June 7, 2017 - The Technical Working Group on the General Santos City Museum, led by Vice Mayor Shirlyn Bañas-Nograles, along with its partners from the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School-Center for the Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (UST GS-CCCPET) headed by Associate Professor Eric Zerrudo, examined a total of five museums in Davao City and Davao Oriental to determine how the museums are designed.
In the morning of last Friday (June 2), the team reached the Mt. Hamiguitan Natural Science Museum, in San Isidro, Davao Oriental. The museum, which overlooks the Davao Gulf, is situated beside the mountain, a 2014 UNESCO World Heritage site. It highlighted the rich minerals beneath the lush pygmy forest which is home to an abundance of flora and fauna. In accommodating guests, the museum featured a Mt. Hamiguitan trekking simulation throughout the museum tour for them to understand the ecology of the mountain while getting the experience of a mountain climber.
In the afternoon, the team visited the renowned Subangan Museum in Mati City, Davao Oriental. Being a provincial museum, it featured the wall-sized images of not only Mt. Hamiguitan but also the white beaches in Dahican and the Saoquegue and Langyawan caves. The main attraction of the museum, which was the basis of the architectural design of the building, is the skeletal display of Davor, a 53-ft. sperm whale, which was found in 2010 deceased on the shores of Governor Generoso and San Isidro.
The team then visited three museums in Davao City on June 3.
The first is Davao Museum, a privately-funded museum that showcased the lives and memorabilia of talented Davao families that contributed to Philippine art and literature like the Basas, Locsins, Edadeses, Bajos, and the Ayalas, and the ancient and traditional mementos of the different IP tribes in Davao.
The second museum the team studied is Museo Dabawenyo, Davao City LGU’s city museum that told the story of its history from the 11 indigenous tribes which still exist today, the Spanish era and the battle of Datu Bago and Jose Oyanguren, to the Japanese occupation of Davao City, which was given the moniker “Little Tokyo”. The city museum also featured the large Chinese community of the city and the political history of Davao City and the Davao Region.
The last museum of the investigation was D’ Bone Collector Museum, privately owned by Darrel Dean Blatchley, an American bone collecting hobbyist who started collecting animal bones since 7 years old. The museum housed almost 800 skeletons of different fauna: felines, canines, bovines, equines, reptiles, birds, dolphins, turtles, and a 41-foot sperm whale. The assisting tour guide emphasized that all specimens of the museum are donated and that the museum has not killed any animal for its collection.
The team plans on integrating the data retrieved from the benchmarking activity with the current pool of data collected during the recently-concluded cultural mapping activities.
- Hezekiah Kit Canlas