The National Museum of the Philippines Dumaguete, Negros Oriental is now officially opened to the public after a formal ceremony attended by local and national officials Friday.
Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, National Museum of the Philippines Director-General Jeremy R. Barns, Trustee Andoni Aboitiz, Evangelina Lourdes Arroyo-Bernas, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees and Director of Visayas National Museum Atty. Cecille Tirol led other dignitaries in the opening rites of the 14th museum branch that will showcase the culture, heritage, and history of Negros Oriental and Siquijor at The Presidencia [the old Dumaguete City Hall].
The officials also unveiled the cultural marker declaring the Dumaguete Presidencia an Important Cultural Property on account of its exceptional cultural, artistic and historical significance as manifested by its beautiful blend of Spanish, American and Filipino architecture.
The Dumaguete Presidencia, built in 1937, was designed by the great Filipino architect Juan M. Arellano who also designed the Legislative Building in Manila, which is now the National Museum of Fine Arts. Both buildings were designed in a mix of local and western neoclassical architectural styles prevalent during the American period.
Director-General Barns said that the National Museum of the Philippines is proud to collaborate with the local government of Dumaguete headed by Mayor Remollo for the reopening of the building that will house the tangible proof of the diverse cultural heritage of Central Visayas.
Mayor Felipe Antonio B. Remollo stressed that part of the city’s master plan is for Dumaguete City to have its own museum thus he lauded Director Barns of the National Museum of the Philippines for the generous assistance in the restoration and establishment of the Dumaguete Presidencia as a regional museum that can now be fully appreciated by students of history and advocates for the preservation of our proud local heritage.
Further, Mayor Remollo also expressed his gratitude to the members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod in 2017 for unanimously giving him the authority to sign the usufruct agreement with the National Museum of the Philippines namely former Vice-Mayor now Councilor Franklin Esmeña Jr., Councilors Alan Gel Cordova, Karissa Tolentino-Maxino, Agustin Miguel Perdices, Estanislao Alviola, Jose Victor Imbo, Joe Kenneth Arbas, Lilani Ramon, Michael Bandal, Manuel Arbon, Manuel Sagarbarria and Lionel Banogon.
Mayor Remollo stressed that the opening of the regional museum in Dumaguete City as a lasting gift for heritage and the future of our city and province.
As a branch of the National Museum of the Philippines in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental it will feature the natural history of Negros Oriental in geology, zoology and botany as well as exhibit architectural arts, archeology and built heritage.
The restoration of the Dumaguete Presidencia to become a museum is in line with the objective of Mayor Remollo to make Dumaguete City a tourist destination for heritage lovers and provide the next generation with a better appreciation of the city’s rich culture, tradition and heritage.
Among those present during this afternoon’s historic opening ceremony are National Chairperson of the Commission on Senior Citizens Atty. Franklin M. Quijano, 1st District Board Member Jessica Villanueva, Bindoy Mayor Eniego C. Jabagat, Councilor Karissa Tolentino-Maxino, Maria Marife Cordova, Bernice Anne Elmaco, Rey Lyndon Lawas, Franklin D. Esmena and Jose Victor Imbo, Liga ng mga Barangay President Dionie Amores, SK President Renz Macion, City Administrator Lilani Ramon, Assistant City Administrator Dinno T. Depositario, department heads, local government officials, businessmen, members of the Heritage Council, Culture and Arts Council, Tourism Council, , tourism officers, members of the clergy, Deped Supervisors, School Principals, faculty members of Social Science and History and students.