Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri and Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia Saturday led the groundbreaking rites for a P260 million museum and auditorium in Barangay Alijis, Bacolod City.
The museum to be built with funds sourced from the national government by Zubiri is expected to be completed by 2022.
“This historical building will put Bacolod City and Negros Occidental on the map of the cultural world in the Philippines,” the senator said.
Zubiri and Leonardia thanked the Yanson family led by matriarch Olivia Yanson, Vallacar Transit Inc. president Leo Rey Yanson, and Ginnette and Charles Dumancas for donating the land along the Circumferential Road where the museum will be built.
It is a heroic act for them to donate 8.8 hectares to Bacolod City that would cost about P880 million, Zubiri said.
“It will be a new growth area for Bacolod City,” the senator said.
Leonardia said the property donated by the Yanson family will be known as the Ricardo Yanson Sr. Sports and Culture Complex.
“This is a classic display of community teamwork. This is where we can see private and public partnership at its best,” the mayor said.
Zubiri said the museum is being built to pay tribute to the artistry of Negrenses, some of whom are world-class talents.
The museum will feature the beautiful artistry of Negros and serve as a permanent display of MassKara Festival winning masks through the years that will be part of the cultural history of Bacolod City, Zubiri said
The museum will also have an auditorium where world-class performances can be staged, and several conference areas, he added.
This will become a tourism spot not only for Bacolod City but for the entire Western Visayas, Zubiri added.
Zubiri said he and Leonardia planned the building of the museum three years ago before the COVID-19 pandemic and the funds for it have finally been released.
The museum is designed by the Lichauco Guilas and Villanueva Architectural Firm.
Leonardia said “I am so overwhelmed and excited that this is happening. To say that this is historic is, perhaps, an understatement, but definitely, this is historic.”
“I am thankful to our ‘guardian angel’ benefactor and provider Senator Migz who is making this possible,” the mayor added.
Leonardia said Zubiri, who partly grew up in Bacolod, wanted the museum/auditorium to be “something iconic, something distinctive” that will reflect the unique taste and lifestyle of Bacolodnons.
Leonardia also said that this project will enhance the economic recovery of the city despite COVID-19 because it will create demand for construction materials and create jobs for carpenters, welders, masons, painters, electricians, interior decorators, furniture makers, landscapers, gardeners, and many more.
Zubiri said, “This is a dream come true for everybody. This is the start of a breakthrough to revitalize Bacolod City with leaders that are united together.”
Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasayata also thanked Zubiri for his assistance to Bacolod.
Zubiri and Leonardia also thanked Engineer Lea Delfinado, regional director of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), for her work in planning the project.
Delfinado said the DPWH has given the project contractor a notice proceed, which will allow the start of the ground preparation. Actual construction is expected to start in February or March and it should be finished in 385 days, she added.*