Mabalacat LGU reopens old town hall as arts, culture center

Local News Official
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MABALACAT CITY—The city’s old municipal hall officially reopened as an arts and culture center called “Tabnuan” on February 28, 2024.

Tabnuan includes rooms dedicated to historical descriptions, a pasalubong center showcasing products from Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), a training room for small groups, and an online market option for local products and delicacies.

The center also houses “Cafe Municipio,” which will serve Balacat tea, providing visitors with a taste of local flavors and hospitality.

City Tourism Officer Arwin Paul Lingat said the second floor of the center will house an exhibit hall, with the inaugural event “Haligi ng Haraya,” showcasing the works of Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan awardees and Order of National Artists recipients.

"The inauguration and blessing of Tabnuan will coincide with the celebration of National Arts Month, underscoring the city's commitment to promoting and supporting the arts," Lingat said.

The event will feature a special showcase of 10 talented Mabalacat artists, highlighting the richness and diversity of local artistic talent.

Mabalacat City has been selected as a recipient of the Department of Trade and Industry's (DTI) “Lungsod Lunsad” program.

With this grant, the city will launch a digital kiosk featuring a directory of the local furniture industry, showcasing the craftsmanship and artistry of local artisans.

This initiative is particularly significant as the city is home to a training center for weaving and woodworks, making it a natural fit to highlight the talents of the local furniture industry.

Tabnuan will also offer livelihood training programs in weaving and woodworks, providing residents with valuable skills and opportunities for economic empowerment. These training programs will be closely integrated with the city's existing training center, further enhancing Mabalacat's reputation as a center for craftsmanship and innovation.

The building was built in 1889 as Casa Tribunal during the Spanish colonial period. After the Revolution, it became the municipal building of the American civil government.

After surviving World War II, the Municipio, as townsfolk called it, underwent multiple renovations and expansions, until the seat of local government was transferred to another location, leaving behind only a handful of offices to occupy the building.


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