Freeman Cebu Business

Property giant to build P1.2 billion modern museum in Mactan

Ehda M. Dagooc - The Freeman

Township developer Megaworld Corporation has earmarked P1.2 billion to build Mactan World Museum, which will feature curated pieces and cultural artifacts highlighting centuries of friendship between the Philippines and Spain.

The modern museum will be built within Megaworld’s 30-hectare development, the Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City.

The establishment of the Cebu as an ode to the island’s cultural pride and historical significance, said Graham M. Coates, head, Megaworld Lifestyle Malls.

Mactan World Museum will rise along Newtown Boulevard just in front of Megaworld’s 8 Newtown Boulevard residential condominium.

It will feature an extensive collection of historic pieces, curated by Dannie Alvarez, president, Alliance of Greater Manila Museums, Inc. (AGMMI) and former head of Committee on Museums of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). This collection highlights the friendship and rich cultural exchange between the Philippines and Spain during the past centuries.

The museum will lend a visual retelling of the travel and arrival of Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his crew in Mactan, his defeat against fearless tribal leader Lapu-Lapu, and the Hispanic heritage of the Manila Galleon trade. It will also feature five main exhibit galleries on the second-floor showcasing collections, artifacts, replica mementos, and interactive virtual displays related to various influences and historical events between the Philippines and Spain. These subjects include Spain’s quest for spices, the Kingdom of Sugbu, Magellan’s early expeditions, and the Battle of Mactan, among others.

The museum will also have two performance halls–a Flamenco Studio and a Multimedia Room–which can be combined into one main hall and accommodate about 270 people. Here, visitors can enjoy watching traditional Spanish dance performances and short play productions. An immersive hall also provides guests with an audio-visual experience of historical events during the Spanish regime in the country.

“It has always been part of our townships’ mission and identity to celebrate the arts, culture, and heritage of every location where we are present. We are excited to bring our plans to fruition for the Mactan World Museum here in Lapu-Lapu City, a destination that plays a big historical significance as far as the Philippines-Spanish heritage is concerned. Being at the center of The Mactan Newtown, this museum will provide locals and tourists with a creative avenue to connect, share interests as a community, expand knowledge, and form a deeper appreciation not only for Mactan but also for our nation’s history,” said Coates.

To add to the grandeur of the majestic building, three life size monuments will be featured prominently around the structure. Statues of Lapu-Lapu and King Philip II will be both situated along the path leading to the museum’s entrance. Beside the main fountain is the Spanish king atop his horse frozen mid-gallop while Lapu-Lapu’s statue, on the other side of the fountain, will be captured with his arms raised as he copies the wings of the Philippine Eagle perched on his arm. Another life sized monument of Ferdinand Magellan will also be found at the museum’s back garden along Newtown Boulevard, with the explorer depicted holding up a globe on his right hand.

Apart from its collection of historical items and art, the museum will also host several other activities rooted in Filipino-Spanish traditions and culture, such as a seasonal bazaar showcasing Cebu’s main delicacies, a guitar-making and retail area, and a self-operated Filipino-themed photo studio.

The Mactan World Museum will be the latest development rising inside The Mactan Newtown. Soon, the township will also feature the Mactan Expo Center, a two-level standalone convention center.

Currently, the township serves as home to topnotch residential condominium developments, office towers, the 547-room Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown, the 550-room Belmont Hotel Mactan–both managed and operated by Megaworld Hotels & Resorts–and the Mactan Newtown Beach.

Also inside the township are schools led by the Newtown School of Excellence, retail shops, service outlets, and restaurants, including a diverse selection of local cuisines at the Mactan Alfresco.

The Mactan World Museum, which is targeted to open within the next three years, is the fourth museum property Megaworld is building inside its townships after the Chinatown Museum in Lucky Chinatown, and the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA) and the Brandy Museum in Iloilo Business Park.

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