Bongbong Marcos leads inauguration of Cebu’s national museum
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu now has its own national museum.
Cebu Island made history anew as it became home to a national museum — the 18th component museum of the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) System in the country.
On Friday, July 28, 2023, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. led the inauguration of Cebu’s national museum at the old Customs House located near Plaza Independencia in Cebu City.
LOOK: Here’s a first look inside the newly inaugurated National Museum in Cebu. | Wenilyn Sabalo #CDNDigital
With the president was first lady Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta Marcos, NMP Board of Trustees Chairman Andoni Aboitiz, Tourism Secretary Maria Christina Garcia-Frasco, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, and Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
In his speech, Marcos expressed his appreciation for the curation of the NM Cebu, as he emphasized that the inauguration of the museum was a milestone, not only for Cebu City and the Province of Cebu, but for the entire country as it brings forth the country’s natural, cultural, and artistic treasures.
“If you haven’t been in there, you are in for a special treat. The exhibits that have been put out, the way that they have been presented, the curation of the different artifacts has been done in such a splendid fashion that it would require perhaps a week of coming here every day to properly see it,” he said.
“The construction of the NMP Cebu has its share of setbacks. We had the pandemic. There was Typhoon Odette. However, there is a shared commitment and dedication to establishing the national museum in one of the country’s top tourist destinations. We are finally here today, opening its doors to the public,” he added.
Marcos also toured the museum together with local and other national officials after he led the ceremonial ribbon cutting and unveiling of the NM Cebu’s marker.
The building where NM Cebu was housed was originally established as the Customs (Aduana) Building or the old Customs House in 1910 to facilitate trade between Cebu Island and its neighboring islands. It served the purpose for about a century before the structure was converted into Malacañang sa Sugbo in 2004, during the administration of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
It was closed in 2013 after it incurred damages from the 7.1-magnitude earthquake that hit the provinces of Cebu and Bohol. Six years after or in 2019, the building was declared a National Cultural Treasure and in December of the same year, the NMP was given the right to convert this into a national museum.
Restoration works were made from 2020 to 2023 with the help of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA).
LOOK: President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and first lady Liza Araneta-Marcos arrive at the old Malacańang sa Sugbo for the…
NM Cebu houses five galleries that highlight Cebu’s unique geological features and significant archaeological finds, among others.
Gallery 4, that is considered a special part of the inaugural exhibitions, showcases a collection of artworks by leading Filipino artists in the early 70s at the Philippine Center in New York.
Aboitiz, in his message, emphasized that museums should be “bursting with newness, discussion, challenging questions, and a very healthy dose of arguments.”
“The historical building in front of us, is meant to serve as such a temple not just for Cebuanos but for Filipinos all over the country and visitors of the world to come to learn about a significant slice of our nation,” he said.
NM Cebu will be partially opened to public on Tuesdays to Sundays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., starting on August 1, 2023.
New tourism site
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said NM Cebu, which he referred to as a new tourism and cultural site in the city, was expected to help boost the local economy.
“This is for Cebu and you can imagine [it’s a] long overdue [project that started] three years ago. And now it’s a museum… Additional tourism attraction and for our children and the schools too, so that they may be able to see by themselves the soul and the heart of Cebu,” he said.
'ELATED AND EMOTIONAL NOURISHED'LOOK: These were the words of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama as he shared with the local…
Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, who also sits as the chairman of the Cebu City Cultural and Historical Affairs Commission (CHAC), said that the national museum was expected to add to Cebu’s heritage value.
“This is really ‘hulog ng langit.’ The Cebuanos have been longing for a museum, although we have a few museums here, right and left. Pero lahi gyud kung national museum na gyud ang mo locate in a certain locality. We are very happy and this will bring so much heritage value, and I’m sure because of this, the Cebuanos will be able to identify themselves in their past and our rich history,” Garcia said.
Other local government officials present during NM Cebu’s inauguration were Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan, Cebu City South District Representative Edu Rama, and Cebu City Councilors Dondon Hontiveros and Jocelyn Pesquera, among others.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.