Virtual museums in the ‘new normal’

By : RAI Bollozos Sanchez Mindanao Today/09:31:22pm 07/28/2021


SINCE the pandemic started, our world has shifted into lockdowns and imposed quarantines. We are all now confined to a new reality.

We actually see this type of reality in futuristic films taking one back to Marty McFly and Dr. Emmet Brown’s “Back to the Future.”

We attend seminars, training, and workshops using virtual platforms.

We got acquainted with Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco Webex, Facebook Rooms, etc.

Our reality transcends from human physical interaction to the cybernetic domain.

The pandemic has forced us to get away from reality, and it is the new normal.

As the pandemic progress, the world has become virtual!

Well, we cannot escape the changes. Who would want to be infected?

For now, it is safe to be at home, and it is better to be at home.

However, there are massive consequences in the virtual world.

The pandemic has brought a terrible effect on one’s preservation of history and heritage.

For more than a year now, these museums and repositories of heritage have remained closed.

Adhering to the government’s mandate to stay close until everything becomes normal.

However, their closure sacrifices one essential thing: preserving one’s culture and its power to educate the people to remind them about their history.

Why not set a virtual museum?

A virtual museum is a digital platform similar to a museum and a powerful tool for research and visual learning material in the locality.

While our world transcends Facebook pages and Instagram profiles, these are powerful platforms to start promoting culture and heritage.

Educational institutions and repositories may find these platforms to build a massive following of promoting culture and heritage.

There are tons of Philippine virtual museums at bay on the worldwide web, such as the Malacañan Presidential Museum and Library, the Ateneo Art Gallery, and the National Museum of Fine Arts.

But I am always amazed by the University of San Carlos of Cebu. They have an FB Page and an Instagram profile, the USC Museum, showcasing their archeological collections to the public.

Their FB Page also hosts series of webinars that promote Cebuano culture and heritage.

In Cagayan de Oro, there are three private museums and one public repository.

Some of these institutions have Facebook pages, but the curation is not set up for a virtual museum and is undeniably virtually under curated.

On both sides of the Misamis Oriental province are possible and potential virtual repositories ready to be unearthed!

Everything has transitioned to the new normal. Virtual reality is the current trend, and yet, museums have remained inaccessible.

While our world transcends to Facebook pages and Instagram profiles, our museums have been into the dustbins.

Just like history, it remains a subject left to be unnoticed.

We as a society demand much to our youth to know about our nation’s history.

Still, we cannot even provide a repository for them to visit and start looking back.

We remind our children to be culturally sensitive. Yet, they are blinded because there is no institution other than their classrooms to visually witness Filipino wealth in cultural diversity.

Pondering, Jose Rizal once said, “He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.”

While the world progresses to a new world, heritage preservation should also adapt to the changes if we want to see a historically progressive future.

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