Issue of September 10, 2017
Mt. Province

69th Courier Anniversary Issue
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Baguio Museum wins the 2017 AFCP of the U.S. Embassy

Is it Edgar Allan Poe’s “A dream within a dream” or “A dream come true” for the Baguio Museum? Cambridge English Dictionary defines “a dream come true” as when something happens that you hoped and wished for a long time.

Poe laments “O God! Can I not grasp..Them with a tighter clasp? O God! Can I not save..One from the pitiless wave?. Is all that we see or seem.. But a dream within a dream?”

Well, dream no more Baguio Museum, as your five-year master plan is now a reality. “The Baguio Museum won the U.S. Embassy’s 2017 Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) besting 30 other cultural projects submitted to Washington D.C. from all over the world,” says Edwin Vergara of the U.S. Embassy. The Board of Trustees of the Baguio Museum would like to extend its deep appreciation to the U.S. Embassy in Manila.

According to prior press releases on the AFCP, “Last 2015, the San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Foundation at San Sebastian Church in Quiapo, Manila won the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation grant. The foundation showcased the results of a comprehensive and state-of-the-art diagnostic survey done at San Sebastian Church. The first phase of the San Sebastian project was a survey to restore its unique structure. Other AFCP projects were: The restoration work of the early 18th Century La Immaculada Conception Church in Eastern Samar and the oral documentation of the oral traditions of Ifugao.”

The rehabilitation, conservation, and development of the Baguio Museum project commences this year up to 2020. Earlier, the Baguio Museum was granted a Cordillera Enhancement Fund by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the project was inaugurated last Friday, Sept. 8, during the Baguio Museum Trilogy Plus.

The NCCA “2016-2017 Baguio Museum Enhancement of Exhibit Project” focused on the enhancement of the Cordillera Gallery: mainly the enhancement of mummy display through a glass sarcophagus and two new display shelves for the artifacts. The mummy, who has no provenance or origin, has been with the Baguio Museum, formerly Baguio Mountain Provinces Museum, since it opened in 1977.

The four-year phase AFCP grant, using International Council of Museums (ICOM) guidelines, will follow an integrated approach to museum conservation and development categorized into three phases to wit: 1. Restoration, stabilization, and preventive conservation of the collection; 2. Training and capacity building, and 3. Facility rehabilitation and development.

According to the plan, the first to be implemented is an aggressive preventive conservation activity focused on arresting current deterioration and halting future degradation, the installation of the basic equipment like a hygrothermograph and dehumidifier for effective environment monitoring and climate control. Next would be workshops for the officers, staff members, and volunteers of the museum to ensure the attainment of its conservation goals. The rehabilitation of the four floors, the outside environment, and grounds of the Baguio Museum would be implemented over the succeeding years.

The Baguio Museum is a non-profit community museum catering to the local and foreign communities and visitors of Baguio. Its vision is to be the art, cultural, and historical hub of Baguio. Leonora San Agustin in her book “Treasures of the Baguio Mountain Provinces” states, “The museum showcases the creativity of the indigenous craftsmen and artists from some of the Cordillera’s many different ethno-linguistic groups…Its collection concentrates on the material culture of these major ethno-linguistic groups.”

The museum also serves the needs of the academe and the Baguio and Cordillera artists, including international artists. It is also the venue of cultural events, a mix of local and foreign. For peoples who have made Baguio their home – the museum affords them the avenue to showcase their culture and heritage. It has four galleries: two are open to exhibits, trainings, cultural shows, and festivities. The two other galleries have permanent exhibits like the Cordillera floor for ethno-linguistic groups and the Baguio floor for its unique American heritage.

For the recently inaugurated “Enhanced Cordillera Gallery,” Arch. Mike Astudillo’s assistants Marcial Ananey and Randy Ablao really did a good job in the execution of the project. Kudos to the team of Arch. Mike!

Cultural events:

I wished the following events were longer: “Pasa-Kalye Art X Fusion 3” – an art convergence of Davao and Manila Artists last Sept. 1 to 3 at Porta Vaga (heard it moved to Vocas at La Azotea Building); “Lubid ni Allah” – discover Islam exhibit in celebration of Eid’l Adha from Sept. 3 to 5 at SM Baguio Gallery; Sept. 5 to Oct. 27 – “Araw Araw: Habi Habi” exhibit of Kidlat de Guia at Café by the Ruins Dua; Sept. 8 to 30 – “Nostalgia: Mapping Baguio City’s heritage and structures exhibit of the United Architects of the Philippines-Summer Capital Chapter and “Mediatrix exhibit of the Blessed Mother by Jandy Carvajal at the Baguio Museum; and Sept. 9 to Oct. 30 – “Dreams” digital art of Rudy Furuya, a Baguio born Japanese photographer’s journey into the surreal realm and the video biography of Koji Imaizumi at SM Baguio Gallery.

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