The SCHMFI started as an idea during the convention of the Jesuit Chinese-Filipino Lay Apostolate in September 2010. It was registered with SEC on August 16, 2011. It envisions itself to be “the leading institution in the appreciation, preservation and promotion of the Chinese-Cebuano heritage and cultures”. It will focus on “research, curation, and exhibition; conservation of artifacts, documents, and other collections through new technologies and techniques; and enrichment of the community and the nation through educational programs”.
In August 2012, the Gotianuy Family turned over its abandoned Gotiaoco Building, a neo-classical structure, to SCHMFI to serve as the museum. It has a 99-year lease of the property from the DENR that has 50 more years left. The DENR turned over the custodianship of the land to the National Museum. On Sept. 23, 2013, the National Museum awarded the SCHMFI full autonomy in the development, management of the land and the operation of the museum. The Cebu City Council has declared the building as a heritage site.
In September 2014, with technical assistance from the National Museum, the concept and theme of the museum was finalized and the architectural plan was drafted. The foundation then embarked in a series of lectures, road shows and exhibits on the Chinese Heritage of Cebu. It is now focused in the retrofitting of the building that is expected to be completed by the end of September, 2017 to be immediately followed by finishing works. Concurrently, the foundation is conducting a research on the history and contributions of the Chinese community in Cebu and the history and authentication of artifacts that will be displayed in the museum.
The Foundation temporarily holds office at the Gothong Southern Shipping Lines at Pier 4 in Cebu City. It will have its permanent office at the museum. It has two (2) full-time staff, the Executive Director (ED) and the Deputy ED, two (2) project- based staff, one (1) volunteer and three (3) consultants.