CEBU CITY, Philippines — Malacañan sa Sugbo is no more as the keys of the unused Aduana Building has been turned over to the National Museum.
The Cebu Port Authority (CPA), the owner of the structure, granted a deed of usufruct to the National Museum of the Philippines on Friday, December 13, 2019, that would allow the agency to convert the building into a museum.
The deed of usufruct was signed between the CPA led by Commissioner Mike Acebedo Lopez and General Manager Leonilo Miole with the National Museum led by Chairperson and former First Daughter Luli Arroyo-Bernas and Director General Jeremy Barns.
The old Aduana building will still remain under the CPA’s ownership, but the National Museum will take charge of the development, maintenance, and management of the building for a period of 25 years.
Barns said the P116 million budget for the Cebu National Museum is awaiting approval along with the national budget in Senate.
Barns said the new museum will cover a wide range of fields including national history, flora and fauna, geology, anthropology, and archaeology.
Yet the highlight of the museum will be its Fine Arts section where painting, sculptures, and artifacts by renowned artists from the colonial period to the modern-day will be displayed.
The details of the exhibits are still being organized by the National Museum as they focus on the rehabilitation of the rundown place, which was closed in 2013 following the magnitude 7.2 earthquake.
“It is going to be world-class and nationally important. We will have things that we will put up in Cebu that cannot be seen anywhere else. This will be a stand-alone museum focusing on the best of what can be found in Central Visayas and Cebu,” he said.
The new national museum is expected to complement the existing museum in Tagbilaran, Bohol, and another new museum in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental.
Barns said the museum would be another incarnation of the Aduana Building, which is a perfect example of Filipino architecture in the American colonial period.
He said the museum would be retrofitted to become a “true” museum with the proper security facility, lighting control, room temperature to house the displays.
The Cebu National Museum is expected to open by 2021 in line with the 500th year anniversary of Christianity and Lapulapu’s heroism in the country. /dbs