Speech by President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. at the inauguration of the National Museum of the Philippines in Cebu City
Thank you very much for your introduction, our Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco. [Please take your seats.]
The other Cabinet members present, I know that there are some floating around; the National Museum Board of Trustees Chairperson Andoni Aboitiz; and Cebu Province Governor Gwen Garcia; Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama; of course, also accompanying us today is the First Lady, First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos [applause]; my fellow workers in government; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen; members of the House of Representatives that are here practically in full force, well done; and ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Maayong adlaw kaninyong tanan! (Translation: Good day to everyone!)
At the outset, allow me to apologize if we have kept you waiting. As a matter of fact, if I had been left alone, you would still be waiting and you can thank the First Lady for literally pulling my arm and dragging me out and saying there are people waiting. And the reason why is it is fascinating in there. [applause]
If you haven’t been in there, you are in for a very special treat. The exhibits that have been put out, the way that they have been presented, the curation of the different artifacts has been done in such a splendid fashion.
It would require perhaps a week of coming here every day to properly see it. I am a museum type person so I tend to spend days in museums and I think so will you.
This is in line with our national agenda to promote tourism and just as importantly to nurture our national identity. I’m delighted to be with you today at the inauguration of the National Museum of the Philippines in Cebu City.
It is a milestone not only for the Queen City of the South and the whole province of Cebu, but for the entire country, as the opening of this museum brings to the fore our rich natural, cultural, and artistic treasures.
Museums are considered valuable cultural assets to a nation as they build a sense of community, document history, inspire creativity, promote tourism, and unite people through a shared heritage.
Indeed, through the art and the artifacts that they showcase, museums enable visitors to get a glimpse of the past, understand the present, and illuminate the way to the future.
The construction of the NMP Cebu had its share of setbacks. We had the pandemic. There was Typhoon Odette.
However, there is a shared commitment and dedication in establishing a national museum in one of the country’s top tourist destination. We are finally here today, opening its doors for the public.
The inauguration is a true testament that when we pursue a united approach to any task, we can accomplish projects that will benefit generations of Filipinos.
And let me now highlight what to me is not only because it is so interesting, and it is so informative, but why are museums still important? Why should we not just put these away and locked them away and just keep them as artifacts and perhaps the academicians can come in, the scientist can come in and study them once in a while? But why do we have to make these exhibits? Why do we have to make museums?
Every country, a young country such as the Philippines has to find its identity. And we need to answer the question. If we are to unite together, we need to answer the question, what does it mean to be Filipino?
And this is an illustration precisely of the cultural heritage that we all share. And what is the culture? But a shared view of our lives, a shared view of our people, a shared view of our country.
And that is why it is important that we have and celebrate these historical artifacts that shine a very, very strong light on where Filipinos came from, what we had done since, and what is the trend, where are we headed.
The past can give us very many lessons and the past can also provide the glue by which we can say: I am like you. I am like you. I am like you. I am Filipino.
And that is why today is so important. I congratulate the officials and employees of the NMP for spearheading the foundation of this museum.
Remain steadfast in further strengthening your institution’s resolve to pursue its mandate of managing and developing national collections in the fields of arts, cultural heritage, and natural history.
I also congratulate the local government of Cebu City and the province of Cebu for working hand-in-hand with the NMP to establish the biggest regional museum of the NMP in the Visayas.
This newly inaugurated museum is another source of pride, not only just for Cebuanos but for all of us Filipinos.
With this, I encourage my fellow servants in government to support the initiatives of the NMP, besides, I already got an earful as I went around from talking about budgets and talking about… It went in one ear and stayed there. It didn’t go out the other…
So, let us persuade local and foreign visitors alike to include the NMP Cebu in their itinerary whenever they visit our beautiful country and this vibrant, ancient province.
Let us also ensure that our cultural institutions and establishments are accessible to Filipinos from all walks of life.
Once again, congratulations to the National Museum of the Philippines, to everyone involved in the completion of this newly inaugurated museum. Congratulations for a job very well done and a very important job completed.
Daghang salamat! (Translation: Thank you very much.) Magandang hapon po sa inyong lahat. Maraming, maraming salamat po. [applause]
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