Rizal’s socks and the tartanilla

By: NESTOR B. RAMIREZ May 29,2018 - 09:31 PM


I finally got the chance to join this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin organized by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) and I was overwhelmed by public response and interest to their own heritage and culture.

I was also impressed by the significant presence and participation of the millennials who acted as tour guides, usherettes and members of the organizing committees in the museums that my family has visited.

With more than 20 museums and entities that opened their doors to the public, there was actually a lot to explore but I had very little time.

From 6 pm until midnight my family was only able to visit Casa Gorordo, Rizal Museum at the University of Southern Philippine Foundation, Cathedral Museum, The Chinese Museum at Gotiaoco Building that is under renovation and the Halad Museum of the Gullas Family.

I was not expecting that my two teenage daughters and my nine-year-old son would throw lots of questions at me pertaining to the articles displayed in the museums particularly the socks and coats of Dr. Jose Rizal displayed at the USPF museum because it humanized the national hero that they only know when mentioned in their class.

But what got their adrenalin pumped that night was the tartanilla ride starting off near the Cebu City Hall building up to Fort San Pedro. They rode for the first time a wooden contraption drawn by a beast of burden that used to be the king of the road but are now restricted to peripheral routes and almost forgotten.

Looking forward, I hope that the Department of Journalism and Communications of USJR and the Mt. Carmel Parish of the Order of Augustinian Recollect (OAR) can now pull off the two year old plan to organize and help the tartanella cocheros that ply the route beside the parish along Leon Kilat Street up to barangay Pasil due to traffic congestion.

Bro. Jaazeal “Tagoy” Jakosalem, OAR earlier expressed intention to spruce up or restore one tartanilla to its old glory while Rev. Fr. Nelson Plohimon, OAR the assistant parish priest of Mt. Carmel Parish said he wants to integrate the project in next year’s celebration of the feast of St. Joseph.

Going back to the Gabii sa Kabilin, success is an understatement to describe the event because it has ignited the interest of my three young children and many people into caring about their own heritage and culture and to be given the chance to travel back in time.

I hope that the organizer will consider making it a “tibuok adlaw sa kabilin” or better expand it to an entire week or month because Cebu is really very rich in heritage and culture and an evening is not enough to explore even half of what they offered.

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TAGS: rizal, socks, tartanilla

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