Last week’s National Museum of the Philippines’ feature of its Built Tradition Thursday was the Old Provincial Jail of Ilocos Sur, one of three and the largest thereof, of the buildings which now comprise the National Museum of the Philippines’ Ilocos Regional Museum Complex.
The complex is located along Calle Burgos in the Historic Town of Vigan – a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Ilocos Sur. The present building is an exemplification of preserved historic architecture adaptively reused for the future.
This historic structure functioned as a provincial jail until June 30, 2014, when inmates moved to the new provincial penitentiary in the adjacent town of Bantay.
Then donated by the Provincial Government of Ilocos Sur to the National Museum of the Philippines, renovations and restoration to the property were completed by the end of the same year, the Old Provincial Jail was re-inaugurated on January 30, 2015 as a component of the Ilocos Regional Museum Complex.
The structure currently has three main galleries that feature the cultural heritage of Ilocos Sur – “The Basi Revolt” Gallery which holds the series of 14 paintings on the September 1807 uprising that were collectively declared as National Cultural Treasure in 2009, as well as ethnographic and botanical items associated with basi, the traditional sugarcane wine of the Ilocos; the Elpidio Quirino Memorabilia; and the North Wing Gallery for changing exhibitions.
Text and illustrations/photos by Ar. Armando Arciaga III | NMP AABHDLaurel