February 9, 2023
DIGITAL TOUR — Trustees of the Baguio Museum, Inc. led by Executive Director Stella Maria de Guia and officials of SM Supermalls  led by President Stephen Tan solidify their partnership through the signing of a memorandum of agreement that will create a digital library at the Baguio Museum. SM Supermalls donated P500,000 for the purchase of a software and equipment for the conversion of a portion of building into a digital library. — Arnel Biala

People who want to know more about Baguio’s culture, history, and take a peek at different works of art but do not have the luxury of time to go to the museum will soon be able to do so, virtually.
Using the P500,000 donation of SM Supermalls, Baguio Museum, Inc. Executive Director Stella Maria de Guia said the topmost floor of the Baguio Museum will be converted into a digital library where information about artifacts, photographs, and works of art that are on exhibit, artists, Baguio’s history, and significant events in the history of the Cordillera can be accessed using the computers provi-ded in the library.
A select group of high school students will also be tapped to make an audio-video presentation about the museum, which will be uploaded on YouTube, the official social media accounts of the Baguio Museum, and other video sharing websites.
De Guia said the videos, which can be accessed for free will double as a promotional material for the museum.
“We hope that those who will be able to watch the videos will consider personally visiting the museum or refer to their friends to include the museum in their tour itinerary,” de Guia said.
To sustain operations, de Guia said trustees of Baguio Museum, Inc. have agreed apart from the traditional forms of marketing, they have to promote using new medium such as social media.
The museum requires an average of P1 million annually for maintenance, salaries, and miscellaneous expenses.
De Guia said entrance fees alone are not enough to keep the building running so they depend on the P500,000 annual subsidy from the local government.   
Filmmaker Abegail Lara will train the students on basic audio-video production and editing.
Digitization has long been the plan of the museum trustees but lack of funds prevented them from pursuing the same. Former councilor and also a trustee Edilberto Tenefrancia was the one who pushed for the museum to go digital.
During his stint as councilor, Tenefrancia also initiated the digitization of records of the city council.
De Guia said the AVP is the first step in the museum’s plans of adopting technological innovations in museum tours.
In the pipeline is the adoption of hologram tour guides, which she said will be helpful since the museum only has one tour guide who can only handle a few clients at a time.
She said the trustees will work on getting more grants so they could pursue programs for the museum.
Baguio Museum Inc. was a recent recipient of grants from the National Center for Culture and the Arts and the U.S. Embassy through the State Department’s Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation.
Museums around the world that offer virtual tours through 3D and 4D technology are the Louvre in Paris, France; Sistine Chapel, Rome, Italy; NASA, Washington DC, U.S.A.; the National History Museum, the National Gallery, the British Museum all in London; Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico City; Picasso Museum and Guggenhein Bilbao Museum both in Spain;  Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy; Vasa Museum, Stockholm, Sweden; Anne Frank House, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; and Museum of Modern Art, New York City, U.S.A.  – Rimaliza A. Opiña