MAGALLANES HERITAGE CENTER
2nd Floor Ramon Magsaysay Bldg. (Municipal Library) LGU Compound, Magallanes, Sorsogon
The Magallanes Heritage hall was inaugurated on Dec. 9, 2020. It is located on the second floor of the Municipal Library in the Municipal Grounds, Bgy. Binisitahan Sur Magallanes Sorsogon.
The establishment of the Magallanes Heritage Hall is part of the vision of the Municipality to present the historical and cultural richness of Magallanes. According to Mayor Augusto Manuel M. Ragragio, who initiated the project, “the Heritage Hall is dedicated to the children of Magallanes. It is home to dioramas and exhibits that depict our heritage, our culture, and our livelihood. During these times, cultural awareness can lead to a deep appreciation and profound knowledge among the younger generation of Magallenos. Our town’s historical roots are embedded in the hearts and minds of Magallenos. This exhibit reflect the tribute to our ancestors and the common character they have passed on to us. It is a vision of hope that a collective pride be instilled among our children to become Magallanes’ ‘marhay na syudadano’”.
The initial exhibit consisted of six dioramas. These are:
- First Catholic Holy Mass in Luzon, 1569 at Gibalon
- Astillero de Bagatao (Royal Shipyard of Bagatao)
- Replica of a Galleon
- Lighthouse in Bagatao, Parola
- Depiction of a coconut farmer’s life
- Depiction of a fisherman’s life
The first four dioramas show the historical places and events of Magallanes during the Spanish period and reflect the cultural roots of the town. Although the lighthouse in Bagatao was installed by the Americans in 1904, it was the Spaniards who purchased it from France and had planned to install it at Bagatao Island. The last two dioramas, depiction of a coconut farmer’s life and copra production and depiction of a fisherman’s life show the current livelihood of the Magallenos, the “paralukad” and the “parasira”. It is a homage to the industry and resilience of the Magallenos. The dioramas were created by Metamedia Information Systems.
The exhibit also includes a world map and a map of Magallanes. The two maps are shown to put into geographic perspective the town and other important sites in the municipality. The world map is a puzzle piece put together by Ms. Cristina F. Mencias and donated to the Heritage Hall.
The paintings exhibited follow the theme of the dioramas. Two paintings were done by Dr. Danilo Gerona.
As part of the cultural heritage of the town, a 200-year-old jar is exhibited. The jar is a donation of Mr. and Mrs. Wenceslao and Alicia (Genorga) Borlon of Caditaan. The inscription is 1813 and has been with the Genorga family since then. Four dulays from Mrs. Marciana Grinpola-Grajo of Sitio Suwa Bgy. Caditaan has been with their family since 1957. A sewing machine manufactured in 1915 is loaned by Mrs. Araceli G. Gime of Caditaan. Another iron used with charcoal was donated by the family of Conchita Sia c/o Mrs. Natty S. Balonzo. They also donated a big jade service plate and an old typewriter.
Additional donations or loans were also made by the different individuals and families after the opening in 2020. These include an old Bible and a radio donated by Annabelle Nace, an old cedula was donated by Mr. Pio Judit, a toy ice cream vendor was donated by the Janoba family, a candle holder was donated by Ms. Poly Hiloton and a metal iron donated by Zaida Acacio. An antique white ceramic plater was donated by the Hinanay family, a vintage ceramic pot donated by the Andes family, a Chinese teapot donated by Mr. Ferdinand Abraham. Two rice and corn grinder were donated by Mr. Roy Carrascal and the Antiado Family. A Mitati Cocoa grinder was donated by the Dionglay family. Mr. Reynaldo Doctor donated a vintage bar clamp, while a dictionary was donated by Mr. Edgar Rocha. Mr. Dichoso Hizo III donated an old baul while Mr. Eddie Tan donated an old Fairbanks platform scale. A vintage machine gun excavated from the Carranza family property is also on loan to the Heritage Hall.
A set of silverware was loaned by the Abraham family. Old monies, paper and coins in various denominations were donated by Mr. Felipe de Vera, Mr. Joey Garcia, Mr. Romeo Casim Jr., Leover Clemente and Jhunna Homo. A set of small souvenir spoons and dolls collected from various parts of the world was donated by the family of Ms. Gloria L. Mariano.
A big wooden Rosary is loaned by Maria Carmen Burton, a metal iron loaned by the Hermida family together with a wooden batya and an 18th century metal iron is on loan from the Ambrocia Buitizon family. The Dawis family loaned a Metal Helmet and a Barometer, Additional loans or donations to the Heritage Hall are currently inventoried and listing can be taken from the personnel assigned to the area, Mr. Gerome Ortega.
It is hoped that additional material culture can be exhibited at the Heritage Hall but space is quite limited. However, this should not be a hindrance to the establishment of a cultural and historical heritage site in the future.