April 17, 2024

The construction of the National Museum of the Philippines in Kabayan, Benguet will soon commence in a new location in the municipality.

Mayor Florencio Bantales, Jr. in an interview by the Benguet Provincial Information Office, said the building’s construction has been projected to be completed by 2025. 

The new museum building, to be constructed at Sitio Tabalan in Barangay Poblacion, will replace the old facility at Sitio Kuay, also in Poblacion.

To recall, the old museum incurred damages due to the magnitude 7.0 earthquake in Luzon last July 27, 2022.

Bantales said the facility is funded with P25 million under the government’s general appropriations act for special appropriations.

“There will be a new display area as well as replicas of Kabayan artifacts. The constituents of Kabayan are also encouraged to bring out their artifacts for display in the museum,” Bantales said.

National Museum of the Philippines-Kabayan Administrative Officer Clarifel Abellera said the new building will have a security office, lavatory, and lactation rooms, among other facilities to benefit visitors and guests.

She said the new location of the national museum is strategic since it is near the evacuation center, as well as national agency offices where people gather to have programs.

“The attendees of the programs of these agencies can be prospective visitors of the museum. The panorama alone is a kind of gallery that can be witnessed by the visitors,” Abellera said.

The old museum is closed pending its renovation. The old site will also be included in the planned renovation and is eyed to be a research hub, laboratory and accommodation area for field workers of the national museum.    

Abellera said the employees of the museum are temporarily having their office at the material recovery facility in Poblacion.

She said the museum continues their services to include public programs especially in schools, technical assistance for students and researchers, and booking tours for visitors especially at the Tinongchol burial rock site or the Timbac Cave where the Kabayan mummies are located.

Kabayan is the home of the age-old burial caves with mummies and Luzon’s highest peak, Mt. Pulag as well as the four lakes.

With this, the local branch of the national museum was established, wherein a marker identifies the burial caves of the town as one of the national cultural treasures, bestowed upon the town as early as Aug. 1, 1973. – Ofelia C. Empian