New Sorsogon museum blessed, inaugurated

By Mario Arguelles


The P40 million Museo Sorsogon formally opened on Monday, Mar. 15 to the public following its formal inauguration on Mar. 12, the Sorsogon Provincial Tourism Office (SPTO) said.


Bobby Gigantone, Sorsogon tourism officer, said the new spruced up Museo Sorsogon was the century-old provincial jail and courthouse located at the Capitol compound in Sorsogon City.


The museum is the brainchild of Governor Francis “Chiz” Escudero who partnered with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines and the National Museum of the Philippines in transforming the 1,800 square meter edifice of an old jail and courthouse into a modern museum that showcases the province’s history and culture.

MUSEO SORSOGON One of the displays in the 10 galleries of the new P40-million Museo Sorsogon, a project of Governor Chiz Escudero. The museum was inaugurated on Mar. 12, 2021. It officially opened on Mar. 15, 2021. It is open to visitors from 8:30 to 4:00 PM from Monday to Friday. (Photo by Mario Arguelles)


Inside the museum is two-floor areas that accommodated 10 galleries where significant historical and cultural events during the Philippine revolution and the American occupation of the province are on display.


Biopics display of the “Sons of Sorsogon,” which highlighted political and social leaders such as former Gov. Juan Frivaldo, former Congressman Bonifacio Gillego, Senator Gringo Honasan and Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) founder Eugenia Apostol. These personalities fought during the dark days of Martial Law under the dictator President Ferdinand Marcos.


Also included are pictures of prominent persons such as film director Lino Brocha of Pilar town, Manuel “Manny” Dorotan of Irosin, a UP Chemical Engineer graduate and a human rights defender who led the “Diliman Commune” in 1971, Juan “Jhonny Escandor” of Gubat, a graduate of medicine at the UP, and head of the research department of the Cancer Institute of the Philippines who organized the Kabataan Makabayan (KM) and the Sorsogon Progressive Movement.


Artifacts from the National Museum as well as from local residents form part of the museum display.


An 875-square meter open-air amphitheater is also built at the back of the museum for events and stage performance.


Escudero after seeing the potential of the 1900s architectural design of the old provincial jail, decided to convert the edifice into a museum preserving its jail cells as galleries that would showcase Sorsogon’s rich history and culture.


To showcase the province business potential, the provincial government also partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry to give micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) to showcase their products at the Museo called “Made in Sorsogon” goods.