Cebu News

Daanbantayan eyes Gabaldon building as museum

Robhe Jane C. Yara - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Municipality of Daanbantayan in northern Cebu has planned to put up a museum to house all the human remains and historical artifacts recovered and use it as one of their tourist attraction sites.

Daanbantayan Mayor Sun Shimura announced on Monday their plan to establish the museum using the Gabaldon Building of Daanbantayan Central School.

Shimura said the building is included in the swapping between the town's grandstand in Barangay Poblacion and the Daanbantayan Central School of the Department of Education (DepEd).

Under the Republic Act (RA) 11194 or the Gabaldon School Buildings Conservation Act, the national government pursues a more proactive role in conserving and restoring the country's built heritage, such as the Gabaldon school buildings, to preserve their architectural, historical, and social significance.

As provided by the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 11194, DepEd, in consultation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), and the National Museum of the Philippines (NMP), will implement a program for the identification and conservation of all Gabaldon School Buildings nationwide.

"When the DepEd gives the authority to the Secretary or the Usec (Undersecretary) because what I know is that the deed of exchange document for this is already at their legal (DepEd Legal Unit). So when the Usec gives the authority to the regional director for the deed of exchange signing of the memorandum, that's the time we can start," said Shimura.

On February 14, construction workers digging up the ground for drainage accidentally found some remains and artifacts within the vicinity of Lamberto R. Te Cultural Center in Barangay Poblacion.

The human bones and other historical artifacts were estimated to be 700 years old.

This prompted a group of archeologists led by Dr. Jose Eleazar "Jobers" Bersales to ask for clearance from the local government unit (LGU) of Daanbantayan to do additional research and dig to see if there are more hidden within the area.

They unearthed other complete human remains and unfinished shell bracelets and shards of Longquan celadon last March 3.

Longquan celadon is a type of green-glazed Chinese ceramic produced between the years 950 and 1550.

Bersales said this was not the first site in the town where they recovered human remains and artifacts, citing that in 2008, his team also found the same at a public school in Barangay Paypay.

Bersales said he is hopeful the Daanbantayan local government would continue to support their excavation efforts. But given the excavation would go around one meter deep, the lack of equipment to do so, and the number of structures that will be affected if it is expanded, Shimura said the diggings might solely focus outside the multi-purpose gym.

The remains and artifacts are currently placed at the town's municipal tourism office. — GMR (FREEMAN)

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