Pambansang Museo sa Barangay: Bringing Museum Collections to the Fringes

By Maricyn A. De los Santos

Photos by National Museum Western Visayas

To advance Universal Access, the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) – Western Visayas Regional Museum successfully conducted the first Pambansang Museo sa Barangay (PMB) in Iloilo city and province recently.

The project intended to bring museum collections to the fringes, or in areas wherein the residents are either most likely unaware that there is a free-access museum in their community or they are too busy coping with their daily needs they have no time for recreational or educational activities like a visit to museums.

The travelling exhibition visited six barangays: Lopez Jaena Norte, Tanza Esperanza, Barrio Obrero, Lapuz Sur, and Punong in Iloilo City, and Jelicuon Montinola in Cabatuan, Iloilo. The PMB was implemented through a grant from the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) – CollAsia Field Projects 2022, backed by the Cultural Heritage Administration of Korea.

NMP and ICCROM share the goal of inspiring communities appreciate their intangible and tangible heritage. Through the project, the NMP hopes to inspire support to heritage conservation efforts of museums and cultural institutions by raising public awareness and deeper appreciation of Filipino cultural and natural heritage.

The five museum boxes feature the replicas of Oton Gold Death Mask, a National Cultural Treasure; the fossil molars of elephants and stegodonts recovered in Cabatuan; Haból Panay, the textile heritage of Western Visayas; and diorama of forest habitat showcasing the endemic plants and animals in the region.

Partner individuals and organizations like the Rotary Club of Iloilo distributed “party bags” containing goodies and school supplies. The PMB Year 2 will visit more urban and rural barangays.

October is Museums and Galleries Month. Visit National Museum Western Visayas from Tuesday to Sunday, 9AM to 4:30 PM to enjoy the exhibits and art activities. Entrance is free.