A CENTER for the preservation and pro-motion of the Cordillera region’s indig-enous peoples’ culture and traditions through systematic collection and conservation, documentation and research, and exhibition and promotion of the region’s artifacts and historical materials, thereby leading to a better appreciation of indigenous traditions and instilling greater interest in cultural and anthropological studies.
Such is the evolving significant and unique contribution of the SLU-Museum of Culture and the Arts (SLU-MAC) to the Cordillera region and to the country
The SLU-MAC has its share of humble beginnings. From 1969 to 1970 when Anthropology was added to the curriculum of the SLU-College of Human Sciences, Dr. Florentino Hornedo, the college dean then together with the university-wide Department of Social Sciences, initiated the voluntary collection of artifacts from the Social Sciences classes as well as from other colleges. Through the years, the awareness and interest of various sectors in the collection of artifacts steadily gained momentum.
BIBAK, which is a federation of students from the Cordillera cultural communities, exerted efforts to collect and donate a big bulk of cultural artifacts after likewise realizing the wisdom of preserving their cultural heritage – a heritage that is indeed fast disappearing.
Aside from ethnographic materials, historical documents and folk art items were also collected and donated. Other private individuals and families also recognized that need and contributed to the building-up of the museum’s collections.
On the academic side, SLU students were encouraged to write research papers, ethnographic reports, term papers and even theses on folk arts, folkways, beliefs and lifestyles of various cultural communities.
The SLU Museum is an ethnographic museum. Its collections are generally cultural artifacts from the Cordillera region, i.e. from Benguet, Ifugao, Mountain Province, Kalinga, Apayao, and Abra. A few collections came from the lowlands while a special section contains Spanish religious relics.
Classified as a University community museum that caters to the needs of the SLU community as well as visitors, it is one of the registered museums in the Cordillera region and one of the few museums in northern Luzon.
Forty years later, the SLU Museum is now quite well-known even by museum enthusiasts abroad, thus making it a must-see destination of local and foreign tourists.
The SLU-MAC is currently gearing up for the grand celebration of its 40th year anniversary kicking off this incoming First Semester June 2010 until May 2011.
Among others, scheduled activities are cultural theater presentations, series of fora and talk shows on museums, culture and development, photo exhibits, wood carving and basket weaving competitions, open house, outreach, and arts exhibits by local artists. Specific schedules will be announced later.
The Cordillera Cultural Performing Group composed of students and which is under the auspices of SLU-MAC will be the main act in a full-blown cultural theater production. The CCPG has won awards in competitions held in the city such as the ‘Panagbenga’ street dancing contests and the Department of Tourism’s ‘Wow Philippines’ tourism events. CCPG is known for interpreting Cordillera dances and musical instruments, including attire, in the most authentic manner.
Improvements on the SLU-MAC will be a continuing endeavor, one of which is the plan to do some face lifting of its façade by installing murals depicting various Cordillera scenarios.