Valenzuelanos can now walk down memory lane to reminisce how the city came to be, through the newly-inaugurated Valenzuela City Museum, as it showcases the best of the locality from what is recorded from the past up to the present time.
The 300 square meter local museum is a PhP 13,284,838 worth project of the Cultural Affairs and Tourism Development Office (CATDO), constructed at the Legislative Building in the City Government Complex. This is one of the legacy edifices mounted by outgoing Mayor WIN Gatchalian for the promotion of Valenzuela City’s rich culture and heritage.
Mayor WIN said during the ceremony today, June 27, “the museum was built to create a sense of affinity and connection to our beloved constituents. I believe that in order to define our future we should review our past.”
The new museum is compartmentalized by historical era. Each section in the museum narrates unique stories that demonstrate Valenzuelanos’ sense of dignity and pride.
The entrance of the museum was designed for the pre-colonial period. Apart from the replica of the first map of the Philippines, also displayed were tektites and obsidian stones discovered by Henry Otley Beyer, the Father of Philippine Anthropology, in the village of Pugad Baboy (now Barangay Gen. T. De Leon). Some of which were flaked as tolls, indicative of the existence of early settlements in the city.
The section for the Spanish period recounts different valuable stories of the existence of Pueblo de Polo, the festivity of San Roque, and the three local patriots during Luzon’s revolt against Spain – Dr. Pio Valenzuela (one of the leaders of the Katipunan from which the city was named after), Captain Delfin Velilla (a KKK member who was also a medicine student of Univeristy of Santo Tomas), and General Tiburcio “Tibo” de Leon (a fiery general who created his own militia at Pugad Baboy) were immortalized through their life-size sculptures in the museum.
Inside the exhibit is also a replica of an Arkong Bato, which is the entryway to the museum’s portion for the American and Japanese period. Arkong Bato is a notable stone arc built by the Americans in 1910, originally as a boundary between Rizal and Bulacan province.
Some notable displays in the American Period section includes a map showing when MacArthur Highway was established, and a portrait of Balintawak Beer Brewery (BBB), which was attacked during the Japanese occupation, but was later revived by San Miguel Corporation.
In the Post War area, “Made in Valenzuela” products were showed off, together with the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, installed to further promote the famous local shrine.
The last portion of the museum portrays the city as it is known today. Inside the “Vibrant City” section is a video wall continuously playing audio visual presentations about Valenzuela City’s programs and projects.
Different Valenzuelanos who had brought honors to the city in different fields were remembered through a digital wall of fame. Framed portraits of different mayors, who ran the city from the time of Dr. Pio Valenzuela until the term of Mayor WIN, are also on display.
The Valenzuela Museum differs from the Museo Valenzuela which was established in 1998 because the latter features only memorabilia about the local hero, Dr. Pio Valenzuela.
The ceremony was graced by the Chair of Heritage Conservation Society, Ms. Gemma Cruz-Araneta. Other notable guests were TV host-historian Michael “Xiao” Chua; Dr. Pio Valenzuela descendant, Architect Arturo Valenzuela; First District Councilors Antonio Espiritu and Cora Cortez; Second District Councilor Lorie-Natividad Borja; and Gawad Pio Valenzuela Awardees.
Representatives of the business sector from SMB-Polo Brewery, Growers Peanuts, E.T Dizon Travel Corp, Kho Travel and Tours, and San Jose Travel and Tours were also among the esteemed guests.