Old Provincial Capitol in Tagbilaran now the National Museum Bohol
The National Museum Bohol adaptively reuses the old government structure built in 1860
August 1, 2018
Photographed by Camille Calanno/NM FAD and Jean de Leon/JJE
On Bohol Day, July 22, the National Museum Bohol opened its new Tagbilaran facility at the Old Provincial Capitol. It was retrofitted after the 2013 earthquake and stabilized since it suffered from extensive damages.
Built to house the tribunal and garrison of the Spanish forces in Bohol, the building was erected in 1860 using traditional stone and lime. Historical records claim that the builders used 27,300 bricks, 4,325 cavans of lime, 61,000 roofing tiles, and ‘banaba’ beams and girders.
After the restoration work by the National Museum, the old Capitol has regained 1,256 square meters of floor space. Of that, 861.32 square meters are dedicated to be occupied by the museum and its galleries, while 112.008 sq. m. has been allotted to offices.
“Actually we had detailed engineering studies which took us almost three years, if only to make sure that the structure survives the effect of a recurring phenomenon,” National Museum Assistant Director and Cultural Properties Division Chief Angel Bautista said. They had to dig and pour grouting to fill the cavities found under the Capitol building to further strengthen the support structures for the building’s weight.
Two inaugural exhibitions opened on the ground floor: Pagpauli (Homecoming) featuring the personal collection of the late National Artist Napoleon Abueva who died early this year. The other is Pagbanhaw (revival) that refers to the National Heritage Restoration and Reconstruction Program in the Visayas in the aftermath of the earthquake that damaged extensively several churches and heritage structures in Bohol, including National Cultural Treasures.
READ MORE: Napoleon Abueva’s Gothic “chapel” workshop