THE country’s newest world-class museum is now open to the public, with interactive displays and exhibits on par with the best museums around the globe.
This according to Iglesia Ni Cristo Auditor General Glicerio B. Santos Jr., who explained that the museum would showcase the history and cultural heritage of the Philippines’ largest homegrown church to give the public a better understanding of the roots of the INC and the church’s 105-year journey.
“The museum is open to everyone, not just INC members, because we believe that the museum’s exhibits have a beautiful story to tell—one that we want to share with all our countrymen,” said Santos Jr.
The museum, which was launched on August 31, 2019, is housed in a five-floor building, with a total area of 46,098.54 square meters. It features historical and thematic exhibits, a children’s museum and timeline, mementos of INC First Executive Minister Felix Y. Manalo and his successors Eraño and Eduardo Manalo, as well as information about the history and milestones of the church.
Present at the museum’s inauguration were national and local government officials led by Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte.
Also on hand were legislators such as Senators Sonny Angara, Cynthia Villar, Ramon Revilla Jr., Grace Poe, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Aquilino Pimentel III, Panfilo Lacson, Richard Gordon, Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Ralph Recto, Joel Villanueva, and Sherwin Gatchalian. With them were members of the House of Representatives led by Majority Leader Rep. Martin Romualdez and Minority Leader Rep. Bienvenido “Benny” Abante Jr.
Among the Metro Manila mayors present were Makati Mayor Abigail Binay, Caloocan Mayor Oscar Malapitan, Pasay Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano, Malabon Mayor Antolin Oreta, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto, San Juan Mayor Francis Zamora, Muntinlupa Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, Las Piñas Mayor Imelda Aguilar, and Navotas Mayor Toby Tiongco.
According to Museum Director True Santos-Matias, the development of the museum took years, “because we wanted to make sure that the museum would integrate the newest technology and innovations utilized in the world’s top museums.”
“All museums are treasure-troves of information, but the excellent ones stand out because they are really engaging and truly immersive. That is what we wanted to achieve here,” explained Matias.
Matias added that the design elements and features of the museum incorporate native materials and nod to the church’s history. The facade of the building, for example, displays the initials INC 1914, representing the year the church was established. The columns and hand railings, on the other hand, are covered with a special kind of rattan lamination called “Permacane,” which is wrapped manually strip-by-strip before being polished.
The building also features the newest technology to ensure the safety and convenience of visitors, such as walkalators and a state-of-the-art Building Management System that controls the building’s cooling, ventilation, lighting, electrical, pumps and tanks, system architectures, and door locks.
“The comfort and safety of our visitors were also taken into consideration when we built the museum. We want to make going around the museum as easy as possible, especially since we expect many guests to be senior citizens and children.”
Located along Central Avenue near the INC central temple, the museum is a non-profit cultural and educational institution owned and operated by the Felix Y. Manalo Foundation, the socio-cultural and environmental arm of the religious organization.
The INC Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.