We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Church Bricks, Jail and Museum”
Review of Museo Sugbo

Museo Sugbo
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Private Full-Day Cebu and Lapu-Lapu Cultural Tour
Ranked #11 of 112 things to do in Cebu City
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Makati, Philippines
Level Contributor
84 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
“Church Bricks, Jail and Museum”
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Museo Sugbo is a.k.a. the Cebu Provincial Museum these days. This is located on M. J. Cuenco Avenue in the old Spanish-era district of Cebu called Tejero.

I used to pass by this place in my younger years. The funny thing which strikes me in this area was how at one time I came here to look for a locksmith. The irony of course is that this building is what we called as the Provincial Jail - and hence the locksmith's house was a stone's throw away from the jail *grin*

Another name for it in the Spanish-era years as Cárcel de Cebú. It was only later that I heard that most of the coral stone blocks used to build parts of the jail was actually from Parian Church.

Now Parian Church is no more -- and its pretty historic too...it was demolished in 1878 after the Bishop of Cebu won a long-drawn court case against its parishioners in the 1800s. So if you think about how this historic jail first started, then was built and enlarged in the years past, even became a stable at one point during the American Occupation and then ended up as a museum housing old artifacts, that itself for me was enough to generate an interest.

During my first visit here, I admit we were in a rush - our visitors had a very limited time to see this and another couple of museums before departing for an out of town trip - however I really did enjoy the exhibits of pieces from different eras in Cebu...I never thought we even had exhibits of prehistoric culture in our island!

There was also a temporary exhibit of old antique religious statues and a carroza from Bantayan Island during this fortunate jaunt and the lighting was superb. I don't know how long that will be around, but that was one of the highlights because it was unexpected.

if you like history and seeing old artifacts, budget around 1.5 hours here at least so you can examine at your leisure and maybe the tour guide can also give you time to "feel" the place.
As an old jail, the architecture of the place slams that home...but I never did feel any "ghosts" of tortured souls haunting the place *grin*.

There's a parking area at the back of the building - its not obvious when you first behold the museum, so just proceed to the side road on the right of the building and turn left.

Visited February 2013
2 Thank cuh888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

155 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Arabic first
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Norwegian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Vatican City, Italy
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Gives a Good Background on Cebuano History”
Reviewed February 17, 2013

This small museum gives an excellent background on the history f Cebu, from Pre-Spanish times to the present. It's location, the old Spanish Colonial prison, is also interesting. This is a must-visit when you are in Cebu.

Visited January 2013
Thank Vaticanozzz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
296 reviews
138 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Interesting collection”
Reviewed February 10, 2013

There is a wide range of historical objects in Museo Sugbo including ceramic wares from centuries ago to the Presidents Hall. The place was a former prison and the city did a great job transforming the place into a museum while preserving as much of the original building as they could.

Visited February 2013
Thank floRDMichigan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penang Island, Malaysia
Level Contributor
191 reviews
94 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 151 helpful votes
“Excellent Museum”
Reviewed February 9, 2013

We really enjoyed visiting Museo Sugbo! It was located in the former jail is a very pretty building, maintained very nicely. The museum is well laid out and highly informative......you really learn and understand the history of Cebu and the Philippines.
I would recommend it highly!

Visited December 2012
Thank Pavalia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“A quick taste of Cebu... Worth going”
Reviewed January 7, 2013 via mobile

Tis is a wonderful building within a short cab ride of some of the other attractions such as Magellans Cross, and it would be a shame not to visit if you get to Cebu.
It shows snapshots of various time frames in the Pholippines from prehistory up to present day spread over 12 rooms.
I took a guide around the day I went - and she was quite knowledgeable to a point, as long as you aren't looking for a lot of detail outside the scope of the exhibits.
Makes me very keen to visit the museums in Manila next time I'm in town.

You can take photos without flash and there are some nice photo spots in the courtyard itself as well as a souvenir shop, etc.
It's a very low cost way of spending an hour or so and learning a little about this great place!

1 Thank RoadRises
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Museo Sugbo also viewed

Cebu City, Cebu Island
Cebu City, Cebu Island

Been to Museo Sugbo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing