Pangasinan

Dagupan sets up new cultural center, museum for National Artists’ ‘homecoming’

Ahikam Pasion
Dagupan sets up new cultural center, museum for National Artists’ ‘homecoming’

NATIONAL ARTIST. Victorio Edades' 'The Sketch' hangs in the National Museum but a new, approved museum in Dagupan could bring some of his works back home.

National Museum

Republic Act No. 11726 mandates the establishment of the Edades and Bernal Cultural Center and Museum in Dagupan City

DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan – National artists Victorio Edades and Salvador Bernal, both from Dagupan City, will soon have a permanent haven for their works, with President Rodrigo Duterte giving the green light for the construction of the Edades and Bernal Cultural Center and Museum.

Duterte signed on April 29 Republic Act No. 11726, based on House Bill B08133 authored by Pangasinan 4th District Representative Christopher de Venecia. The law mandates the establishment of the Edades and Bernal Cultural Center and Museum in their birthplace, along with the promotion of local culture and the arts, and other creative industries in the community.

Victorio Edades, born on December 23, 1985 in Barangay Bolosan, was also known as the Father of Modern Philippine Painting. He was proclaimed a National Artist in 1976.

Salvador “Badong” Bernal, on the other hand, began his career in 1969. He was then hailed as the Father of Theater Design, and was proclaimed as a National Artist for Theater and Design in 2003, eight years before his death.

DAGUPAN’S PRIDE. National Artist Salvador Bernal’s design for the 1995 zarzuela “Sa Bunganga ng Pating” was executed using fish skeletons and bones. (Courtesy of ‘Badong: Salvador Bernal designs the Stage’ exhibit)

The construction of the museum will be a joint collaboration between the Dagupan City government and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. The local government will provide the land while the NCCA will provide the funds required to begin construction.

“[The museum] shall be a collaboration between the city government of Dagupan and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) with its concerned affiliated cultural agencies and pertinent academic and private sector partners, and members of governance, organization, operations, and development to be provided for by the mutual agreement between the parties, to be executed and published within one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act”, the law says.

De Venecia was ecstatic about the news, saying it has been a long-time dream to give due recognition to the city’s pioneers in the arts.

“It galvanizes the policy of the State to preserve the works  of our National Artists and acknowledges their significance in the nation’s cultural heritage,” De Venecia said in a statement.

De Venecia also spearheads the Special Committee on Creative Industry and Performing Arts at the House of Representatives. Rappler.com

Ahikam Pasion is a Luzon-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship.