Cultural centers

Duterte signs law establishing cultural center and museum in Cagayan de Oro

The planned Cagayan de Oro Cultural Center and Museum will serve as an “institutional support for the collection, preservation and enhancement” of local heritage and history

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a new law to establish a new repository for the cultural, artistic, historical and religious heritage of Cagayan de Oro.

Signed into law on Tuesday, May 24, Republic Act No. 11771 seeks to establish a cultural center and museum in the city of Cagayan de Oro.

Vice President Rufus Rodriguez, representing the 2nd District of Cagayan de Oro, said the proposed Cagayan de Oro Cultural Center and Museum would serve as an “institutional support for the collection, preservation and enhancement” of heritage and local history.

Based on the measure he drafted in 2021, Rodriguez said funds for the construction of the cultural center and museum would come from the annual budget of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).

He said the next budget for the project would be included in the General Appropriation Act (GAA).

“The local government of Cagayan de Oro is also mandated to provide the land for the construction of the cultural center, museum and offices,” Rodriguez said.

Currently, the city’s main repository for its heritage and historical artifacts is a century-old structure near Gaston Park that once served as a water reservoir for ancient Cagayan de Oro. It was turned into a museum a few years ago.

Built in 1921 during the American occupation of the Philippines, the “Water Tower” is the city’s oldest public structure.

OLD TOWER. Cagayan de Oro’s century-old water tower seen from Gaston Park near City Hall and St. Augustine’s Cathedral. Froilan Gallardo/Rappler

Jesus Christopher Salon of the City Museum said the structure was used to store and distribute water from the mountains in Cagayan de Oro, which was then known as Cagayan de Misamis.

Salon said old photographs of Cagayan de Oro, as well as archaeological finds, are stored in the three-story structure.

Besides the water tower, the city is home to two other museums created by Xavier University and Capitol University.

Meanwhile, President Duterte also signed Republic Act 11770, establishing the Kalinga Cultural Center and Museum in Kalinga Province, and Republic Act 11772, establishing the Biliran Cultural Center and Museum in Kalinga Province. Biliran province. – Rappler.com

Froilan Gallardo is a Mindanao-based journalist and winner of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.