San Juan Bautista is the patron saint of Parian which was founded as a parish in 1614. As a separate pueblo from the old ciudad of Cebu, the Parian was originally designated as a settlement area for Chinese immigrants to the then Spanish colony. Over the years, it evolved into an ethnically-mixed district where Cebu’s most influential families lived. The Gorordos settled here in 1863 and have since been holders of the community’s traditions, the Pista ni San Juan, among them.
As part of the celebration, there will be a religious procession after the mass which will start at 5:00 pm. The procession will feature a carroza bearing the century-old image of San Juan Bautista baptizing Jesus Christ which was originally owned by the Gorordo family and is now under the care of the Casa Gorordo Museum.
“RAFI has continued this tradition after it acquired the Casa Gorordo and turned it into a museum as our commitment to preserve traditions of the household that also have great value to Cebuano culture,” said the curator, Florencio Moreno. As part the tradition, museum staff will sing gozos to San Juan and shower the carroza with red rose petals as it passes by the house.
“This is to ensure that the tradition of the Gorordos, which reflects much of Cebuano society, in general, lives on,” he added.
Pista ni San Juan is only one of Casa Gorordo Museum’s four house traditions. The other three are Sinug sa Casa Gorordo in January, Semana Santa in April, and the Belen sa Casa Gorordo in December.
Casa Gorordo Museum is the centerpiece project of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.’s (RAFI) Culture & Heritage focus area. The Culture & Heritage Unit of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI-CHU) through its three flagship programs – Casa Gorordo Museum, Research & Publications, and Gabii Sa Kabilin – aims to develop a strong sense of cultural identity among local communities by promoting awareness of their heritage and enabling them to articulate their story.