Glimpses of Old Cebu – Lucy Miller

A beautiful book showcasing old photographs of Cebu from the collection of the author. A whole chapter features some notable churches in the island province

The book with its sleeve. CLICK TO ENLARGE

Glimpses of Old Cebu: Images of the Colonial Era by Lucy Urgello Miller is not your ordinary book on old postcards showing what was then old Philippines. It is not like those by Jonathan Best but the approach is similar.

What differentiates this from the latter is that it focuses solely on Cebu and, most importantly, the supporting texts and anecdotes, vital information, that put into contexts the over 600 images from postcards, stereoviews and lantern glass slides spanning from 1870-1945 that the author has collected over the span of 20 years.

Very rare and never before seen images of the island province, as it was, graces this 276 page book. It traces Cebu’s development from a small community, superseded by Manila, to its growth as one of the vibrant economies brought on by the sugar trade to the early twentieth century and the second world war:

In this volume,stron Lucy Urgello Miller offers her readers a wonderful opportunity to take a significant glimpse into Cebu’s past. The book makes available to all of us the photographic images that she has accumulated over many years of dedicated collecting. These images of the past allow us to observe many aspects of Cebu’s development… Her meticulous effort to identify the photographs and to provide some of the historical context contribute even further to the significance of the publication and make it a valuable contribution to our efforts to reconstruct Cebu’s past. – from Michael Culinane’s Forword to the book

One of the pages in the chapter showing different views of Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral

For the religious heritage architecture enthusiast, this book is also very important. Chapter 7, Places of Worship devotes 67 archival images of churches (both interior and exterior), religious houses and icons that offers the viewer how these looked before, important in assessing the changes that these buildings have undergone. Scattered across the chapters are also images that includes some churches in context to its location, watchtowers and cemeteries.

The book is published by the University of San Carlos Press and printed by Clint KAMMS Corporation, the same company that did the Balaanong Bahandi book. It is available for P2,500 at the University of San Carlos and the Cathedral Museum of Cebu.

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