Turning Points

Young as it is, the ASBMD has thrice experienced momentous heights. At least three sets of events are believed to have graced the pages of Philippine history courtesy of ASBMD.

The ASMBD worked for the restoration of an old convent of Spanish architecture built in 1676 and its transformation into the Magsingal Museum in Ilocos Sur in 1982. This museum, the very first one to have been set up, showcases the material culture of Northern Luzon. About three kilometers from Magsingal is the birthplace of priest patriot Fr. Jose Burgos. After this important event, many other successful feats followed, such as the creation of the Tuguegarao Museum in Cagayan in 1983 which depicts the Paleolithic site of the earliest man in the Philippines; the 1984 historic turnover of the Kiangan Museum, home of priceless Ifugao artifacts and ancient traditions; the establishment in 1989 of the Kabayan Branch Museum, site of the Kabayan Mummy Caves in Benguet Province; and the development of the Palawan Museum that highlights in situ the Neolithic habitation site of the ancient Filipinos, as well as the Tabon Caves Complex that houses numerous archaeological artifacts.

The ASBMD likewise set up branch museums that feature underwater archaeologic finds from Philippine waters. Formally opened in April 1994, the Fort San Pedro Museum in Cebu City is an old formidable bastion, showcasing the relics and artifacts of a Cebu-built galleon "San Diego" which sank in the l6th century off Fortune Island in Nasugbu, Batangas, as well as the vast collection of ceramics and artifacts from various archaeological sites in Cebu Province. The Fort Pilar Museum in Zamboanga City similarly launched a showcase of underwater finds from the "Griffin" which sank in the l8th century in the waters northwest of Basilan Province. The Museum is situated within the historic bastions of Fort Pilar and is named after the patron saint of the city, Nuestra Senora del Pilar. The Butuan Regional Museum in Northern Mindanao was established as an off shoot of the discovery of the ancient "balanghai", otherwise known as Butuan Boats. Approximately three kilometers from the museum is the Balanghai Shrine where the Balanghai Boats, declared as National Cultural Treasures, as well as other archaeological materials, were unearthed.

Finally, through years of effective coordination and persevering collaboration, the Angono Petroglyphs and Site Museum measuring 5,600 sq.m. was finally donated to the National Museum by its lot developer, Antipolo Properties, Inc. (Angono Petroglyphs) in Binangonan, Rizal in 1998. The Angono Petroglyphs are considered .to be the oldest known rock art on the wall of a cave in the Philippines. This was declared a National Cultural Treasure and included in the World Inventory of Rock Art in 1985 under the auspices of UNESCO, ICOM, ICOMOS, ICCROM under the Standard Rock Art Site Record, along with other worldfamous prehistoric art. In 1998, a minimuseum was constructed at the site showcasing the archaeological materials excavated from the province of Rizal and some artworks showing the works of local artists. The inauguration of the museum on June 27, 1998 also opened the province to tourism opportunities.

This page was last modified Monday, February 10, 2014
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