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Megaworld opens first contemporary art museum in VisMin

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By Terence Repelente

Megaworld, the Philippines’ leading property developer which pioneered the “Live-Work-Play-Learn” townships, takes its vision of nation-building to new heights as it officially opens the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA).

The company’s first museum project, ILOMOCA is also the first contemporary art museum in Visayas and Mindanao.

It is located inside the newly built Casa de Emperador, in the heart of Megaworld’s rising Western Visayas township, the Iloilo Business Park (IBP). The three-story museum, with close to 3,000 square meters of space, including five exhibit rooms and a souvenir shop, is dedicated to showcasing the works of mostly Filipino and Ilonggo artists within the realms of modern, regional, and contemporary art.

On the ground floor is the Hulot Exhibit, a commercial area for gallery exhibitions, which is open to local and international artists.

During the museum’s opening, the Hulot Exhibit housed The Martin Delgado Tribute by Spanish artist Gines Serran Pagan. The tribute is a celebration of the life and legacy of General Martin Delgado, a fierce Ilonggo military leader during the Spanish Revolution, the first governor of Iloilo. Aside from the tribute, ILOMOCA permanently honors General Delgado through a statue of him, which stands mightily in front of the museum.

The Gallery at the second floor is reserved for changing exhibitions of various themes. During the opening, showcased at The Gallery are works by famed contemporary artists such as the late National Artist Abdulmari Imao, Ramon Orlina, Ferdinand Cacnio, Daniel de la Cruz, Arturo Luz and Brenda Fajardo.

On the third floor is the Adoracion Valencia Gallery, which features artworks from the collection of Edwin Valencia, the museum’s primary patron. The name honors Edwin’s mother, Adoracion, who influenced and shaped his love for art.

Present during the unveiling last Saturday is Megaworld senior vice president Kevin Tan, with Megaworld COO Lourdes Gutierrez-Alfonso, Megaworld senior assistant vice president Tefel Pesigan-Valentino, museum curator Martin Genodepa, and Edwin Valencia.

Megaworld’s townships, according to Tan, are adapting and changing, ILOMOCA is a testament to this. “We’ve been morphing our townships since we started our first in Eastwood, then it was just ‘Live-Work-Play,’ but when we moved to McKinley, we added ‘Learn.’ And as we expand and evolve, we come up with different concepts, we customize our approach,” he said. “What struck me most about Iloilo, before the project, is its very rich and diverse art scene. But the creative industry, the scene, is not very famous here. So we’ve decided to make this place sort of the center of culture and the arts.”

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