May 30, 2023
U.S. Ambassador H. E. Sung Y Kim during the “soft launching”  of the Cordillera Gallery last July 19, 2019 as guest of honor and speaker.

With the culmination of the United States Embassy’s 2017 Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) project, the Baguio Museum is bracing for more aggressive projects in the next five years.
And it is calling on supporters to help this non-profit institution which was built in 1975, inaugurated in 1977 and destroyed by the earthquake in 1990 then rebuilt again in 2001.
The soft launching of the Cordillera Gallery was done in July 2019, prior the pandemic and was honored with the presence of U.S. Ambassador His Excellency Sung Y. Kim who started the 2017 AFCP project.
The Baguio Museum won a selective contest in the Philippines together with 30 other museums all over the world.
As for the grand relaunching in September 2022, U.S. Ambassador Her Excellency Mary Kay Carlson graced the event. The pandemic closed the museum temporarily for seven months starting in March 2020.

H.E. US Ambassador Sung Kim welcomed by the Board of Trustees in 2019, with Mayor Benjie Magalong, Benguet Gov. Melchor Diclas, Grants Officer Matt Keener. Also, In photo are : Nicolas Tabora, Pres. Fred bagbagen, Vice President Edilberto Tenefrancia, Helen Tibaldo and Peter Ng and the BCNHS Dance Troupe.

The rehabilitation and beautification of its galleries continued in September 2020 after stringent protocol requirements for the carpenters were complied with. The project ended in June 2021.
The 30-month project grant from the U.S. Embassy in Manila was extended for 15 months as a result of the pandemic closure of all constructions and other unforeseen events. The Baguio Museum partially open to limited visitors in October 2021. By January of 2022, its doors opened to visitors after almost two years with strict protocols.
The grant implemented the following goals: Capability building training for the staff of the Baguio Museum and the small museums in Northern Luzon; Conservation/restoration and re inventory of its artifacts; and the infrastructure rehabilitation of its interior galleries from the 1st floor to the 4th.

Courtesy call to the U.S. Ambassador H.E. Sung Y. Kim at the U.S. Ambassador’s Office in Manila with Grants Officer Representative Edwin Vergara and Project Architect Michael John Astudillo with Ex-Officio Chairman Nicolas Tabora, the Executive Director and MAC Gemma Estolas.

While in the process of rehabilitation, a strong typhoon hit Baguio damaging the roof. Conservation and restoration of artifacts had to be redone.
However, the U.S. Embassy came to its aid again. The project team consisted of the project director, Project Assistant Director Gemma Gardingan Estolas, Conservator-consultant Orlando Abinion, Curator consultant – Bettina Arriola and Project Architect Michael John Astudillo.
It also invited culture bearers to guide in the set-up of new exhibits. Towards the conclusion of the project, the U.S. Embassy had a reorganization in 2021, Grants Officer Representative Edwin “Boyet” Vergara, who generously helped the team was replaced by Floribel “Pong” Aureus and GO Matt Keener was replaced by Pauline Anderson.The pandemic also deterred the consultants from coming up because of travel restrictions.

Baguio Museum Board of Trustees received a check from ex-officio chair Nicolas Tabora. Check was turned over to newly-elected President Peter Ng from outgoing President Fred Bagbagen. Left to right: Museum Asst. Curator Gemma Gardingan Estolas, Trustees Kidlat Tahimik, Felipe Puzon, Secretary Ryan Mangusan, Ex-Officio Fred Bagbagen, Ex-officio Nicolas Tabora, Ng, Trustee/outgoing VP Edilberto Tenefrancia, VP Helen Tibaldo, Trustee/Treasurer Kristine Bautista-Sameon and Trustee/Executive Director Stella de Guia.

Hence, now that it has been completed, bigger programs and projects are planned for the coming years by a very enthused Board of Trustees.
First on the agenda, was the election of a new set of officers. This was done last March 4. The board intends to make this community museum digitalized and to be the first stop for tourists to visit before any tour is conducted.
Elected officers were: Peter Ng as president, Helen Tibaldo as vice president, Ryan Mangusan as secretary and Kristine Bautisa Sameon as treasurer.
The board is composed of capable and outstanding leaders representing a cross section of the community such as the academe, business, bankers, environmentalist, media, the indigenous and foreign communities, tourism oriented establishments like restaurants, artists, and the local government unit.

U.S. Ambassador H. E. Mary Kay Carlson during the “grand relaunching”  of the Baguio Museum last September 2, 2022 as guest of honor and speaker.

The other members of the Board of Trustees are Edilberto Tenefrancia, Edna Anton, Nicolas Tabora (ex-officio), Fred Bagbagen (ex-officio), Felipe Puzon, Kidlat Tahimik, Sheree Nolasco and Stella de Guia (executive director). Gemma Estolas is the museum assistant curator.
With the support of the Board of Trustee and with limited budget, the Baguio Museum produced a “Virtual Turo-Tour-uan Series” during the pandemic to keep people interested and aware of the museum, beginning with Benguet province.
It was posted on YouTube. It shouted a clear message that culture and heritage is very much alive. Artists have started to exhibit their works in 2022. The museum was also able to produce its brochures finally funded by the Fernando and Rosa Bautista Foundation thru its trustee Kristine Sameon.
Meanwhile, trustee Kidlat Tahimik mounted his trial installations at the Baguio Museum and the Sunshine Park prior his monumental exhibit at the Palacio Cristal del Retiro in Madrid, Spain in October 2021, called “‘Magellan, Marilyn, Mickey and Fray Damaso: 500 Years of Rock Star Conquerors.” 

Immersed in a serious discussion with the Board: (L-R) Secretary Ryan Mangusan, President Peter Ng, Trustee Kidlat Tahimik and Ex-Officio Fred Bagbagen

This epic exhibit was visited by about half a million tourist in six months. The National Museum of Anthropology invited Tahimik’s exhibit and the installations. Some of the installations are at the FDCP Building and the Museong Pambata.
Ng has brought Chinese Consul Yang Zerui of the Consulate of the People’s Republic of China and the Filipino-Chinese community to the Museum in November 2022.
President of SM Supermalls Steven Tan gave a financial assistance to the museum’s “digitization” project for the purchase of “state of the art” laptops which were used to train selected High School and College students so they could use and reecho their knowledge to their particular schools and institutions. On top of these programs, the Baguio Museum also reached out to indigent patients and students with the help of partners SM Baguio and the Baguio General Hospital Advisory Board.

President Peter Ng and Vice President Helen Tibaldo with the Baguio Museum Board of Trustees after election photo: (L-R) Ryan Mangusan, (hidden) President Peter Ng,  Kidlat Tahimik, Nicolas Tabora, Kristine Sameon, S. de Guia, Edna Anton, Vice-President Helen Tibaldo, and Philip Puzon.

Aggressive plans are on the pipeline, like marketing in the form of flyers and standees, to hotels, schools, taxi drivers and operators. Collaboration projects are underway with focus on training programs.
Training of affiliates like the Dosent committee volunteers and friends of the Museum volunteers are also going to be implemented.
Donors will be encouraged to help continue the museum’s “Digitization” project and acquisition of interactive equipment. The rehabilitation of its parking lots, painting of its roof and landscaping are also being targeted.
Ng is keen on improving the techo projects of the museum while Tibaldo would pursue an intensive marketing campaign.