CEBU CITY, Philippines – This year’s culmination of the Gabii sa Kabilin (GSK) will be done virtually once again as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
But organizers are optimistic that they can draw more people to participate by tapping Cebuanos based abroad.
The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) on March 29 launched this year’s Gabii sa Kabilin One Night Only (GSK – One Night Only/ GSKONO).
GSK is Cebu’s famous heritage event that takes place during summer.
The theme for this year’s GSK is titled “The Arrival”, coinciding with the nationwide quincentenary celebrations of the arrival of Christianity and commemoration of the world’s first circumnavigation.
This is the significance of the event. It’s very Cebuano, and it talks about everything that occurred in Cebu. It’s our own, and we can share it with the rest of the world
The virtual event will kick off this April 16 and will span up to six hours, from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight.
This is the second time GSK will be conducted online as threats of the pandemic and prevailing health protocols remained as challenges for organizers.
But despite these, Haidee Palapar, event director of GSK, said they are hoping for more participants to join now that the event is open for everyone.
“We’re hoping to get more, and reach a larger audience now that we are able to expand, virtually, to outside Cebu,” said Palapar.
At least 16 heritage sites and museums will be part of this year’s virtual GSK, and some of them will also be featuring virtual tours during the six-hour online activity.
They are the Archdiocesan Museum of Cebu, Archdiocesan Shrine of San Nicolas de Tolentino Parish, Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño Museum, Casa Gorordo Museum, Fort San Pedro, Mandaue Presidencia, Museo de Talisay, Museo Parian sa Sugbo – 1730 Jesuit House, Palm Grass The Cebu Heritage Hotel, RAFI – The Kabilin Center, St. Theresa’s College – Sr. Ma. Delia Coronel Folklife Museum, Sugbu Chinese Heritage Museum, University of San Carlos Museum, University of Southern Philippines Foundation Rizaliana Museum, and the University of the Philippines Cebu.
‘A Cebuano event’
While its theme coincides with the quincentennial activities, organizers of GSK have disclosed that it is not officially part of the lineup of quincentenary events spearheaded by and under the National Quincentennial Committee.
Nevertheless, they assured participants that the six-hour virtual heritage event would showcase ‘everything that occurred in Cebu’ during the Spanish rule.
“This is the significance of the event. It’s very Cebuano, and it talks about everything that occurred in Cebu. It’s our own, and we can share it with the rest of the world,” said renowned Cebuano historian and writer Dr. Jose Eleazar “Jobers” Bersales, who was one of the panelists during GSK 2021’s launching.
Bersales also urged Filipinos abroad to join in this year’s GSK as a learning opportunity.
“There are so many Cebuanos all over the world, and I think the reason why it’s important also is that it’s going online. It will not just target Cebuanos in Cebu but all others especially those in the U.S. and Europe who are children of Cebuanos, and have no idea of their past or history. This is an opportunity of a lifetime,” he said.
Registration for GSK – One Night Only is already live. Each ticket costs P80, and payment can also be made through digital wallets.
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