Samboan Museum-A A +A
Monday, December 27, 2010
LATELY the Province of Cebu has been experiencing a widespread cultural phenomenon.
We’ve been seeing a wave of consciousness that has inspired people to be more aware of such things like town heritage, local history, folk tradition and native artistry.
There was a time when a museum could only be found in the capital city. But in the last few years museums have been sprouting around the far-flung towns. Period buildings are converted for adaptive reuse to showcase a town’s tourism potential and ancestral homes are restored into living museums.
The latest to join in the bandwagon is the southwestern town of Samboan. The local government opened its very own repository of art and artifacts for the public to view.
The inauguration of the Samboan Museum coincided with the celebration of the town fiesta. The place that houses the town’s treasures is the old municipal building that was abandoned when construction of the new municipal building was completed.
Good thing the old municipio wasn’t demolished. For a time, the old edifice was used as the municipal jail and a storage facility by the electric cooperative.
Inside the museum are galleries where paintings made by local artists like Benji Goyha, John Dinglasa, Mimitz Carredo, Lito Nellas, Roel Fisalbon, among others, can be found. Also on display are handicrafts made by native artisans in the workshop of the French exporter Fabrice Desvaux.
The exhibit of artifacts and antiques are aplenty. They have stoneware and pottery, wooden implements and tools of the old trade, religious artifacts and celadons to show. (The Frenchman has fallen in love with the place and has made Samboan his home away from home.)
The opening of the museum has given the locals a sense of pride now that they have a unique place that mirrors their lives. A place can seem so ordinary without a museum.
Samboan has made a decisive step forward. Sometimes you never realize how culturally beautiful and historically rich a small town is until there is a place that exhibits its cultural treasures under one roof. And that would have to be only in a museum.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 28, 2010.