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Add to your historical site list one of Cebu’s most visited museums situated along M.J Cuenco Avenue.  Who would have ever thought that this old Cebu Provincial Jail during the American era would become a museum?

The Museo Sugbo was once a prison built in 1871 where criminals were incarcerated including some Katipuneros during the Philippine revolution and Japanese occupation. <<<insert 1>>>

This centuries-old structure was designed in 1869 and was conceived in 1870 by Domingo de Escondrillas, a Spanish architect in Cebu. It was called Carcel de Cebu originally intended to be the main prison for the Visayas. More buildings were added during its renovation in 1892. It became the Cebu City jail from 1946 to 2004. It served its purpose until the provincial government built a much bigger and modern prison (Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center) at Barangay Kalunasan, Cebu City.

The Department of Education occupied this building for a short time until the governor decided to turn it into a repository of Cebuano heritage and history. Thus, it is called MUSEO SUGBO (Cebu Museum).

This is the main façade of Museo Sugbo. <<<insert 2, 3>>>

Inside the complex is a fountain. <<<insert 4>>>

One can only revel at the displays inside the museum because cameras are not allowed inside. The galleries contain historical mementos from government and private source. There is also a display of photos during the Spanish period. The main National Historical Institute (NHI) gallery (Museum of Philippine Political History) displays memorabilia from historical milestones. The gallery is subdivided into several years like “1941-1945: Nation at War” and “1982-1986: Shift to Authoritarian Leadership”, and more. There are also replicas of medallions of Katipunan officials. There are also artifacts unearthed from diggings at Plaza Indepenendencia. <<<insert 5,6,7,8>>>

These are some of the framed photos depicting historical events in Cebu. <<<insert 9, 10, 11, 12, 13>>>

A tour at the museum could take almost an hour or two. You will be guided by tour guides inside the museum. The museum is located at M.J Cuenco Avenue. It is open to the public from Tuesdays to Saturdays, from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. It is open during public holidays except Holy Thursday and Good Friday, Black Saturday, November 1, December 25, and January 1. Entrance admission rates for foreign tourists are PhP75 for adults and PhP50 for students while local tourists pay PhP30 for adults, PhP10 pesos for college and high school students. <<<insert 14>>>

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. <<<insert 15>>>

Once you are inside the museum, stretch your imagination and walk through the various milestones of the country’s past. <<<insert 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 ,22>>>

Copyright Notice: All content on this web-page is the property of and should not be used without the express written consent of  This review is written by Ms.Stephanie Rose Abellon, resident of Cebu, Philippines.