Dagupan creates a new cultural center, a museum for the “return to sources” of national artists

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

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

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

Victorio Edades, born December 23, 1985 in Barangay Bolosan, was also known as the father of modern Filipino painting. He was proclaimed a national artist in 1976.

Salvador “Badong” Bernal, meanwhile, began his career in 1969. He was later hailed as the father of theater design and was proclaimed a National Artist of Theater and Design in 2003, eight years before his death.

PRIDE OF DAGUPAN. 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” Exhibition)

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

“[The museum] shall be a collaboration between the Dagupan City Government and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) with its relevant affiliated cultural agencies and relevant academic and private partners, and members of governance, organization , operations and development to be provided by mutual agreement between the parties, to be executed and published within one (1) year from the entry into force of this law”, specifies the law.

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

“This galvanizes the state policy of preserving the works of our national artists and recognizes their importance in the nation’s cultural heritage,” De Venecia said in a statement.

De Venecia also leads the Select Committee on Creative Industry and the Performing Arts in the House of Representatives. Rappler.com

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

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