FOR the beautiful people of society who were say—around when the “tartanilla” (horse-drawn carriage) ruled the streets—they can find the music and items in this museum to be rather nostalgic. For the younger generation, they might learn a thing or two by visiting this place that stores everything and anything about Cebuano music and musicians.
Welcome to the Halad Museum—the only place of its kind here in the city. This “music storage” is situated on the corner V. Gullas and D. Jakosalem streets. This was a project by Dodong R. Gullas, who is also the founder of the Ang Tipiganan sa mga Handumanan sa Kanta ug Kinaiyang Sugbuanon Foundation. This museum is the only one of its kind here in the province. The art showcased here is exclusive to Cebuano artists and songs penned in the Visayan language.
“This place is purely Cebuano,” the founder would put it. According to Dodong, he created the Tipiganan to “acknowledge, honor and perpetuate old Cebuano artists and songs.”
“But one of the reasons why I also started this is that I want to perpetuate the memory of my father and mother,” shares Dodong. This aspect is visibly seen in the museum as two life-size replicas of Don Vicente Gullas and Inday Pining Rivera Gullas are situated right at the beginning of the exhibit area.
“My mother was a very good pianist. Every time she plays, dad would whistle to the tune. It was inculcated in my heart and mind that Cebuano songs are very good,” shares Dodong.
These statues are “160-kilos each and made out of pure cement” according to Marvin Mantalaba, one of the museum’s curator.
It’s been a long desire for Dodong to start something like this. But what jumpstarted the dream into reality was a little experience he had in Manila. “When I was on my way to Congress before, I remember hearing on the radio Ang Pasko ay Sumapit and the DJ acknowledged a different composer. When in fact, the original tune was from Kasadya ning Takna-a that was written by Inting Rubi. So I started this back in 2007 by honoring Inting Rubi for Kasadya and Ben Zubiri, who wrote Matod Nila,” said Dodong.
Speaking of the popular song Matod Nila, the very upright piano that the composer used to write the song, is in the museum—properly tuned and available for the visitors’ use.
Paintings about Cebuano music culture also fill the place. There’s a mural that about six meters in length and a meter in height by artist Jesse Rona. There’s also the “Kina-iyang Sugbuanon” corner with artworks by Gabby Abellana. Both reflect the lifestyles and culture of Cebuano traits and music.
There’s also a sound booth with two laptops and around 500 tracks of original Cebuano music. You can listen to the headset in the museum as all the old songs were gathered from vinyl records from of old and now stored in the laptop at the museum featuring around 500 songs that has inspired generations of Cebuanos. Converting these songs to a modern format was a very tedious process. Some of these tracks came from personal LP (i.e. long-playing record) collections of Dodong’s wife, Nena, who was also instrumental in coming up with this museum.
Here are some of the artists whose life or works are honored here: Ben Zubiri, Maning Velez, Minggoy Lopez, Vicente “Noy Inting” Rubi, Siux Cabase, Staxs Huguete, Metring Ylaya, Fr. Jed Billones, Mel Villareal, Maning Villareal, Mane and Shiela Cabase, Oscar Pagas, and more recently Pilita Corales, Dulce, and Raki Vega.
The museum is open, Monday to Friday, from nine in the morning to five in the afternoon.