LEGAZPI CITY, Feb. 19 (PNA) -- The National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) has allocated Php50 million for the rehabilitation and reopening to public of the Cagsawa Museum in the neighboring Daraga town to make it as the NMP Bicol Branch.
Leo Batoon Sr., museum researcher, said the project is a priority undertaking of their office, and it harmonizes the plan of the NMP under Director Jeremy Barns with that of Province of Albay headed by Governor Joey Sarte Salceda.
Firstly, Batoon said, the NMP will just return to its former home.
Secondly, the Cagsawa Ruins is one of the four National Cultural Treasures in the province that were declared by the NMP, he said.
The NMP official said the museum and the Cagsawa Ruins are close to each other, location-wise.
The museum will serve as the repository of the cultural heritage of the Bicolanos.
Batoon said the NMP's Engineering Division is already making the design for the rehabilitation of the museum, which will be a one-floor building with a viewing deck on top.
He said their office has considered all aspects in the rehabilitation of Cagsawa Museum like the archeological, geological, botanical and zoological features of the area.
Assisting the NMP in the rehabilitation works are the Provincial Engineering Office, Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office (APSEMO), Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and the office of Commissioner Abdon Balde Jr. of the Wikang Pambansa.
Batoon said Dr Cedric Daep, APSEMO head, has already given a certification that the place is safe.
Daep, however, advised him to elevate the flooring by 1.5 meters to be at level with the road, he said.
Batoon said their office and the office of Balde are jointly preparing the story line for the place.
Meanwhile, Alice Alaurin, head of the NMP in Tabaco City, said the Cagsawa Museum was temporarily closed and transferred in Tabaco City when it was destroyed by Typhoon "Reming" that hit Albay in 2006.
Alaurin said the half-hectare land where the museum stands is a donation of the family of Severino Listana of Daraga and the Municipality of Daraga, in turn, donated it to the NMP.
For his part, Balde said Salceda plans to deposit all Cagsawa memorabilia, map, old photos and other valuable items in the Cagsawa Museum for the convenience of the public who will be looking for information about Cagsawa or Allbay province.
He said Cagsawa is strategically located so that tourists and researchers can easily find it.
Daraga tourism officer Tita Pacres said the project will have a great impact on the tourism of Daraga.
Pacres said the place is an iconic tourist destination, newly declared as National Cultural Treasure and has been nominated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The for Cagsawa Ruins being declared as National Cultural Treasurer of the NMP is expected to be installed on April, during the month-long Daragang Magayon Festival. (PNA) PGL/FGS/NIM/CBD/EDS