by Agcaoili, Karen C. and , Chezka B. Condrillon
Memory lane, a hall of trinkets, or simply, the Los Baños museum — you may call it whatever you wish, but it does one thing for sure. It brings you 400 years back. Yes, its doors are now open.
The clock strikes half past eight in the morning, on the day of the
quadricentennial anniversary of Los Baños.
Most people were busy roaming around the event area and watching per
formances. A few blocks away, up a few plight of stairs, stood a grandmother immersed with the events of the past that led to that day’s festivities—Asuncion Cua-Miralles or Lola Asuncion, a 74-year old full-blooded Chinese who found love with a Filipino local.
The old municipal hall of Los Baños has been turned into a local museum. It first opened its doors to the public the same day it turned 400, making the building all the more historical than it already was.
Although not yet completed, the museum already offers a peek into the town’s colorful past. The museum’s walls are decorated with photographs, timelines, and infographics about events and people that contributed to what Los Baños is today—from the town’s found
ation in 1615 up to the present.
Among its first visitors, the one that led the ribbon cutting ceremony of the museum, is Hon. Mark T. Lapid, Chief Operating Officer of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority. Tieza shares that they are aiming to have the establishment declared as a national museum by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
Another person who would not miss the event was Mr. Jeffrey James C. Ligero, one of the brains behind developing the museum. He revealed that they are planning to add a three-dimensional miniature model depicting the town of Los Baños. Ligero further shares that more panels and artifacts will soon be put on display.
The panel-filled walls showcases ten themes inspired by Los Baños’ 400 years. These include the town’s political development during the Japanese occupation. A grade 10 student of Christian School International, Inc. cited the museum’s importance in disseminating knowledge about the events of the past, especially to the youth. The student furthered that becoming more well-versed of their history could boost the pride of the town’s citizens.
A few visitors even spotted their younger selves and classmates captured in the class pictures hanging among the many displays.
The photos were also engaging for reminiscent strollers such as Lola Asuncion, who diligently read and looked into each of the panels. She remarked that some, if not most, of these information are rare finds in regularly circulating books. She even adds, “colored pa!”, as a praise with a big smile on her face, making her Chinese features—her chinita eyes—even more recognizable.
Lola Asuncion, with a smile as bright as her vibrant orange polo, examined every artifact. Her presence brought life to the otherwise empty and closed wooden windows of the old municipal hall. Even by simply looking at Lola Asuncion’s back as she looked out of the window, one could still faintly imagine her smiling brightly with squinted monolid eyes.
No wonder, it must have felt satisfying to watch Los Baños celebrate its 400th founding anniversary through the windows of the building that served as its foundation through those years—like peeking into the future while in the standpoint of the past—a view of both worlds.