MINERVA BC NEWMAN
CEBU CITY — The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) through The Kabilin Center (TKC), in partnership with SM City Cebu unveiled the Treasures of Devotion, an exhibit of the different Santo Nino images and other tangible religious objects on loaned from The Heritage of Faith Museum of Cansojong, Talisay and opened for public viewing at the ground level, North Wing at SM City from January 8 to 31, 2024.
The Treasures of Devotion exhibit was produced through a collaboration of partners the Archdiocese of Cebu, Office for the Initiatives in Culture and the Arts of the University of the Philippines Cebu and RAFI TKC-in commemoration of the 500 years of the introduction of Christianity to Cebu.
Haidee Palapar, RAFI-TKC Communication Officer described Treasures of Devotion as a special exhibit of artifacts and images of religious objects curated in the virtual exhibit are showcased in a set up that simulates the idea that the church is where the treasures of faith are stored and displayed.
Palapar said that each gallery of the online exhibit is represented by panels with a screen inside a niche which shows the actual gallery online thus the digital presentation shown in the exhibit will help bring the traditional to the virtual.
“The display enables guests to fully immerse themselves in the main virtual exhibition. The idea of digital devotional exhibit is brand new. It’s a brand new and unique concept in which the convening Center presents an innovative approaching showcasing heritage through a digital medium,” Palapar added.
Treasures of Devotion is a virtual exhibition of religious objects or objects of devotion. Through photo and video documentation, the religious objects found in diocesan and parish museums and private collections in Cebu were catalogued, unearthing layers of memories and experiences accrued by generations of believers and discovering stories of faith and devotion as shown, shaped, and sustained by these religious artifacts.
The exhibit at SM City Cebu, however, brings Cebuano audience closer to the devotions by presenting the exhibit in a tangible manner, through a physical translation of the exhibit as well as in an interactive manner, using technical/media gadgets, Palapar said.
The exhibit will be complemented with different images of the Santo Niño de Cebu to connect the exhibit with the Sinulog celebration. The gifting of the Santo Niño de Cebu during the baptism of some 800 Cebuanos in 1521 introduced the Catholic faith and began the different religious devotions and traditions of Filipinos.
According to Palapar, the different Santo Niño images and other tangible religious objects featured in the exhibit are on loaned from The Heritage of Faith Museum of Cansojong, Talisay.
It is hoped that through the exhibit, Cebuanos can appreciate their religious treasures in their midst, especially for their historical, socio-cultural, and aesthetic significance, and lead to the protection and preservation of both tangible and intangible religious heritage.
“We hope that you and the visitors for the entire month because our exhibit will last until the end of January that we will not only be able to enjoy the exhibit, but also gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of our faith and heritage,” Palapar concluded.
The Kabilin Center (TKC) promotes enjoyment, awareness and appreciation of culture through art experiences with the aim of enriching the lives of people. It is one of the programs of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. RAFI – Culture & Heritage Unit.