How to Gabii sa Kabilin like a boss

This is officially my 5th Gabii sa Kabilin this 2017, yup, I'm somewhat of a regular in joining this annual event. Let me give you a quick run through about Gabii sa Kabilin before I share with you how to gabii sa kabilin like a boss!

Gabii sa Kabilin run-through:
  • Gabii sa Kabilin is Cebuano for Night of Heritage.
  • It began on May 25, 2007 with four Cebu City museums—Casa Gorordo Museum, Cathedral Museum of Cebu, Basilica del Santo Niรฑo Museum, and Fort San Pedro.
  • Five museums participated in the second; six during the third year and nine museums by the 4th run. It kept increasing (highest number I think is 41 sites) while this year featured 27 sites.
  • Inspired by the long night of the museum in Germany and other European countries. 
  • Gabii sa Kabilin aims to encourage the public to visit museums and understand its position as a venue for cultural understanding and appreciate Cebuano history and culture. 

Gabii sa Kabilin is the culmination of the International Museum Day (May 18) and the Philippine National Heritage Month (May) celebrations. At the cost of Php150.00, you get to access many museums and heritage sites in one night (That's from 6PM to 12MN)!

If you plan to start early, then you should manage your expectations. Gabii sa Kabilin is similar to a "Night Hike" as you will be walking a lot despite the provided transportation options such as buses and horse-drawn carriage (Tartanilla).

Here are some guide and tips to get you started:

Make a Plan
  • As you buy your ticket, a map and an itinerary is provided. This is your chance to pick out your choice of destinations (consider distance: you can focus on the clustered ones for now and maybe the farther ones for the following year for example)
  • Consider also if you are going alone or with a group (alone is of course easier; also for groups [couples, family/relatives, squad] consider the group's overall stamina as well for you will get a lot of exercise!)
  • Check the weather and prepare accordingly - heat, cold, rain, create unique situations that need to be considered (in my years of joining, there were really humid nights and sometimes rain showers)

Pack light
  • Wear comfortable attire, especially footwear
  • Bring some essentials (watch/time device; your map and ticket; water/electrolytes; first aid kit just in case; cash; trail food or buy along the way and lastly: camera + tripod)
  • Drink frequently, Eat often (you will be walking for 6 hours at most but don't think too much about it)
  • Don't forget to recover afterwards: Drink plenty of fluids and eat a little
Leave no trace
  • Pack out what you pack in: Don't litter
  • Don't touch everything in the Museum (we are trying to preserve our heritage; and we don't want a similar scenario like that 10,000 flowers place)
  • Be kind to wildlife: Don't scare them (There will be cats and askals/dogs along the way, sometimes people)

Here's a quick peek at one of the various activities/presentations in the Jose R. Gullas Halad Museum

Organize your time well but be open to possibilities
After joining multiple gabii sa kabilins, you really can't visit all locations in one night. And like your usual travel, it opens up so many opportunities such as: joining activities in each location; meeting and chatting with some friends and strangers you meet along the way and don't be to fixed on your defined schedule or bucket list, give yourself some space in which to grasp these unexpected moments as they arise!

Bumping into people is also quite enjoyable and interesting during gabii sa kabilin!

Enjoy the activities
  • Music and cultural presentations (old songs, balak/poetry, calligraphy and the like)
  • Some sites offer some costumes for you to dress up
  • Art appreciation
  • Listen intently and ask questions to tour guides
  • Eat and drink local cuisine for sale and also some street food (some sites offer food/drink tasting as well)
  • Document! (a.k.a - selfies, groufies, blogger poses, instagammable locations and the like)
  • Expect the unexpected

Most of all, enjoy the quiet sometimes the noise, space, and freedom and learn as you go. Every trip to a location or heritage site should be a mini adventure that broadens one's horizons.

There was a time when Argao participated in Gabii sa Kabilin and I went there of course! There were some sites that I liked that participated before but not this year like: USPF Rizaliana Museum, USC Museum to name a few. Of course, one thing I look forward to is exploring the new sites and also some sites that I still have not visited (Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Talisay areas).

A post shared by Vernon Joseph Go (@phantomnomad) on

The new places I visited this year was the Elicon house with their Museum of Bicycling and the Fo Guang Shan Chu Un ๆ…ˆๆฉๅฏบ Buddhist Temple. I also accomplished my long standing bucket list of finally visiting the Cebu City Museum and Rizal Memorial Library (yes, it's even my first time visiting the place!).

My chosen theme this year was to pay tribute to my Ancestors (Filipino-Chinese-Spanish) - this is at the Rajah Humabon Shrine just across Cebu Cathedral Church and Museum
There was a study in the UK that found that visiting heritage sites makes people happier than any other activities! Participating in heritage projects helps people to learn about their local history, make connections, form friendships, and develop a sense of civic pride. I hope this also applies to us!

"Culture is for everyone regardless of what level of society you are from. These different heritage places are part of our identity of who we are. The people that built it, the people that are showcased are already be gone but this is the thread that links us all to who we are." - Dr. Jocelyn Gerra, executive director of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation(Rafi) culture and heritage unit

What did I miss? Comment with your Like-a-boss tip below!

Also, view my old posts on Gabii sa Kabilin here! And below for my Gabii Sa Kabilin VLOG!

How to Gabii sa Kabilin like a boss How to Gabii sa Kabilin like a boss Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Wednesday, May 31, 2017 Rating: 5

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