“The Authority of the Government Emanates from the People.”
This famous line has always been identified with the Cebu Provincial Capitol Building, being the inscription visible on the concave façade of this American-era government building.
Declared a National Historical Landmark, the Cebu Provincial Capitol is known as one of the most beautiful Capitol buildings in the Philippines.
It has been the seat of government of the Province of Cebu since it was built in 1937 during the incumbency of Gov. Sotero Cabahug. The historic structure sustained damages during World War II but was immediately rehabilitated after.
The view of the Provincial Capitol building has evolved over the years as communities around it developed. Older photographs of the building show only Cebu City’s mountains behind the grandiose white edifice pattered after the US Capitol, but the rise of modern structures at the Capitol area has not diminished the beauty of this imposing and majestic building at the end of Osmeña Boulevard.
It was designed by the late famous Filipino architect Juan Marcos Arellano, who was also the man behind structures like Manila’s Metropolitan Theater, the National Museum of the Philippines and the Manila Central Post Office Building.
The Cebu Provincial Capitol building has a U shape with three levels at the main building, capped by a dome and flanked by two-level wings. Tall columns rise from each end of the façade – the left one carrying a male statue while the right one carries a female statue, both dressed in Roman costumes.
On each side of the entrance are stairs that lead to a tall foyer under the dome which opens up to a balcony that looks out into the Capitol’s rectangular grounds and the street that leads to midtown and downtown Cebu City.
Aside from housing the Office of the Governor and other offices, the Capitol building has a Social Hall where most Provincial Government functions.
The Capitol building was inaugurated on June 14, 1938 by Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon who commemorated the event by planting a tree.