Museo Sugbo

_mg_8983Museo Sugbo is located in what was once the Carceldel Distrito, the main prison of the Visayan Islands. Designed in 1869 by Don Domingo de Escondrillas, construction commenced in 1871. It is said that the huge coral stone blocks of the Parian Church nearby were used to build the prison walls after the church was demolished in the 1870s.

The infrastructure has witnessed significant events in Cebu’s history. It served as a prison for the Katipuneros during the Spanish Occupation. In the early American period, the Carcel was also used as a stable for horses that competed in a hippodrome nearby (what is today Hippodromo in Barangay Mabolo). After the liberation, Cebuanos who collaborated with the Japanese were incarcerated here as well.

It served as the Cebu Provincial Jail from the American up to the Post-war period. The front part of the building became the Cebu City Jail in 1945 until it departed in 1975. In the 1980s, the Carcel was renamed the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) after the inmates were moved to CPDRC in 2004 to a more spacious modern complex in Kalunasan, eventually giving rise to the Cebu Dancing inmates phenomenon.

The old Carcel is now a repository of Cebu’s rich history and was inaugurated into a museum on August 5, 2008. From four galleries, MuseoSugbo today has 11 fully air-conditioned exhibits with two other interrelated museums: the National Historical Commissions and the National Archives of the Philippines.


Regular Admission Rates:

Residents of the Philippines:

  • P30 – Adults
  • P10 – Students, Senior Citizens, and PWDs


  • P75 – Adults
  • 50 – Students, Senior Citizens, and PWDs

MuseoSugbo also accommodates those who wish to reserve the museum as venue for special functions in the following rates:

2nd Floor San Lorenzo Bldg – P3,000 (good for 4 hours, set-up time free of charge)

Quadrangle – P4,500 (good for 6 hours, set-up time free of charge)

For reservations and bookings contact Museo Sugbo at 239-5626.



“A Venetian in the Visayas: Antonio Pigafetta Maps the Islands


16142946_1293306310731027_8507514371992302919_nJanuary 21, 2107 — “Who is Pigafetta and what is his relevance to us today?” were the first questions thrown to over a hundred participants who attended today’s lecture. After the recent fiesta celebrations that relate to our colonial history, today we revisited Antonio Pigafetta’s travel to the Visayas. Margarita Binamira of the Philippline Map Collectors Society took everyone back into the 16th century. Pigafetta, a native of Venice traveled with Ferdinand Magellan by order of King Charles I of Spain – an expedition that later on contributed much to our colonial history. According to Marga, due to the lack of annals about the Cebuano pre-colonial way of life, Pigafetta’s chronicles give us a description of how the natives lived — what they ate, how they dressed up, their rituals, etc.

We cannot help mentioning as well how Marga, being a history enthusiast and entrepreneur at the same time, got the inspiration of naming their restaurant into Zubuchon and Pigafetta (after the chronicler himself). 16114527_1293306094064382_8293735371550467960_n

This lecture is organized by the Central Visayas Association of Museums in cooperation with PHIMCOS and The Cebu Provincial Government through Sugbu Turismo and Museo Sugbo . The PHIMCOS exhibit in Museo Sugbo will be displayed until the end of this month.