By Ali Macabalang
COTABATO CITY –The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) inaugurated last Monday the Bangsamoro Museum at the refurbished Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex (SKCC) here.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman, in opening the museum, underscored the importance of the facility as a repository of artifacts, works of art, as well as textual and iconographic records relevant to the cultural memory of the Bangsamoro people in Muslim Mindanao.
The ARMM was established 29 years ago but issues about the absence of a regional museum came to the fore only when national experts and curators visited the autonomous government last year and offered enabling services.
“Ito rin ang ating motibasyon upang buuin ang museo na ito,” Hataman said.
“Ayaw na nating maranasan ang hirap at kung sinu-sino lamang ang magkukwento sa atin (tungkol sa) buhay at aspeto ng ating pagiging Moro,” he added.
The museum is incorporated in the huge SKCC building inside the 32-hectare compound here. A mini-library of the museum was opened last year mostly by visiting researchers.
The ARMM’s Bureau of Public Information (BPI) said the completion of the museum formed part of the Hataman leadership-avowed legacy for the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), which was prescribed for creation under R.A. 110540. The law was ratified overwhelmingly in the Jan. 21 plebiscite.
“Itong Bangsamoro Museum, kasama na rin ang Regional Library, ay simbolo ng pagkokonsolida natin sa mga dokumento para sa transisyon ng gobyerno,” Hataman said.
Despite its belated realization, the Bangsamoro museum would constitute a “legacy” to the next generation in the advent of BARMM governance.
The ARMM leadership cited the assistance of independent curator and institutional critic Marian Pastor Roces, who has been campaigning to showcase the vital stories about the Bangsamoro people through the exhibition of different artifacts from the region.
The BPI quoted Roces as admiring the Bangsamoro people’s resiliency, something that inspired the Museum’s establishment.