BAGUIO CITY – (September 2, 2022) – Her Excellency  US Ambassador MaryKay L. Carlson was the guest of honor and speaker for the Grand Relaunching of the Rehabilitated Baguio Museum.

Together with Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Congressman Mark Go, several councilors namely Betty Lourdes Tabanda, Vladimir Cayabas, Leah Farinas, Leandro Yangot and Fred Bagbagen. City Tourism Officer Aloysius Alec Mapalo, DOT-CAR Regional Director Jovy Ganongan, SM City Baguio Mall Manager Rona Vida Correa.

Also attended by the Board of Trustees led by President Fred Bagbagen, Ryan Mangusan – Secretary, Kristine Rose Sameon – Treasurer, Peter Ng – Trustee, Nicolas Tabora – Trustee, Edna Anton – Trustee, Kidlat Tahimik – Trustee /National Artist for Film, Helen Tibaldo – Trustee, Felipe Puzon – Trustee Stella Maria de Guia – Trustee / Executive Director and Gemma Estolas – Museum Assistant Curator. The Pasakalye Group of Artists, led by Maricar Docyogen and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars

And to the artist special mention to multi-awarded carver  Ernesto Dul-ag in his masterpiece that was unveiled the “Surrender of Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita’s woodcarving also with Jacqueline Molina de Guia for the Cross Stitch Exhibit.  And with the consort of the Ambassador is retired Foreign Service officer Aubrey Carlson.

National Artist for Film and Board of Trustees Kidlat Tahimik opened the welcome remarks, “We are celebrating the Grand Relaunching of the Rehabilitated Baguio Museum – a culminating activity of the 2017 Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation. It was a 30-month grant from the US Embassy which was extended to 45 months because of the pandemic. You might say, today is auspicious because we planned the relaunch of the museum in July for Fil-Am month. September 3 is the “Surrender of Yamashita Day” by virtue of RA 11216 and we just unveiled the memorable woodcarving done by multi-awarded carver Ernesto Dul-ag. It took one year for him to finish this masterpiece. 3 years ago before the pandemic, when we had a “Soft launching for the Cordillera Gallery, the carving was not yet finished.

Today, we are grateful that Her Excellency US Ambassador Carlson acceded to our request. Let me also express our gratitude to the persons who guided this noteworthy project, Grants Officer representatives Edwin Vergara and Pong Aureas, and Grants Officer Matt Keener. After a 2 year closure, we finally opened to trickles of tourists last October 2021 guided by the usual protocols.

“This affair is very significant for us. With the new look of the Baguio Museum, we have already received a lot of good feedback people are happy with this development. We hope this optimistic scenario will pave the way for more projects.

“This 47-year-old museum has been struck by the 1990 earthquake, rebuilt by the NCAA and the Office of Former Congressman Mauricio Domogan, and now rehabilitated by the US Embassy. Like a phoenix always rises from the ashes.

“Thank you, Ambassador Carlson. This day signals more opportunities coming our way. On behalf of the members of the Board of Trustees. I would like to thank you all for coming,”

Mayor Magalong and Congressman Go also express their inspirational message for the successful relaunching of the rehabilitated Baguio Museum and dedicated to thanking H.E. Ambassador Carlson for the support of this project of the US Embassy’s 2017 Ambassador’s fund for cultural preservation and to all the artists who create and shared to display here in Baguio Museum.

Baguio Museum President and Councilor Fred Bagbagen introduced the guest of honor and speaker H.E. Ambassador MaryKay L. Carlson

Ambassador Carlson says, “I really appreciate the indigenous culture, and I am very honored that US Embassy is part of here to preserve this amazing culture.

The US Embassy is honored to be part of the museum continuing efforts to preserve local cultural treasures, we are investing in culture preservation in projects just progress because we know the museum is not just nice to have, they are essential.

The Baguio Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the region, but preserving the history is not only the remembering that has is about understanding the past and order to inform our choices and the absence that we take today for our future,”

“The Ambassador’s fund for culture preservation we are working together side-by-side to build the museum capacity for its wonderful collection that artifact on cultural objects from seven major tribes of Cordilleras region”

These incredible pieces of the Philippine history share more dedication to maintaining the collection for future generations,”

“Our support to the museum includes a $133,000 for conservation and probability work for the collection and insulation of control marketing equipment, it also includes support the developing exhibit and staff training on preventive conservation, collection management and trade test,” Ambassador said. #  Photos by: Mario Oclaman //FNS

Mario Oclaman