comedor from the landing and living room. At the end of the dining room is a kitchen typical of that period when the house was built.
Sliding doors open up into a wide balcony or azotea that runs by a long section of the house. Beside the house was built a new service building inspired by 19th century architecture and the garden, which has been landscaped, has been the venue of many social gatherings then and now.
Casa Gorordo, which was declared a national landmark by the National Historical Institute in 1991, was opened by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) as a museum in 1983.