Halad Museum from a different angle
OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide () - June 26, 2011 - 12:00am

The Cebuano word Halad is far more profound and meaningful compared to its possibly nearest English translation – offer. Halad can be a verb to mean to give or to offer and it can also be used as a noun to mean a gift or an offering. In these contexts of being an action word or an expression of love, the act of Dr. Jose R. Gullas, of the University of the Visayas, assisted by his lady, Ma’am Nena, in putting up the Halad Museum embodies the profundity of the term.

Much literature has been lately written on Halad and the Gullases because this is the best way Cebuanos acknowledge their gesture and this gift. The commendation issued by the Cebu City Council, upon the authorship of Hon. Margarita Osmeña caps all our expression of gratitude to Sir Dodong and Maam Nena. Thank you too, Hon. Margot.

True to the off tangent nature of this column, let me try to look at some angles of the Halad Museum. These are purely my personal view and if only to fee this paper from any adverse reaction, I will reprise an old waiver – “ako lang kini, ug way labot ang pamantalaan.”

The Halad stands on a piece of property situated almost at the center of the Cebu Business district. Many city ordinances have defined where this district is located and my examination of these local laws equates the museum to the navel of an irresistible woman (only aesthetics here, no immoral motivations).

Being so centrally located, it must be very expensive, no doubt. With dizzying blur of business as its immediate environs, the most logical use of this property has got to be business oriented and it should have been devoted to profitable commercial undertakings. Differently stated, if business were the prime consideration, the Halad, is misplaced.

The building housing the Halad is sturdy. While the architecture is rather simple, no dime was spared by its owners, when it was constructed some years back, to build it to last. It can still stand for the next generation without losing its structural integrity. Even then, when the Gullases planned on this Halad, they spent a fortune to make sure that the museum looks splendid as it does now.

The museum contains a wide array of valuable items. Many of these things, priceless icons, actually, were discovered upon tireless research of Sir Dodong and his people. They scaled venerable homes and stepped into modest huts, talked to families from extreme social ends, walked miles in rain and sun with not other objective in mind that to put all these in one roof. Of course, aside from those things that have also been brought to the museum by generous persons out of the abundance of their heart, the Gullases again spent an irretrievable fortune collating all the materials we now see on display.

With the central location of the property and the non-revenue character of the Halad, we can only conclude that Sir Dodong and Ma’am Nena, have gone far above any other mortals’ profit motivations. Clearly, business is not their objective. Return of their heavy investment must not have been a factor at all. They literally splurged to put the Halad Museum up. But, they are so blessed that they can very well afford it. Precisely because they know it is not an income generating enterprise can we safely say that the frame of Sir Dodong’s mind was not anchored on business.

Sir Dodong is a respectful son of loving parents. He has also an immeasurable love for our culture, especially Cebuano music. I am told that his parents, Nyor Inting and Ma’am Inday Pining, were equally passionate. To merge his love for his parents and his passion for music, the Halad was born. And he, with Ma’am Nena, this time, wants the museum be an integral part of a rapidly growing metropolis. To them the best way to achieve this end is to situate the Halad in a place where everyone usually goes.

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