Museo Sugbo

Attraction M. J. Cuenco Ave Cebu City 6000 Cebu Philippines Published on: 13-11-2015

1 hours 30 mins
09:00 AM - 06:00 PM
09:30 AM
11:00 AM
First-time visit
Must see
1.70 - 1.74 USD

Museo Sugbo is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Museo Sugbo is the Cebu Provincial Museum, comprising 14 galleries in what used to be the former Carcel de Cebu, the Cebu Provincial Jail, a Spanish-era structure comprising four large buildings that now serve as museum galleries and offices.

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Why Museo Sugbo is special ?

Museo Sugbo is Cebu's provincial meseum located along M.J. Cuenco Avenue, a part of an old Spanish-era district in Cebu City. This was once the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), home of the famous dancing inmates. Before it became CPDRC, it was called Carcel de Cebu. Designed by Dominggo de Escondrillas in 1869, the building was constructed to be the main prison for the Visayas district. Withstanding both time and the elements, Carcel de Cebu's structures made of coral stone and lime mortar have now become Cebu's history keeper.

The Museo Sugbo has the noble task of reconstructing Cebuano history; Cebuanos have the sheer pleasure of taking a time travel through viewing the museum's thirteen galleries.


What to explore at Museo Sugbo?

The Pre-Colonial Gallery

The Pre-Colonial Gallery traces over two thousand years of the pre-history of Cebu. Among its highlights include a collection of stone tools dating to the Neolithic (3,000 BCE-500 BCE), decorated earthenware dating to the Philippine Metal Age (500 BCE-900 CE) and Chinese, Vietnamese as well as Thai ceramics dating to the Age of Foreign Trading (900 CE-1500 CE).

The Spanish Colonial Gallery

The gallery traces the roots of Spanish colonization, beginning with the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 and the conquest of Cebu by Miguel Lopez de Legazpi in 1565. Among the highlights of this section include letters of Legazpi to King Philip II (the first letter ever sent out of the Philippines) dated 27 May 1565 and other documents of the Spanish period like Encomienda papers of various pioneer towns in Cebu dating to the early 1600s.

The Katipunan Revolution and the American Colonial Gallery

Located at the second floor of the main museum building, this gallery houses a collection of the memorabilia of the Katipunan in Cebu; a fine collection of a Thomasite teacher’s mementos; newspapers in Cebuano and Spanish languages; and the memorabilia of Gov. Sotero Cabahug, builder of the Cebu Capitol.

The War Memorial Gallery

This gallery houses medals, armaments and vintage bombs as well as documents related to the brutal years of the Japanese Occupation in Cebu up to the Liberation in 1945.

Gregorio & Jovito Abellana Special Exhibition

Gregorio Abellana served as a lieutenant in the Revolution against Spain (1898) as well as the subsequent war against the Americans in Cebu (1899-1901). His son, Jovito, followed his footsteps and served the guerrilla resistance to the Japanese Occupation (1942-1945), playing the price with his eventual incarceration and torture under the dreaded Kempei-tai. The gallery showcases both their lives as patriots in between two wars.

Sen. Vicente Rama Special Exhibition

Housed in what was once the old prison infirmary are the memorabilia of Sen. Vicente Rama, father of the Cebu City Charter, publisher of three newspapers and the undefeated opposition Democrata Party legislator. The gallery traces the senator’s long and illustrious career both as a pre-war lawmaker and journalist, showcasing a long life devoted to public service.

The National Museum – Cebu Regional Branch

Two large galleries in another building across the MPHH and the museum quadrangle provide rare artifacts from excavations conducted in Cebu as well as a changing exhibition of objects and artifacts that are part of Cebu’s history.

Cebu Journalism and Journalists Gallery

This is the first community media museum gallery in the country. The gallery contains photo frames with captions of pre-war and post-war journalists of Cebu with captions on their contributions to Cebu journalism. It also contains equipment like a Minerva letterpress, an ink knife, radio microphones and a Royal Quick Deluxe typewriter. The gallery contains several QR Code markers that make the exhibits interactive.


How to get to Museo Sugbo?

Museo Sugbo is situated along M.J. Cuenco Avenue in the old Spanish-era district called Tejero. From SM Cebu (which is across Radisson Blu), ride a jeepney (with code 10H), going to Museo Sugbo. The Museo is not the last stop but it drops off at that point or near it.

Selling points

  • “A Wonderful Surprise”
  • “Cebu's rich culture and history”
  • “A gem in the middle of nowhere”
  • “Church Bricks, Jail and Museum”
  • “Interesting collection”
A great 2 day trip to Cebu with my parents

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2.0 days
32.78 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
12 places




M. J. Cuenco Ave Cebu City 6000 Cebu Philippines

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Tips for you

  • If you want to ride the jeepney from SM City Cebu or Ayala Center Cebu, hop on a jeepney with the signboard MANALILI/CATHEDRAL. Or you can ride a taxi going there. Museo Sugbo is accessible by any jeepney
  • There is a quaint coffee shop inside the museum just in case you go hungry or thirsty.
    Things to do
  • Once you are inside the museum, stretch your imagination and walk through the various milestones of the country’s past.
  • It is open to the public from Tuesdays to Saturdays
  • A person who wants to have a deeper knowledge of Cebu heritage needs ample time to go through all the collections. 2 hours is modest enough.
  • Museo Sugbo is located at M.J. Cuenco Ave. near the corner to T. Padilla extension. Museo Sugbo is about 2 kilometers away from Fort San Pedro and Plaza Independencia.
  • A regular tour (provided by tour guides) at the museum could take 1-2 hours.
    What to know
  • Souvenirs can be bought in the museum gift shop.


FourSquare View more

A sprawling museum that is one of the biggest in the Philippines. Housed in a former 19th-century jail complex, it features the history of Cebu and its society. Has a coffee shop with free WiFi.

FourSquare View more

I found the curators really helpful tonight. Make sure you wouldn't be using cameras with flash. It's what they kept reminding the visitors about. Don't be shy to ask questions. ?

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Ask for an intern tour guide. They're more enthusiastic :)

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Closed on Sundays!

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Phil-spanish friendshp day

TripAdvisor View more

A very educational place to visit. Highly recommended and worth your time! Went here and saw the history of great place.

TripAdvisor View more

Surprisingly a very nice museum, with some very interesting artifacts. This wasn't really a top priority for us, but since we had time, we might as well go. I expected a local city museum with some old stuff that were poorly curated. It's unfortunately we don't have very nice museums in the country. This one wasn't that popular either. And to my surprise, I enjoyed the museum. They had a lot of different rooms for different exhibits depicting history of the city, of the Philippines, the church, etc. The old feel of the museum reminds me of Fort Santiago in Manila in the early ages :-)

TripAdvisor View more

I went from this amazing exhibition room to another when I visited this museum. One of the big impression is the room with wooden statues of Jesus and the others. Two statues you should not miss by coming closer and looking straight in their eyes in this room are the Filipino Belen.It takes about two hours to go through all rooms so remember to save your time for this museum!

TripAdvisor View more

A very educational place to visit. Highly recommended and worth your time! Went here and saw the history of great place.

FourSquare View more

A sprawling museum that is one of the biggest in the Philippines. Housed in a former 19th-century jail complex, it features the history of Cebu and its society. Has a coffee shop with free WiFi.

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Itineraries include Museo Sugbo

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