Scene City | Megaworld unveils first museum venture in Iloilo Business Park

As we were doing a media tour of Megaworld’s latest developments in their 72-hectare property in Mandurriao, Iloilo, we stopped by Casa de Emperador at the Iloilo Business Park, which houses ILOMOCA, which stands out as the first contemporary art museum in the Visayas – Mindanao regions.

The global art scene continues to prosper as a movement where Filipinos enjoy a significant following.

Over the years, studies have shown that art and culture are becoming key components in the global trend for urban development. In fact in 2015, the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) group of the United Nations—the world’s largest organization for sub-national governments—formally recognized “culture” as the “fourth pillar of sustainable development.” The study revealed that, to inspire positive transformation towards sustainability, our communities need to bridge the cultural divide and people must be inspired to share different perspectives and engage in open dialogue.

Inspired by this insight, Megaworld Corporation furthers its vision of nation building as it opened the doors of the Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art (ILOMOCA), the company’s first-ever museum venture at the heart of its bustling township development in Western Visayas, the Iloilo Business Park (IBP). Interestingly, ILOMOCA also happens to be the first art institution in Visayas and Mindanao exclusively dedicated to showcasing the works of mostly Filipino and Ilonggo artists within the realm of modern and contemporary art.

Kevin Tan, senior vice President of Megaworld says “ILOMOCA is a very important milestone for us at Megaworld. It is our first museum development and there is no better place than to have it here in Iloilo Business Park”.

The ILOMOCA is a project initiated by Megaworld through the Megaworld Foundation, with the vision of enriching the Iloilo community and the whole of Western Visayas Region, with a new avenue for cultural and academic convergence. Through ILOMOCA, Megaworld sought to provide Filipinos a modern experience of art in the hopes of encouraging dialogue and understanding across cultures and generations, and to inspire positive transformation in society.

“Art breathes life and personality into cities and Megaworld townships have already evolved to embrace and champion this movement, with street art being very prominent features in Eastwood City, Uptown Bonifacio, McKinley Hill, and Forbes Town,” adds Tan.

“Through this project, we are reinforcing our role in the preservation and promotion of the Ilonggo arts, culture, and history. The ILOMOCA sits right at the heart of this township, which is well-positioned as a center of business, tourism as well as arts and culture in Western Visayas.”

The ILOMOCA Art Director and University of the Philippines-Visayas Vice Chancellor, Martin Genodepa, serves as the curator of the three-story museum, which features close to 3,000 square meters of space, including five exhibit rooms and its own souvenir and merchandise shop.

At the ground floor is The Hulot Exhibit, a commercial space for gallery exhibitions open to local or international artists, where they can feature their works of creative innovation, technique and skill. Right now, it houses The Martin Delgado Statue, a bronze sculpture by Spanish artist Gines Serran Pagan dedicated to celebrating the life and legacy of General Martin Delgado—an Ilonggo military leader during the Spanish Revolution and the first governor of Iloilo.

Also at the second level is ILOMOCA’s primary exhibit, The Gallery, which is designed to showcase rotating themes and collections. It currently holds three inaugural exhibits: the first highlighting the excellence of Filipino artists that have influenced the Ilonggo art scene as well as on the national level; another one focusing on Filipino sculpture; and a third exhibit featuring works by international artists that have influenced world art.

We dropped by its own theatre facility called The Box that can serve as venue for film or performance art, theatre productions, art workshops, special exhibits, and other related cultural events. It can accommodate up to 60 people and is equipped with state-of-the-art audio technology.

Guests will find the The Adoracion Valencia Gallery on the third floor, which features art personally curated by one of ILOMOCA’s primary donors, who named the gallery in honor of their matriarch.

“We look at ILOMOCA as a concrete manifestation of our goal to create urban townships that have their own charm and character,” Tan shares. “We want to curate our development in such a way that they seamlessly blend with the local culture and promote tourism.”

Admission to the museum is valued at P100 for regular visitors. Senior citizens, on the other hand, will only be charged P80, while students can get in for a P50 fee. The museum operates Tuesdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Iloilo Museum of Contemporary Art is located at the Casa de Emperador Building, Festive Walk Parade,Iloilo Business Park.

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