‘Running a Museum workshop’ unveiled this year’s Cebu Culture and Arts Month

20140206_112807Our tangible heritage could be so fragile that it should be preserved for the future generations. They partly define and remind us of our culture and identity as people.

Thus, in time for the Cebu Arts and Culture Month, the Province of Cebu collaborated with the Visayan Association of Museums and Galleries, Inc. (VAMGI) and the National Museum of the Philippines for a 3-day workshop on “Running a Museum”.

The workshop was organized by VAMGI and conducted by the National Museum of the Philippines headed by Dr. Ana Labrador, Assistant Director, and her team of experts who tirelessly imparted their knowledge to the participants.

Held last February 6-8, 2014 at Museo Sugbo, 60 participants composed of museum workers, tourism officers, and heritage advocates from all over Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Surigao, and Ormoc came to learn more than the basics of establishing a museum.

According to Audrey Dawn Tomada, President of VAMGI and Director of JRG Halad Museum, the workshop was “intended for museum organizations and cultural institutions so they can expand and reinforce their knowledge in operating museums or in setting up a new one.”

To recall, the Our Cebu evaluation has already encouraged towns in Cebu to identify their respective heritage properties and set-up their own museums. In fact, some towns already have their own museums where sustainability in terms of maintenance and operation remains a challenge. With this, LGUs have longed for a workshop focusing on museology – proper documentation and inventory of artifacts, conservation procedures, and risk reduction and disaster management for museums.

Tomada further added that “Cebu is rich in cultural heritage but there is a need for stronger solidarity”.

One of the highlights of the three-day workshop was a tour to the different museums in Cebu City where on the second day the participants were asked to evaluate the set-up of the museums they visited. The participants  explored BPI Museum Cebu, Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño Museum, the Cathedral Museum of Cebu, JRG Halad Museum, Casa Gorordo Museum, and Museo Pari-an sa   Sugbu (Jesuit House).

Tomada also expressed that the workshop, “was also an opportunity to gather together and listen to the needs of their community based museums/cultural centers and how to address them.”

While some treat the advocacy inevitably as least in priority, Dr. Ana Labrador, Assistant Director of the National Museum reminds that, “People, even politicians, should make it a matter of policy to look at heritage as basic as food, shelter and clothing. It is the very air that everyone breathes as it is part of everyone’s quality of life that they should look after.  Fulfilling physical needs should be matched by satisfying the aspirations for cultural pursuits such as observing traditions, experiencing art and other means that lead people to see possibilities of the best way to live. It is human to aim for a better life.”

The successful event was presented by the Cebu Provincial Government through Hon. Miguel Antonio A. Magpale, Committee Chair for Cebu Culture and Arts, the Visayan Association of Museums and Galleries, and the National Museum of the Philippines.  Heart Rizarri / Masi Cabañes