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Cebu's first National Museum to open in August

By Melanie Uson Published Jul 30, 2023 5:15 pm

Plan your museum dates, Cebuanos, as the National Museum will open its doors this August. 

On Friday, July 28, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. inaugurated the National Museum in Cebu, the first of its kind in the province and the largest in the Visayas region.

Situated in the heart of Cebu City in the historic Plaza Independencia, the “Aduana” building served as the customs house for 94 years. The historic building was designed by William Parsons, and it survived bombings during World War II. However, in 2013, the building was in shambles after being hit by a 7.1-magnitude quake, prompting its closure.  

“It is a milestone not only for the Queen City of the South and the whole province of Cebu but for the entire country as the opening of this museum brings to the fore our rich natural, cultural, and artistic treasures,” Marcos said during the ceremony.

Also present at the event were First Lady Liza Marcos, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama Tourism Secretary Christina Frasco, National Museum Philippines chair Andoni Aboitiz, and NMP Director General Jeremy Barnes.  

Guests can expect five galleries that showcase “Cebu’s rich and diverse biodiversity, geology, archaeological treasures, art, and ethnographic and maritime traditions,” it will also feature works of homegrown artist Martino “Tinong” Abellana, who is known as the “Dean of Cebuano Painters.” 

In its hallway and lobby, the NMP-Cebu further takes pride in its artists as its works will be on display to introduce and/or flaunt the island’s culture and history. Guests can also unwind on the terrace, or courtyard, or purchase souvenirs in the NMP’s first-ever museum shop. 

The NMP-Cebu will be open to the public starting August 1 from Tuesdays to Sundays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.