Zubiri leads Bacolod Museum ground-breaking rites

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Rep. Greg Gasataya, Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, Leo Rey Yanson, Ginette Yanson-Dumancas, Charles Dumancas, and city officials at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Bacolod museum/auditorium Saturday. VMO photo

An edifice that will serve as magnet to make Bacolod City and Negros Occidental hubs for cultural activities.

This, Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, said is his dream for the museum/auditorium in Bacolod that broke ground on Saturday, Dec. 12, where he was the guest of honor and speaker.

The project, worth P260 million, will be constructed on an 8.8-hectare lot donated last year to the city by the Yanson family in Barangay Alijis, Bacolod City.

The groundwork will start in three months, with more than a year to finish the first phase, that includes a country leaf design museum and auditorium that will serve as venue for seminars, conferences, and varied cultural presentations.

It will be a 2-storey building with a floor area of approximately 4,800 square meters. The structure will have function rooms that can accommodate small gatherings and private events, such as weddings.

The museum will serve as an institution dedicated to preserving and interpreting the primary tangible evidence of humankind and the environment; and the auditorium will enable the audience to hear and watch performances.

The funding requirement for the project amounts to P260 million, and P163 million had been released under the contingent fund-regular agency fund in the 2019 General Appropriations Act.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Zubiri promised that he will look for the remaining P97 million to complete the project cost of P260 million, based on the design concept of consultants in Manila he had sought help from, a press release from the city said.

Mayor Evelio Leonardia, meanwhile, said, “I am so overwhelmed and excited that this is happening. To say that this is historic is, perhaps, an understatement, but definitely this is historic.”

Leonardia said Zubiri, who partly grew up in Bacolod, wanted the museum/auditorium to be “something iconic, something distinctive” that will reflect the unique taste and lifestyle of Bacolodnons.

“Bacolod deserves a museum – no doubt about it – because people here are sophisticated. A museum like this will show that Bacolodnons are really a special kind of people,” Leonardia added in the press release.


Leonardia also said that this project will enhance the economic recovery of the city amid the COVID-19 because it will create demand for construction materials and create jobs for carpenters, welders, masons, painters, electricians, interior decorators, furniture makers, landscapers, gardeners, and many more.

Zubiri, for his part, said, “This is a dream come true for everybody. This is the start of a breakthrough to revitalize Bacolod City with leaders who are united.”

Leonardia said the construction of the museum/auditorium is one of the conditions included in the contract of donation for the lot.

Representing the Yanson family at the groundbreaking ceremony were Leo Rey Yanson, president and chief operating officer of Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI); Ginette Yanson-Dumancas, director of VTI, and Charles Dumancas. The Yanson family owns VTI that operates the Ceres buses, considered the biggest fleet in Southeast Asia, the press release said.

Rep. Greg Gasayata, for his part, thanked Zubiri for his leadership and for his assistance to Bacolod. “This leader is a Bacolodnon and a Negrosanon. When we had crisis in the sugar industry, he was there to help us. No ifs and buts, he is always there to help us whenever we have problems.” – ML