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Cagayan's archive of knowledge

Cagayan's historical texts now available for scholars and researchers

Aside from housing fossils, indigenous materials and ancient tools, the Cagayan Museum and Historical Research Center is home to an archival collection of written texts and manuscripts that serve as “keys” in “unlocking” Cagayan province’s history.

According to Museum Curator, Kevin D. Baclig, the existence of these rare and valuable texts are unknown to many, that is why the museum took the initiative to launch an exhibit last May 29, entitled Los Tesoros del Archivio Cagayano (The Treasures of the Cagayan Archives), which features a few of these written records.

“These manuscripts under the museum's care are a glimpse into the rich story of Cagayan and is a veritable treasure trove for historians and researchers and allows us to value the importance of written records in shaping our collective remembering,” he said during the exhibit launch.

Examples of these texts are narratives by Spanish priest and foremost Cagayan historian Fr. Julian Malumbres, as well as valuable ethnographies, diaries, letters, government documents that serve as windows to the culture of the past.

“Ira yan e mangipasingan kan kukukwan ya totolay ira kattun, en siempre ne kostumbre ra peba (These texts show how life was, and what were the customs in the olden days),” Ar. Michael Tabao, President of the Cagayan Heritage Conservation Society, said.

“Alale mangespeho ra kan ajjan tera sangaw gafu ta ya ordinaryu nga totolay ballalaman kattunay, e nyan pay emosyon da, alale kanne isa nga love letter, nu kunnasi mangayayat kattunay (The texts mirror present life because ordinary people back then also had emotions; for example, in an old love letter, we can see how people back then wooed),” he added.

Hopefully, the exhibit will not only inspire, but guide properly young and starting researchers, and all Cagayanos in general, to understand more about Cagayan’s culture and history properly and more academically.

The wealth of knowledge now offered by the museum archives to the public, is a volatile fuel, waiting to be ignited by scholars into a vast flame of academic research, discourse, and development. (OTB/JKC/Photos from Kevin Baclig/Cagayan Museum)

For more inquiries on the exhibit and visiting hours, the Cagayan Museum may be contacted through (078) 255-7201;;

Fr. Jake Ordillos, Chancellor and archivist of the Tuguegarao Archdiocese formally opens the exhibit.

About the Author

Jan Karl Coballes

Regional Editor; Research and Development Officer; Tuguegarao City and Batanes Information Center Manager

Region 2

Ibanag. Writer. Researcher. Ethnographer. Ethno-historian. Graduate student focusing on linguistic and cultural anthropology.

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