The National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) recently inaugurated its 14th branch in Dumaguete City which will it showcases the geology, zoology, botany, archaeology and marine biodiversity of the entire Negros Island which covers the Oriental and Occidental Negros provinces.
Housed at the Dumaguete Presidencia or old municipal hall, it also has exhibits on architectural arts and built heritage of Negros Oriental and Siquijor, as well as provisions for seasonal and thematic displays.
Also unveiled at the inauguration is the marker declaring the edifice as an Important Cultural Property (ICP) of the NMP, a citation in earlier received in 2019 because of its exceptional cultural, artistic and historical significance manifested in its blend of Spanish, American and Filipino architecture.
An ICP entitles historical structures to be granted government funding for its restoration, protection and conservation by the National Museum.
Built in 1937, it was designed by eminent Filipino architect Juan Arellano who also designed the Legislative Building, 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.
During the inauguration, Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo stressed that Dumaguete’s master plan includes hosting a museum which will be a repository history and heritage of the city and province. He also acknowledged the members of the Dumaguete City Council in 2017 for authorizing him to sign the 50-year usufruct agreement with the NMP.
The restoration of the Presidencia and conversion into a museum is in line with Remollo’s vision to make Dumaguete a consummate destination of culture, adventure and sports tourism.
The museum’s inauguration is part of the month-long 74th charter day celebrations of Dumaguete when it was declared a component city of Negros Oriental on November 24, 1948.
In photo are NMP director general Jeremy Barns, NMP director for the Visayas Atty. Cecille Tirol, Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo, NMP Board of Trustees chairperson Evangelina Lourdes Arroyo-Bernas, and NMP trustee and AboitizLand chief executive officer Andoni Aboitiz.