CEBU CITY, Philippines – The first National Museum in Cebu will finally open its doors to the public this Tuesday, August 1. And museum officials here urge visitors to always to observe museum rules.
After its inauguration, led by President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. on July 28, the National Museum of the Philippines in Cebu (NMP-Cebu) is now ready to welcome guests.
The NMP also held a quick media tour of its four galleries on the eve of the museum’s opening on Monday, July 31.
The NMP-Cebu is the 16th component museum of the NMP.
It is also the youngest and largest NMP-ran museum in Central Visayas, said Audrey Dawn Tomada, head of NMP-Cebu.
“It will have five galleries. The fourth gallery will be (dedicated to) Martino Abellana, and (works) are still ongoing,” Tomada told reporters during a post-tour press conference.
On the other hand, museum officials are bracing for the influx of museumgoers expected to hit NMP-Cebu on its first day.
In turn, they urged guests to follow museum protocols such as no bringing of food and drinks inside, and the need to avoid the use of flash photography.
Museum visitors are also told not to touch the open exhibits, or installations not encased in glass, and to dress appropriately and decently.
“There are also areas where we allow taking videos and areas that do not,” added Tomada.
The NMP-Cebu will officially open its doors to the public at 9 a.m. this Tuesday, four years after the NMP entered into a usufruct agreement with the Cebu Port Authority (CPA) for the use of the Aduana Building, also known as the Old Customs House in Cebu.
The government spent approximately P250 million for the renovation of the Aduana building, and collating, restoring, and preparing the installations.
Some of the exhibits to be displayed in NMP-Cebu included pre-colonial artifacts found in various areas in Cebu, and taxidermies of endemic flora and fauna in the island province.
According to lawyer Ma. Cecilia Tirol, director of NMP-Visayas, the agency had been mulling to open a National Museum in Cebu for several years.
They chose Aduana Building not only for its “cultural and heritage value” but also for its strategic location.
“When we look for properties (for a museum), we don’t build from the ground up. We don’t identify a piece of land then construct. We look for buildings that have cultural and heritage value,” Tirol said.
“And since this area – there’s the Fort (San Pedro) and Plaza Independencia, where we did the excavation (and rescue archeology), it’s also very strategic,” she added.
Admission to NMP-Cebu will be free and this will be open from Tuesdays to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the cut-off time at 4:30 p.m. Mondays are reserved to do preventive maintenance in the museum.