Opening the Doors to Sorsogon’s History and Culture
The inauguration of Museo Sorsogon at the Capitol Compound will take place on March 12, 2021, and will officially open its doors to the public on March 15, 2021.
What used to be the Provincial Jail and Courthouse since its construction in 1916, Museo Sorsogon will now be home to the history and culture of Sorsogon.
The initiative to turn the Provincial Jail into a museum came from then Sorsogon Governor, now Senator Francis Joseph G. Escudero. Renovation started in 2019, and instead of tearing down the old building and constructing a new one, the Provincial Jail was adoptedly reused, retaining its original structure but underwent a few improvements here and there.
A Built Heritage
Being the previous Provincial correctional facility, the building was not exactly an ideal place to store important artifacts. It was space-limited, uninviting, and lifeless. So, the goal is to make it a place where people will be encouraged to go in and learn about the history and culture of Sorsogon.
The museum was repainted, some of the graffiti or wall paintings was saved, these are original
artworks done by the previous inmates like the Lady Justice on the second floor, which used to
be the court of the first instance, and other works of art by the Sputnik Gang and Che Guevara, which also featured as an exhibit.
The windows were reinforced with glass panels, allowing natural light to come in, and the jail
cells served as the galleries for the exhibits and artifacts.
The original architectural design of the building was preserved to distinguish its construction
period. The intricate design of the metal gates and windows is a repeating pattern that
complements the bare white walls. This provides a clean minimalist look to highlight the
important pieces of artifacts inside.
The Galleries and Amphitheater
Museo Sorsogon has ten (10) galleries, showcasing the significant historical and cultural aspects of the province, including how communities started in Sorsogon, the revolution, and the American period in the province. It also features artifacts loaned by locals, and by the National Museum, but Museo Sorsogon is looking to acquire more objects in the foreseeable future.
Because lighting plays a significant role in exhibits, strategically placed light fixtures helps in
accentuating the artifacts and leading the visitor’s eyes to the important information about each
piece. This allows each exhibit to provide interactivity with the guests.
The amphitheater at the back is ready for programs, events, or stage performances. The open- air space has six tiers of seating, providing an ample amount of audience capacity.
Local Handicrafts and Cuisine
Aside from the historical and cultural artifacts, there is also a souvenir shop that sell locally- made products, a coffee shop and cafeteria that serve food and drinks.
The Provincial Government of Sorsogon partnered with DTI to give micro, small, and medium
enterprises (MSMEs) an opportunity to display their products at the Museo to be featured as
“Made in Sorsogon” goods.
After browsing through the galleries and learning more about Sorsogon, visitors can sit down and enjoy some food at the coffee shop and the cafeteria located at the back by the amphitheater. This allows for the Museo guests to have a taste of the Sorsoganon experience.
Museo Sorsogon will be a prominent structure in the province as the hub of the history and culture of Sorsogon. Curated by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, with the help from the Sorsogon Provincial Museum Staff, Museo Sorsogon tells the story of Sorsogon and its people.