Jose R. Gullas Halad Museum: Where Cebuano Music Lives

This gem of a museum at the old Freeman building at the intersection of Gullas St. and Jacksolem is the go to place for a quick peek into Cebuano popular music.

Housed at the old Freeman building across Cebu Downtown Hotel, it’s facade is non-descript and easy to miss.  Step inside and you’ll be surprised at the modern interiors.

Focusing more on personalities rather than history or survey of styles, there are glass cases of memorabilia such as gowns, manuscripts, music instruments, and records.

One wall featured informative plaques of Cebu’s famous 20th century composers such as Manuel Velez, Iggy Lopez, and Ben Zubiri. Theirs and those of others are now considered classics. Like many popular music composers, very few received formal music training.  

You can listen to mp3 recordings of the music.  Super plus points!  The technology may be crude (an mp3 player directly attached to a head phone) but it works. 

One side of the museum contained family memorabilia and the history of the Freeman daily.

The second floor had a few traditional music instruments and some paintings but they were incorrectly labeled. Maybe I should offer my services as an ethnomusicologist. Hehehe.

The museum was interesting enough to spend an hour. I wish that it receives more donations of memorabilia to add to its collection. 

Categories: Cebu | Leave a comment

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