Banáan Pangasinan Provincial Museum Formally Inaugurated

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—The Provincial Government of Pangasinan, headed by Governor Ramon V. Guico III, held a ceremony at the Casa Real on September 8, 2023 to formally inaugurate the Banáan Pangasinan Provincial Museum. The ceremony, led by the Pangasinan Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office (PTCAO), were attended by First Lady Maan Tuazon-Guico, Vice Governor Mark Ronald Lambino and his wife, Atty. Melanie Sia-Lambino, as well as League of Municipalities of the Philippines (Pangasinan Chapter) President Lingayen Mayor Leopoldo Bataoil and several local chief executives and congressmen such as 2nd District Representative Hon. Mark Cojuangco, 4th District Representative Hon. Christopher De Venecia, 5th District Representative Hon. Ramon Guico, Jr., and delegates of 1st District Representative Hon. Arthur Celeste, 3rd District Representative Hon. Maria Rachel Arenas, and 6th District Representative Hon. Marlyn Primicias-Agabas.

“This is my first project to be inaugurated under this administration… Our museum is the very first project that I, as a governor, am inaugurating together with our team,” Governor Guico shared in his message. He had recounted to the audience how he had planned to establish a museum in the town of Binalonan as his last project during his time as the town’s mayor but could not do so as he eventually became a congressman. Further expressing his elation, the governor also shared how providential it was that although he could not push through with the establishment of a museum in his town as a mayor, he was able to do so first and foremost as a governor of the province of Pangasinan.

True to his passion for culture and heritage preservation, Governor Guico likewise voiced out his adamant support for the conduct of cultural mapping in Pangasinan towns and cities, highlighting the importance of knowing one’s past as a means to protect and strengthen one’s identity and roots.

Ang paglulunsad ng Banáan Museum ay isang pagkilala sa kasaysayan at kultura ng buong Pangasinan bilang isa sa pinaka mahalagang lalawigan sa ating bansa at sandigan ng bawat Pangasinense sa kuwento ng pambansang Pilipinas. Halintulad sa pangalan nito, Banáan… gawing lugar ng mga pagtitipon ng mga ideya, sining, kuwento, at kultura ang pook na ito, tampok ang galing at husay ng bawat Pangasinense (The launching of the Banáan Museum is one way to recognize the history and culture of the entire Pangasinan as one of the important provinces of our country as well as the foundation of each Pangasinense in the story of the Philippines. Similar to its name, Banáan… may this be a place for the gathering of ideas, arts, stories, and culture featuring the accomplishments and skillfullness of each Pangasinense),” stated Dr. Emmanuel Franco Calairo, Chairman of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP) and Guest of Honor and Speaker at the momentous event. NHCP Chairman Calairo also underscored the significance of the establishment of the Banáan Pangasinan Provincial Museum amidst scarce presence of similar provincial institutions, listing ‘hazards to cultural preservation’ such as industrialization, pandemics, lapse in memory, and misuse of information technology to emphasize the need to take responsibility in heritage preservation.

Lagi ko nga pong sinasabi hindi na po mabubuhay ang kasaysayan dahil wala na po iyan. Tayo po ang bubuhay ng kasaysayan, tayong mga buhay (I always say that history will not live because it’s already gone. We make history live, we who are alive),” Chairman Calairo added.

The unveiling of the museum marker and the ceremonial ribbon cutting followed, after which the guests were given a tour around the galleries.

Present at the event were also Department of Tourism Region 1 Director Jeff Ortega, National Museum OIC Director Paolo Mar Chan, Dr. Eric Zerrudo of the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School – Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (USTGS-CCCPET), Pangasinan Heritage Society President Arabella Arcinue, Dr. Perla Legaspi of the Center for Pangasinan Studies, department heads and chiefs of hospitals of the Provincial Government of Pangasinan led by Provincial Administrator Melicio Patague II, and other representatives from local higher education institutions and agencies.

The Banáan Pangasinan Provincial Museum has eleven (11) galleries, one of which is the ASIN Gallery, a revolving exhibit currently housing the Kaluyágan Exhibit featuring artworks by various celebrated Pangasinan artists such as Master of Art Maestro Romeo MananQuil, University of the Philippines Professor Emeritus at College of Fine Arts Nestor Vinluan, Visual Olympian and Monumentalist Joe Datuin, Mr. Paco Santos, and members of local artist groups such as Bolinao Artist Group, Inc. (BAGI), Likët Datëk, PanagAsinan Artist Guild (PAG), Pinankakasakëy Artist Circle (PAC), and Sarag Mi.

The museum is also equipped with a Museum Shop where numerous products by Pangasinan MSMEs are featured and sold.

The museum is officially open to the public this September 11, 2023. Admission is free for the whole month of September in celebration of this year’s Pangasinan Tourism Month. Visits to the museum can be booked online via the See Pangasinan Website.


Photos: RSR

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