Monday, March 12, 2012

Roadtrip to Ilocos: The Crisologo Museum

The Crisologo Museum was established after Congressman Crisologo's death. It is located along De Los Reyes Street, Vigan and open for public viewing throughout the week. The museum does not charge any entrance fee but may appeal for modest donations to help keep and maintain the place. It houses the Crisologo family’s antiques, memorabilia and other prized possessions enhanced with history. It is personally managed by the Crisologo family. It is very well-maintained; evident is the polished floors of the second floor as well as the well-kept details of the various rooms.

The Crisologo Museum Signboard

Crisologo Museum - the residence of the Crisologo
family in Vigan converted into a museum

Floro S. Crisologo was the patriarch of the clan and a congressman; he was responsible for landmark legislations that not only benefited his constituents but the whole country as well. He authored the laws behind the creation of the North’s first state university, the University of Northern Philippines, and the establishment of the Social Security System, which serves the whole working populace to this day.

The large sign board at the museum entrance 

On October 18, 1970, Congressman Floro Crisologo had just stood at Sunday mass and about to fall in line for communion when a lone gunman darted behind him and shot him in the head. According to eye-witness accounts, while the terrified crowd rushed to the exits in the back of the church, the killer ran in the opposite direction towards the altar, exited near the front and disappeared. Crisologo's widow Carmeling, then the province's governor denounced the cruel act and promised she would not exact revenge. But her distraught eldest son Bingbong did, infamously burning down a village occupied by followers of their family's political opponents. Congressman Floro Crisologo’s murder during that bloody period in Philippine politics remains unsolved to this day.

News archives of the Congresman's assassination 

Displayed in the ground floor is an antique Calesa that is still being used as film prop and as a wedding carriage. There is also an old car where the Congressman’s wife survived an ambush while pregnant and serving as Governor of the province.

The museum houses the library and study room, where visitors can view the book collection and numerous news clippings about this political family, especially their patriarch’s death. One main attraction of the exhibit displays the blood-stained clothing of the late congressman.

The master’s bedroom and personal belongings like clothing and accessories are well preserved. The exhibit gives a mixed feeling of uncanny; intrusion into the daily ritual and a haunting sense that a member of the family might be watching all the time.

Calesa - a horse-drawn buggy

The Library

A Careta - an ox driven carriage

Collection of Hats and Salakot or traditional wide-brimmed hats

A wooden plough and collection of salakot

 A mortar - an indirect fire weapon that fires explosive projectiles 

Manual typewriters

A Dulang - a small table use for eating

One of the function office of the late Congressman

The large open dining hall

Photo of the large dining table taken from another angle

The kitchen area

Kitchen utensils and stoneware

An entertainment room showcasing bar with wooden refrigerator

Close-up photo of the wooden refrigerator

North wing of the large receiving area

The Master's Bedroom

An extended dining room with plateria or China Cabinet

Dressers inside the Master's Bedroom

The television set in the living room

The antique "colored" television set

The altars inside the Master's Bedroom

Opposite wing of the large receiving area

The Garderobe toilet

Detailed view of the Garderobe type toilet

Preserved archives on politics

One of the campaign posters on display

The family wanted the crime done against Floro to be remembered; it is from this intent for converting the imposing, century-old family mansion of the Crisologos into a museum.

Before Congressman Floro Crisologo was assassinated, he was in the process of having a bill approved to abolish the death penalty because he believed that death was not the solution to stopping crime.

All pictures in this post is the exclusive property of White Dog Leader, Red 1 Leader & Associates. All Rights Reserved 2012

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