Museums anywhere in the world are lasting symbols of a given country’s ancient culture and how it has been transcended into the most pivotal treasures of a dynamic socio-cultural evolution. In the Philippines, her citizen’s knowledge about the different national archives all over her huge and splendid territorial landscape are too scarce and yet vague in terms of their paramount importance in establishing a formidable sense of nationalism and national identity as well. In Cebu, there is one exceptional repository which has made the cultural assimilation of the province more significant and provocative in the colorful passing of years. The Museo Sugbo in Cebu was architecturally designed in the year 1869, by Domingo de Escondrillas.

Museo Sugbo in Cebu is a prolific envisage of a socio -cultural revolution.

Museo Sugbo in Cebu is a prolific envisage of a socio -cultural revolution.

He was dubbed as the sole architect of Carcel de Cebu. This was basically a former penitentiary of the Visayan District. After its most historic founding the renowned Museo Sugbo in Cebu its future had become bleak when it was mercilessly butchered into pieces by a legal battle which had been won by a powerful and influential bishop in its early years. Despite of these bitter challenges, the road leading to its progress still continued until such time that its noble mission was successfully accomplished. Having spent the sweetest rendezvous with its people, the previous Carcel de Cebu was grandiosely renovated in the later years of 1890. Relatively, the said makeover had luckily made it possible for the construction more buildings; which will definitely benefit many local and foreign voyagers in the next centuries ahead. Incidentally, these sturdy buildings were erected in the posterior of the primary structure as it was originally planned. In those ancient times, Carcel de Cebu was merely a small prison cell. Incidentally, it was one of the safest refuge of the Katipuneros at the height of the Philippine Revolution before some of these gallant heroes were killed and buried at Careta Cemetery.

During the American conquest, it was converted into several stables of awesome and courageous horses. But during the reign of the Japanese over the Philippine archipelago, it was used as a room of solitary confinement. Despite of all these obstacles the Museo Sugbo in Cebu had undergone an overall makeover in the 1950’s and Post Marcos years. The sudden metamorphosis of an incarceration cell into state-of-the-art Cebu Museum, all started with the relocation of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center. The said new site was a bit more spacious as compared to the previous one. After which, the dynamic and honorable Cebu governor in the person of Gwendolyn Garcia together with a brilliant Filipino historian Dr. Ambeth Ocampo, had cordially led both local and foreign dignitaries in inaugurating the future tourist destination of Cebu. Officially, the latest tourism sensation of the Philippines was formally made known to the public on the 13th day of August, 2009. Moreover, Ocampo and Garcia had also inaugurated another tourist spot in the Visayan archipelago which is simply known as Museum of Philippine Political History. Meanwhile, the National Museum Cebu Branch Galleries are only some of the newly-established buildings which are conveniently situated just across this holistic repository. Incidentally, some of these soon to be popular archives are currently occupying these two distinct buildings for their own specific purposes, within the strict premises of the museum.

Subsequently, there were two special exhibitions were also held during the opening salvo of Sugbo Museo. These were the historical displays of two essential memorabilias namely: The Senator Vicente Rama Memorabilia and the Jovito and Gregorio Abellana Memorabilias, respectively. These two memorable special shows were successfully held in two different galleries.

These tons and tons of Japanese money are only some of the finest artifacts of Museo Sugbo.

These tons and tons of Japanese money are only some of the finest artifacts of Museo Sugbo.

Best of all, these unforgettable events paved the way for the unveiling of a precious Cebu treasure that was otherwise alluded to as the Well of Good Fortune and Happiness. This was miraculously discovered during the Spanish Period. Also, this had transpired when the back portion of the museum was beautifully whipped into shape, about four years ago. In addition, this momentous occasion led to the creation of four more other galleries. Consequently, these avenues for art excellence had further increased in number which all boiled down to a total of ten.

Aside from these remarkable developments in the tourism industry of Cebu, the nostalgic birth of Museo Sugbo had lovingly provided Filipino artists with an utmost intellectual freedom that impeccably resonates the encompassing objectives of Philippine Democracy in the field of Philippine Visual Arts. As far as this is concerned, the management and staff of Museo Sugbo had successfully put up the Provincial Art Gallery and Cebu Media Gallery, in all modesty. In the coming years, it is expected to create an emotionally stirring true to life play of prison life when this spectacular museum of autonomy was still a detention cell of the oppressed fighters of freedom and social justice. However, this noteworthy endeavor will only become a fruitful reality, if there are generous benefactors who are very much willing to share their abundant blessings to Museo Sugbo. Today, one of its isolation cells is elegantly converted into a one-stop gift shop.


he Sugbo Museo will definitely surprise you with these timeless artifacts. Antiquated radio equipment, diverse types of machines for printing and some paper bills during Japanese time.

Opening Hours

This is being opened to the public every Tuesdays to Saturdays from 9:00 A.M. till 6:00 P.M only and during holidays.


The rates of admission are different from one person to another, depending on age brackets. For more details, you can simply search and log on to their official website to keep you guided accordingly.

Getting There

Carcel de Cebu is geographically located at M.J. Cuenco Avenue. To get there, legitimate Cebu residents must ride a jeep from SM City Cebu or from the Ayala Center. Then, transfer again to another jeepney with a sign board of Manalili Cathedral. Of course, you can also take a taxi cab that will bring you directly to the museum in all comfort and convenience. Speaking of Greater Manila commuters, kindly get in touch with your favorite flight carriers to book your flights at a much earlier schedule.

The historical transformations of Museo Sugbo in Cebu has clearly depicted the immeasurable hardships of the Malayan Race just to attain their long lost freedom and eventually showcase how beautiful their native land is.

Category: Interesting

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