The museum of three cultures is located in the grounds of the Capital University in CDO, which was granted University status in 2003 following thirty two years as the very highly regarded Cagayan Capital College.
Its core collections come from the owner and founder of the college Madame Laureana San Pedro Rosales. A woman ahead of her time, who even in the 1950’s Philippines fought for the right of all women including Muslim women, to receive an education.
Originally established as “A Bridge to Cultural Understanding and Peace” The museum celebrates the three dominant cultures of Northern Mindanao, namely the Bisaya-speaking Christians, the indigenous peoples, and the Maranao Muslim.
It consists of 5 galleries:
1. POSAKA M’RANAO
Posaka is the Maranao equivalent of the English word heritage.
It contains items that could be considered as heirlooms, mostly objects commonly handed down by parents to children – kitchen wares, jewelry, among others.
Okir or okkil art; the term for the geometric and flowing designs and folk motifs that can be usually found in Maranao and Muslim-influenced artwork, especially in Southern Philippines, can be seen in the household accessories.
The museum has a large number of collections of these including musical instruments; jewelry and other body accessories. As well as ceremonial objects, made of brass and wood.
The Museum also has a collection of ceremonial swords, called danganan, used during a sultan’s enthronement. The longest is 14 feet long, and the oldest is the one previously owned by Sultan Malimala, a sultan of Tugaya in Marawi 300 years ago.
In Tagalog this is translated as “World History”.
This gallery features both pre-historic and historic artifacts of Northern Mindanao. Artifacts from different excavations of the Huluga Open Site.
This site is thought to be the original settlement, the pre-historic site of Cagayan de Oro, with discovery of human bones dating back to 377AD.
Also housed here among many others are house accessories made of wood and stone, such as pestle, lamps, corn grinder, rice mill, and a grinder for cotton.
The gallery also contains objects from around the world that arrived here as the result of direct and indirect trade. Among them jars from Butuan, Sung ceramics, and perfume bottles from Europe.
There are also photograph collections and drawings taken at various times during the development of Cagayan de Oro.
For example during the Spanish Period the various structures that eventually became the San Agustin Cathedral, and during the American Period (19th-early 20th century) images of the commercial center, Divisoria, and other landmarks in surrounding areas.
This room features mostly the indigenous crafts of Northern Mindanao, intricately woven fibre, some designed with beads. Including crafts from the following tribes:
The Tigwahanon Manobo are found along the watershed of Tigwa River where the municipality of San Fernando is located.
The Tigwahanon Manobo values human life so much that all the proceeds of hunting fishing and farming are equally shared with even the unborn child in his mother’s womb getting a share as long as the mother has done her share of participation in the communal food provision.
Many of the people still live in tree houses called batangan built among the branches of a growing tree with no additional supports.
Their fishing implements are bu-o (bamboo fish traps) in varied forms they have learned to fish using hook and line called banowit.
Their food, staples are rice during harvest time, occasional corn grits are available and most of the year round they subsist on camote (sweet potato) and other crops like cassava.
The bamboo baskets of the Tigwahanen Manobo come in a multitude of shapes sizes and with a variety of uses. Many are decorated with colorful and intricate designs examples of which are found in the museum.
Also displayed here are the soil paintings of artists from the indigenous community, the Talaandig, of Bukidnon.
The Talaandig are experts in soil painting. They gather soil of different colors and use white glue as paint binder. This technique is an historic art, long practiced by the the tribe, although this has just recently been revived in their bid to bring back their living traditions.
With soil as the medium, their artworks are in tones of browns, reds, and grays of the soil, a soothing tone rendered into pieces of their tribe’s life, beliefs, practices, and their close association with the land.
This room houses the paintings, photos, certificates, and awards owned by Madame Laureana San Pedro Rosales. It is a memorial to her bravery and courage in pursuing the provision of quality formal education to Mindanao schoolchildren. As well as founding Capitol University (Cagayan de Oro City), she also established Bataan Memorial Heroes College (Luzon), and Lyceum of Iligan and Iligan Capitol College (both in Iligan City).
5. ART GALLERY
Constructed in 2010, the Art Gallery is open to all artists, both professional and amateur, who wish to exhibit their artworks. The Gallery has hosted several exhibitions – by the Oro Arts Guild, Tinta Iligan Artists, Northern Mindanao Artists, the Soka Gakkai International – Philippines, and individual artists, namely Eduardo Castrillo, Vicente Laput and Meinerdo Valasco, Julie Lluch and, recently, Alma Quinto.
This truly is an exhibition celebrating the three cultures influencing life in Cagayan over the centuries. Separate yet one in advancing Northern Mindanao
Either come especially for this attraction or incorporate one or two of the other exciting opportunities we have talked about in previous posts. Whatever you do get on the phone right now and either get a booking or extend your stay at the Kingston Lodge Hotel. Much more than a hotel.
For bookings call Ed and the team on (088) 858 5696 or visit our website here or our facebook page