The long-time vision of Dr. Dionisia Rola, the first Chancellor of UP Visayas, of transforming the Main Building in the Iloilo City campus into a remarkable museum came to fruition on 26 Oct. 2022, with the formal launching of the UPV Museum of Art and Cultural Heritage (UPV MACH).
UPV MACH features seven breathtaking galleries: the Panapton Textile Gallery, Taliambong UPV Art Gallery, Ed Defensor Gallery, Nelfa A. Querubin Gallery, Duna Intangible Cultural Heritage Gallery, Lantip: Changing Exhibition Gallery 1, and Hanas: Changing Exhibition Gallery 2.
The rehabilitation of the Main Building was made possible through a 44 million peso grant from the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP). In 2019, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) gave UPV a grant of more than 15 million pesos to develop the museum.
“UPV Museum of Art and Cultural Heritage is envisioned to be a university museum that engages students, scholars, and the community in the experience and study of art and cultural heritage through exhibitions and programs that promote an awareness and appreciation of diverse, inclusive, social, political, and economic realities,” said Prof. Martin G. Genodepa, Director of the Office of Initiatives for Culture and the Arts (OICA).
Prof. Genodepa further explained the mission of UPV MACH. “The museum commits itself to develop dynamic programs and exhibitions in the visual arts and cultural heritage for diverse audiences in and out of the University that promotes learning and stir lifelong interest in art and cultural heritage. It also aims to enrich academic and civic life by making the museum an essential part of the University and the community through programs that promote collaborations and partnerships with individuals and institutions. The museum is also here to build up the university art and cultural heritage collection, exercising responsible stewardship and management of these resources,” he added.
Chancellor Clement C. Camposano, during his welcome message, emphasized the importance of seeing and understanding culture from an emerging perspective.
“As you know, culture is not only plural. It is also fluid. And culture is not static. It is constantly moving. It is a process. In fact, it is - according to one scholar - a contested process of meaning-making. It is never still…These galleries, which I will dare call the cultural crown jewel of Panay and Iloilo, are really a space to celebrate both the plurality and fluidity of culture. But it is also a democratic space, a gift of the University so that we are able to create spaces for all the different voices,” Chancellor Camposano shared.
Iloilo City Mayor Jerry P. Treñas also gave his message during the opening program, expressing his solid support of the initiatives of UPV to elevate the educational experiences of Ilonggos. Sen. Loren Legarda also sent a video message congratulating UPV for its rare accomplishment of establishing seven galleries in less than a year.
The launching was attended by several UP system officials, including Vice President for Administration Prof. Nestor Yunque and Vice President for Public Affairs Elena P. Pernia, PhD, who delivered the message of UP President Danilo L. Concepcion. Also present were Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension Harold M. Monteclaro, PhD, Dean Christopher Honorario of the College of Management, and Dean Patricia Arinto, PhD of UP Tacloban College.
The UPV MACH launching was also supported by social partners from the government sector. Pavia Vice Mayor Edsel Gerochi attended the event on behalf of Mayor Laurence Anthony G. Gorriceta. Other guests included Dr. Corazon Corbal, ISAT-U Vice President for Academic Affairs; Ms. Christine Mansinares, Department of Tourism 6; Ms. Junel Ann Divinagracia, Iloilo City Tourism Officer; Mr. Francis Jade Caniban, Department of Education 6; Ms. Joy De Leon, Iloilo Dinagyang Foundation Inc.; and Theodore Ricardo Bautista from West Visayas State University, whose undergraduate research provided data for the exhibition of talibong from Aklan.
Central Philippine University Director of Libraries, Ms. Cynthia Peleña, also joined the event. Representing CPU President Dr. Teodoro Robles was Ms. Frances Carmelle Romero.
Cartoonists and various visual artists also joined the launching, including Mia Reyes, El Dosado, Jeanroll Ejar, and Sherwin Baylon, among others. UPV alumni also came to express their support, including UP Alumni Association Iloilo Chapter President Atty. John Nuñez, Ms. Consuelo Rico-Geduspan, Dr. Marovi Celis, Mr. Joseph William Albaña, Arch. Oscar J. Peñasales, and Ms. Rosemarie V. Doromal, who came with retired UPV professor Gaudelia Doromal - the person who started the UPV Art Gallery.
The UPV OICA team also expressed their deep gratitude for individuals who extended their support to make the galleries an impressive showcase of talents and artistry. They include Mr. Ed Defensor, who loaned his artworks; Mr. Emmanuel Soviet Russia Dela Cruz, who loaned his talibong collection; Mr. Juanito Natabio, sheath maker; Mr. Jomar Cris Rotil; Mr. Reynold Bautista; and Mr. Mario Yang, who loaned the University his textile collection for the Panapton Textile Gallery.
The OICA team under Prof. Genodepa is composed of Josie Jane Tambirao, research associate; John Sacmar, gallery assistant/ videographer; Jhunne Harold Manaay, videographer/ video editor; Junnel Tallas; Donna Gaton; and Dana Alforte as logistical assistants. Ms. Noemi Grace Palmares facilitated the editing of the content.
Meanwhile, the curatorial team for Panapton and Duna is composed of Dr. Alice Magos, Prof. Jose Taton Jr., Ms. Anna Razel Ramirez, Dr. Randy Madrid, and Mr. Sasha Dioso. Ms. Ofelia Balogo is the gallery assistant for the two galleries.
The UP High School in Iloilo Harana, under the direction of Prof. Hermie Cartagena, performed during the said event.
The UPV MACH is open to the public during weekdays from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Those who wish to arrange a viewing for large groups may send a message to the Facebook page of OICA.