By James A. Loyola
Megaworld Corp. is planning to open a total of five museums in its townships as part of the firm’s focus on placing culture and the arts in its developments.
After the successful opening of its first museum in Iloilo, Megaworld has opened the country’s first cultural museum dedicated to the “World’s Oldest Chinatown” inside the Lucky Chinatown Mall in Binondo, Manila.
After this, Megaworld plans to open in Mactan, Cebu its biggest museum at 3,000 square meters that will focus on the 500th year of the founding of the Philippines. It is also opening another museum in Pampanga and in its Arcovia township in Pasig.
Located at the fourth level of Lucky Chinatown’s Building A, the Chinatown Museum features 18 galleries, with each focusing on various influences and historical events that have shaped the cultural, social and economic threads of Binondo – from its establishment as a settlement for Christianized Chinese to the height of downtown Escolta on its way to becoming a bustling commercial downtown of colonial Manila.
The new cultural landmark, recognized by the National Historical Commission and National Commission for the Culture and the Arts, is envisioned as a community space and heritage project that lends a visual retelling of the rich history of Binondo.
“It has always been our goal to integrate arts, culture, history and heritage in the overall character of our developments. With Lucky Chinatown being at the center of a community characterized by its rich history, we wanted to extend this passion for the arts and culture to the mall experience and eventually boost tourism in this part of Manila,” said Megaworld Chief Strategy Officer Kevin L. Tan.
Chinatown Museum is the second museum venture of the property giant following the opening of the Iloilo Museum for Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA), the first museum of its kind in the Visayas and Mindanao region, inside its Iloilo Business Park township in Mandurriao, Iloilo last year.
Part of the company’s tourism initiatives is to integrate museum projects in its township developments across the country. Currently, it is curating museums for its townships in Cebu, Pampanga and Pasig City.
“We conducted thorough research and consultations for this project, and we collaborated with members of the academe, respected historians and prominent figures in the community in order to provide an accurate and comprehensive representation of Binondo’s rich history. We went beyond a historical presentation of facts and we even developed the museum’s very own app to make it educational and at the same time entertaining especially to the young audience,” revealed Tan.