Nayong Pilipino celebrates 50th anniversary; vows to promote Filipino identity through culture and heritage

(L-R) Destileria Vice President Aaron Aw, Duty Philippine COO Vicente Angala, Nayong Pilipino Foundation Executive Director Gertie Duran-Batocabe, National Museum of the Philippines Director General Jeremy Barns, NPF Chairman of the Board Edgar Frederick Generoso.

Team Out of Town Blog Hub (Outoftownblog.com) – MANILA – To celebrate its 50th founding anniversary, the Nayong Pilipino Foundation (NPF) opened its first on-site exhibit since the pandemic at the IVC Teatro, Fort Santiago in Intramuros entitled “(Ka)loob(an)” on November 4, 2022.

(L-R) Destileria Vice President Aaron Aw, Duty Philippine COO Vicente Angala, Nayong Pilipino Foundation Executive Director Gertie Duran-Batocabe, National Museum of the Philippines Director General Jeremy Barns, NPF Chairman of the Board Edgar Frederick Generoso.
(L-R) Destileria Vice President Aaron Aw, Duty Philippine COO Vicente Angala, Nayong Pilipino Foundation Executive Director Gertie Duran-Batocabe, National Museum of the Philippines Director General Jeremy Barns, NPF Chairman of the Board Edgar Frederick Generoso.

The exhibit, which will run from November 4-18, 2022, featured a rich collection of ethnographic artifacts from various ethnolinguistic groups, from textiles, personal ornaments, ritual items, hunting and warfare, and domestic objects, which the Foundation has treasured and cared for in the last five decades.

According to NPF Executive Director Gertie Duran-Batocabe, the exhibit representing the NPF’s vast collection of more than 3,000 heritage pieces comes at a most auspicious time as we stand at the crossroads where old and historical facts struggle to be relevant amidst an ever-dynamic world.

“Today, our heritage faces a new kind of threat, this time not with guns, cannons or bolos but with unprecedented modernity and a generation born into the internet era, a time that is characterized by massive digital societal change,” she said.

The exhibit centers around the Filipino word, (ka)loob(an), which can be understood in myriad ways when broken down further. Loob, its root word, speaks of within. It is either the literal inner compartments of the Spanish calabozo or the figurative inner dimension of a person’s identity. Whereas the outside is cold, bleak, and monolithic, the inside is warm, colorful, and flowing. Looban is the interior; portion of the archipelago where the Western colonizers had a difficult time penetrating. History is a witness to how communities from the interior fought hard to preserve their society and culture. From this interior, hails the ethnographic collection of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation. Ultimately, Kaloob means bestowal, as this material culture are gift to our generation.

Therefore, it is, but, the goal of Nayong Pilipino Foundation to preserve and pass on this material culture of our Philippine communities to many generations to come.

NPF Executive Director Gertie Duran-Batocabe also stressed that it is time for the Filipino craftsman to tell his narrative.

“The founding of the Nayong Pilipino Foundation fifty years ago was carved on this same cornerstone and is ultimately driven by its mission to “celebrate cultural heritage, Filipino diversity, and creativity as a social and economic force for national development.” Today, it takes pride as an institution that plays a critical role in research, innovation, and training on cultural heritage,” she said.

Meanwhile, it is also the Foundation’s hope that this exhibit plays a critical role in developing and engaging the general public’s understanding, appreciation, and commitment to the safeguarding and dissemination of history, culture, and the legacies of our forebears.

“Now, I leave you with a challenge to turn our valued museums, libraries, and archives into an exciting destination of the 21st century,” said Duran-Batocabe.

“It shall be a place where scholars, writers, teachers, artists, students, and all people from all walks of life will be able to converge for their continued search for knowledge; to provide their users with the power to search across their institutional boundaries, and across categories of information resources,” she added.

The Nayong Pilipino Foundation was founded fifty years ago under Presidential Decree no. 37 s. 1972, signed by former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, Sr., which is primarily mandated to promote, espouse, and initiate research and development projects on social sciences, humanities, and other related fields. Aside from the exhibit, the agency is set to bear the NPF Bike Trail this month at its new location in the Entertainment City, Parañaque City, in partnership with DOT-NCR and the City Government of Parañaque. The Foundation is also set to conduct its annual Research Summit on November 22-24, 2022.

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