Heritage of Cebu Monument

Cement, iron, and steel come together to form the towering Heritage of Cebu Monument built right on the original Plaza Parian in Cebu City.

Conceptualized by the late National Artist sculptor Eduardo Castrillo, the mammoth structure depicts significant moments in Cebu’s history beginning with that fateful fight of April 21, 1521 in the island of Mactan where native chieftain Lapu-Lapu killed Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

The monument also portrays as well the conversion of Rajah Humabon and his followers to Christianity, local revolution against Spanish rule, Cebuano veneration of Sto. Nino, and beatification of first Cebuano saint Pedro Calungsod.

PLAZA PARIAN. This photo taken at about 1910 shows the old Plaza Parian, looking down to corner Colon Street. There were only a few automobiles in Cebu at this time and most went around in tartanillas or horse-drawn carriages. (This photo is part of the Galileo Medalle collection of the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of the San Carlos and is used in this project with the center’s permission.)

Construction of the structure began in July 1997; its inauguration was on December 8, 2000.

Funding for the monument’s construction came from the late Cebuano senator Marcelo Fernan as well as private individuals and groups.

Historical structures carved into the huge monolith are the Basilica del Santo Nino, Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral, San Juan Bautista Parish Church, Magellan’s Cross, and a Spanish Galleon.

Also to be found in the monument are statues of the late president Sergio Osmena Sr. and Blessed Pedro Calungsod.

The structure is in Parian, which got its name from the word “pari-pari” meaning to barter or trade, according to scholar and historian Resil Mojares. It was where the wealthy Chinese merchants of old lived and held lavish events. A few homes constructed during the 17th to 19th century remain standing today.

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