Take a taxi from Kingston Lodge Hotel asking for this address: Museo de Oro, Xavier University, Corrales Ave, Cagayan de Oro. You will be dropped at the entrance to the main campus of Xavier University and can follow the signage to the Museo de Oro.
As you enter the museum look at the paintings adorning the walls. On one wall you will find one entitled “The Seduction of Makeyvakey” it is based on a legend collected by the Museum’s founder Fr. Francisco R. Demetrio, S.J.
The legend narrates that once upon a time, there was a dark and brutish giant in the South named Makeyvakey who fell in love with a mortal. Enticed with the beauty and grace of the native, Makeyvakey used his godly powers in order for the woman to reciprocate his fondness and emerging love.
Albert “Bet” Vamenta painted “The Seduction of Makeyvakey” in 1983 after reading that legend. It is just one of the paintings depicting the mystique and darkness, monsters and heroes of Mindanao folklore hanging on the walls of the museum.
Museo de Oro, dubbed as the first folkloric museum in the country, began life as Xavier Folklife Museum. However it is not an abode of dead things. It is, by any definition, bursting with life, clad with vivid imagination and rich history.
The inception of the Museo began in August 1967 when its founder, Fr Francisco Demetrio conceived a dream of building a place to accommodate historical and archaeological items, and would showcase the traditions and folklore of Mindanao, initially as an audiovisual aid in teaching Cultural Anthropology and Folklore to the University’s students.
In 1968, the Museum was moved to a two renovated rooms in the first floor of the Lucas Hall building, one of which became the office and library of the Philippine Studies Department.
Fr Frank, as he was fondly called by his friends and colleagues, started collecting during his travels and study excursions. His humble collection back then comprised the museum’s exhibit during its infancy period.
Due to the astounding progress of the collection, what used to be known as Xavier University Folklife Museum had to expand and from there, it acquired its present name as Museo de Oro.
After seventeen years, a three-story modern building was constructed through the donations and help of Fr. Demetrio’s former students and friends, as well as the support of Xavier University administration.
It was inaugurated in July 6, 1987 by the late President Corazon C. Aquino, and became the permanent house for the museum collections together with the archival documents on local history and folklore. The Museo de Oro was also intended to serve as a Research Center on Ecumenism and Inculturation, besides folk literature.
The Museo de Oro has been under the banner of Xavier Center for Culture and the Arts (XCCA) since 2009 and supported by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
In 2014 a major renovation and refurbishment was completed to bring it into the modern era of museum architecture and technology.
At present, the Museo has three major collections—The Ethnohistory of Northern Mindanao, The Ethnology of Mindanao and Fr Francisco Demetrio SJ Gallery—forming a pivotal repository of culture, arts and knowledge to understand the past of the second largest island of the Philippines.
The museum aligns its mission to the cultural formation thrusts of the University: to engage in the education of the young people specifically the students; to preserve and conserve the traditional cultural heritage of Mindanao and archival documents on local history; and to serve as a center for Indigenous People’s Studies and Local History in Mindanao.
Click for some pics of the museum and its exhibits.
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