CITY OF CEBU – The National Quincentennial Committee (NQC) and the provincial government of Cebu on Monday opened the Philippine Quincentennial Museum at the Museo Sugbo in this capital.
One of the guests, presidential spokesman Harry Roque, in his speech reiterated President Rodrigo Duterte’s foreign policy “to be friends for all”.
âToday we are celebrating the creation of a museum that will bear witness to our 500 years of ties with our European brothers, the Spaniards. We are not celebrating colonialism because I am sure the ambassador will understand that it was because of colonialism that we established the very first republic in Asia, âRoque said.
The Spanish Ambassador to the Philippines, Jorge Moragas Sanchez, who was also present, highlighted in his speech the long-standing friendship between the Philippines and Spain.
He pointed out that “many of the sources of our current knowledge come from the archives of the Philippines and Spain”.
Dr Rene Escalante, Executive Director of NQC, led the launch of the museum which commemorates the first contact of former Filipinos with Europeans.
âOn behalf of the National Historic Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), I express my greatest gratitude to the Governor of Cebu, Gwen Garcia, for hosting not only this event, but also the new addition to your provincial museum, the Philippine Quincentennial Museum, âhe said. .
Escalante, current president of the NHCP, said the museum is a “testimony of the National Quincentennial Committee to correct misconceptions that our ancestors were savages and barbarians.”
The NQC initially proposed a “traveling exhibition”, but due to “the inability to move it from one place to another, we decided to make it a permanent exhibition” in Cebu, he said. . “Thanks to the Museo Sugbo, the Philippine Quincentennial Museum will now have a permanent home here in Cebu Province.”
Escalante said the NQC had also nominated two quincentennial museums – the Museum of Ancient History of the Philippines in the Old Town Hall in Butuan and the Lapulapu Memorial Shrine and Museum at the Freedom Shrine on Mactan Island. in the city of Lapu-Lapu.
However, both projects have been postponed “in the meantime” as the national government continues to fight the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19), he said.
Meanwhile, Visayas presidential assistant Michael Lloyd Dino donated a âcontemporary paintingâ that will tell the present generation that âwill become the past of the futureâ.
In his speech, he recalled Duterte’s directive to adopt a Philippines-centric celebration of the country’s role in the world’s first circumnavigation.
He also recalled the humanity and âmalasakitâ (compassion) of the ancestors of the Filipinos in caring for the European crew led by Ferdinand Magellan when they landed at Homonhon in Samar, as well as the bravery of Datu Lapulapu in the Battle of Mactan on April 27, 1521.
Garcia, for his part, thanked the NQC and the NHCP, stating âwe accept this museum with gratitude and responsibility for its care and enrichmentâ.
The museum has two galleries, one showcasing the country’s role in the Magellan-Elcano Expedition that landed in the archipelago 500 years ago and the other showcasing the pre-colonial Philippines. (PNA)