LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—After more than a hundred individuals signed up since the official launching of the Provincial Tourism and Cultural Affairs Office’s (PTCAO) volunteerism program Kampo Kalangwëran last June 12, 2023, the first batch of volunteers successfully underwent a two-day museum guide training from June 15-16, 2023 held at the Casa Real. This activity is part of the Provincial Government of Pangasinan’s preparation for the official opening of the province’s first ever Provincial Museum—Banáan.
With the expertise and guidance of Associate Professor Eric B. Zerrudo, PhD, Director of the UST Graduate School-Center for Conservation of Cultural Property and Environment in the Tropics (USTGS-CCCPET), the first batch of Kampo Kalangwëran volunteers were provided lectures on the extensive history of museums in the Philippines, as well as the work undertaken in such institutions which gave volunteers substantial background necessary for their guiding. Dr. Zerrudo also facilitated a series of mock tours around the museum alongside PTCAO for the volunteers to incorporate and practice all that was taught in their lectures during the first day of the training. The volunteers enthusiastically showcased their public speaking skills and newly gained knowledge as they traversed Pangasinan’s rich history and culture in the galleries of the Banáan. Around thirty (30) volunteers and PTCAO staff were conferred with certificates for successfully graduating from the museum guiding training.
The Banáan Museum has been a project in the making for more than a decade, according to Dr. Zerrudo and PTCAO Chief Maria Luisa Amor-Elduayan. While the Casa Real has since been the site of a handful of art exhibits after its rehabilitation in 2016, the formation of the Pangasinan Provincial Museum was in line with Governor Ramon V. Guico III’s thrust to prioritize the preservation and promotion of the province’s cultural heritage. Dr. Zerrudo and his team from the USTGS-CCCPET led the research, conceptualization, development, and curation of the Banáan Museum, with the PTCAO closely assisting in their endeavors.
The Banáan Museum is set to be officially opened later this year.