New artifacts enrich UPV Museum’s Cultural Heritage Gallery

By Mariela Angella Oladive

The UPV Museum of Art and Cultural Heritage (MACH) proudly unveiled a significant expansion of its Duna Intangible Cultural Heritage Gallery with the generous contribution of artifacts by Ilonggo businessman Mario Yang on June 20.

Chancellor Clement Camposano and Yang signed the deed of donation at the museum’s conference room on the same day as the unveiling.

Camposano expressed gratitude for Yang’s continued support, emphasizing the pivotal role such contributions play in enriching UPV’s cultural legacy.

“This is something that we are deeply dedicated to pursuing to make the UPV campus a culture and heritage hub. The support of people like Mr. Yang significantly amplifies what the UPV Museum has achieved in two years,” Chancellor Camposano remarked during the ceremony held at the museum.

Mr. Yang, renowned for his passion for art and cultural artifacts, presented a collection that included pre-Spanish relics. He expressed his commitment to preserving Iloilo’s legacy through these invaluable pieces.

The donated artifacts comprise funerary earthenware unearthed from Isla de Gigante Norte in the 1990s, alongside ornaments crafted from shells, glass, and gold. According to archaeologists, Gigantes pottery, including small jars, pots, and offering plates, dates from 500 BCE to 1000 CE and served as grave goods in the local ritual known as “pabalon sa patay,” honoring the departed.

Colorful glass beads excavated from various regional sites spread throughout the archipelago via trade and cultural exchanges with Asia and the Middle East.

Additionally, earrings, bracelets, and shell discs, some of the oldest locally produced adornments dating back to around 2000 BCE, highlight early craftsmanship in the region.

These artifacts will find a permanent home in the Duna Intangible Cultural Heritage Gallery, one of seven exhibition spaces at MACH dedicated to showcasing local traditions and practices through representative artifacts and multimedia presentations.

Director of the Office of Initiatives in Culture and the Arts (OICA), Prof. Martin Genodepa, lauded Mr. Yang’s philanthropic efforts, noting that this was his second significant donation to MACH following a previous contribution in 2022.

The earlier donation featured textiles and traditional clothing items now displayed in the Panapton Textile Gallery.

The unveiling ceremony drew attention not only to the historical significance of the artifacts but also to the collaborative efforts between private benefactors and academic institutions in preserving cultural heritage.

UPV MACH is open from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with free admission.

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