Thursday, June 17, 2010

It is so sad to think that so few know of the Philippine Army Museum and Library within the PA Headquarters. It is more sad though to know that the original PA Museum and Library used to sit right smack in the middle of Serendra at The Fort, a pulsating commercial and high-rise residential area in Taguig, Metro Manila. The former Fort Andres Bonifacio saved for some 100 hectares, was sold to Metro Pacific Group under Republic Act 7227 known as the Bases Conversion and Development Authority Act of 1992. I am sure the prime military land fetched a handsome sum but the thing is a chunk of Philippine history was affected.

The old PA museum used to be located along MacArthur Avenue within the vast PA Headquarters. The building was built and used by the Americans even before WW II. What very few know was the fact that at the back of the old museum was the main entrance to a labyrinth of underground tunnels also built by the Americans. The tunnel even reached up to Villamor airbase. When the Marcos regime crumbled, the museum was opened to the public and so were the tunnels. From 1989 up to the early 1990s, the museum and tunnels were there for everyone to see. I never heard of that piece of news back then. Currently on an almost weekly basis I pass by the PA Headquarters (or what's left of it) and never even heard that there was a PA museum much more, tunnels under The Fort!

When the military land was sold, the old PA museum was dismantled and rebuilt piece by piece at its present site. The original PA HQ was under the city of Makati. Today, only the 100 hectares of PA HQ is situated in Makati for a boundary dispute between Taguig and Makati ensued when the military land was sold.

I took Ethan to the PA Museum and he was greatly impressed by the obsolete tanks on display on the grounds. We went inside the museum where a civilian tour guide walked us through the history of the Philippine Army. It was no Ayala museum. Parts of the exhibits needed repairs and the tour guide was quite shaky as he tried to walk us through Philippine history in Taglish. I felt sad. Sad for the plight of the PA museum. Sad that I only paid 20 PHP per head for entry fees. Sad for the present political and economical situation of the Philippines. Sad for the realization that too few Filipinos are keen on caring and preserving what is truly "Filipino" - sa isip, sa salita at sa gawa. ( I will be a true Filipino in thought, in word, in deed.)
Reactions:
Posted by desperateblogger On 6/17/2010 10:45:00 AM 3 comments

3 comments:

  1. I'm not aware of this museum :( so sad...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I got to visit there once during one of my kid's field trip, they should promote it more.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @ kaya mo pinoy: yes. so few know about the museum much less the ruined tunnels.

    @ josie: great! at least your kid have visited the museum.

    ReplyDelete

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