I was surprised to find out that the house of President Sergio Osmena already belongs to a private group. Good thing was that the new owners have a good sense of history; they spared the old house and transformed it into a very remarkable museum with a huge Osmenia memorabilia’s. Although there were alterations made on the original structure (that I find ill advised) and the buildings were established around the lot, it’s still refreshing to know that there are still companies that care about preserving our heritage.
What’s even more impressive is that the museum is free! Now, I don’t understand why people here doesn’t visit this place, the security guard just told me that attendance lately is not really encouraging. The schools around here should be planning more trips to this historic house. I don’t think a lot of people know of this place existence.
I’m not sure if the Osmena’s are still involved in the preservation of the house since they already sold it to a private firm. One thing that I noticed is that most of the collections were donated by private individuals and collectors who have acquired President Osmenia’s personal effects.
The most impressive piece on display for me the Presiden’s khaki uniform, ala safari getup (displayed along with his other Presidential outfit) the one he wore when he landed in Leyte with Gen. MacArthur. The thought gave me goose bumps as I picture Osmena walking along with Basilio Valdez, Romulo, MacArthur and his aides during the momentous Leyte Landing.
There are other interesting pieces on display, I particularly like the pictures, and most are reprints but none the less rarephotographs (like this one photo of Osmena, Quezon & Roxas together in a parade), great photos of the former President with his close friend Gen. MacArthur taken after their later years. A painting of the handsome young Sergio would greet the museum visitors in the stairway; I wonder why his grandsons did not inherit his charming looks!
There is so much to see here, it feels like you’re visiting a living person because most of President Osmena’s personal stuff are still inside the house; pillows, dress, books, baston, socks, shoes, hats, leather bags, notebooks, pens, maletas, official mace and believe or not, his car!
Hands down to CAP (Cebu) for all their efforts, companies like them is hard to find these days. Seeing some of the objects on display though made me sad in a way, I took a look into the closet of the legendary President in one of the rooms and was surprised to see that some of his clothes and documents left to deteriorate. I doubt it if some of the priceless objects would be around for the next decade. Humidity, insects and temperature are slowly destroying the memorabilia’s, as can be seen in the photos and other things inside that are made of soft materials. As any experienced curator would suggest the key is maintaining a stable and moderate environment for the artifacts to be protected.
I’m happy that these rare items are sheltered and are put to good use, so still I’m happy – I want to see our government to help in conserving this wonderful museum. I hope the place would be around forever, for places like Casa Osmena offers us an extraordinary window where Filipinos can gaze into the past.
This historic house where President Osmena retired after his defeat in his remarkable political career against Presidente Roxas is located near the Fuente and Robinsons (less than 500 m from Robinsons). Its in Jones fronting Jollibee.