Rediscovering National Museum Butuan

By Hector Maypa

National Museum: Butuan’s iconic cultural heritage tourism destination. COURIER FILE PHOTO

I was in Grade 5 when I first set foot in the National Museum Butuan branch. That was five years ago. Now I am in high school and I revisited it again a few weeks ago as encouraged by my mentor in the informal writing class.

He said it is good to see it again and look deeper and maybe weave a story on it. Especially if that place, he said, fascinates you the first time but feel you need to know more or go back again.That was what I felt of the National Museum complex.

I was fascinated with the museum because I learned for the first time of the history of Butuan and the famous “balangay” wooden boats. The jolly tour guide told us many interesting things about this ancient place in air, the conditioned galleries and I am grateful to that. Now, I know what our country is all about, at least in the past.

On my second visit recently, I saw and learned a lot more. Inside the modern museum building I encountered huge colorful paintings of our people and culture done, I was told by a Mindanaoan painter, whose name I forgot. Sorry. But they were very good. It was the first time I saw mural paintings and I was amazed. It was truly amazing. I hope a lot of young people like me can see it so that they will be proud of the works too.

Outside, I discovered what the compound has to offer— a large pond surrounded by endemic trees like narra, acacia and a giant rattan with its vines. A wooden bridge faces the front of the building and gives a dramatic compliment of the view around it.

The water is deep and I imagined I rode on a boat. Or maybe the balangay. I also like sitting at the edge of the lagoon where the branches protect me from the sun. I also like to stare at the light-green still waters and contemplate my life and my family.

I definitely like to come here all the time because it is peaceful and perfect to think things over. It is also I think the most beautiful park in Butuan. A nature park in fact. This park indeed gives me or anyone peace of mind and its silence affords me to imagine more.

Editor’s note: The author is a promising creative writing student in Butuan City.

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