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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Abiera Museum: A Legacy of Art, Culture and History

SLT 1253

February 24 – March 1, 2024

“When you ask God, stay by his side. He will make your dreams come true.” Such words encompass Boy Abiera’s optimism. Salvador “Boy” C. Abiera, a 77-year-old architect by profession and owner and curator of the Museum of Art, shares his experiences in building it at Bantug street, Tunga-tunga, Maasin City, behind SJC highschool. Since high school, he has always dreamed of having his own museum, but he thought it was impossible because his situation has been difficult since then. He faced different struggles and sacrifices to achieve his dream.When he was 21 years old, he started making collections of artifacts. He entered politics and was elected municipal councilor of Maasin for 10 years. Even while in politics, the passion for building a museum was still in his mind.It took him 56 years to have what he has now. Without asking for help from any government agency or private organization. Abiera’s Museum was institutionalized by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Subcommission of Cultural Heritage, and the National Committee on Museums, Manila, on June 15, 2013 at the Oriental Hotel, Palo Leyte. His house served as a Museum of Arts, a simple museum, yet every collection is valuable with its own historical description. The museum is open by appointment and is open from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and back to 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.The entrance fee is 50 pesos per head, with an hour and 30 minutes to have a tour inside. More than 90,000 people visited the museum from Samar, Leyte, Ormoc, Tacloban, and other neighboring places. Abiera’s Museum of Art’s rare collection includes artifacts, antiques, paintings, more than 200 preserved wild animals, coins, gems, and historical relics.He reproduced many artworks, including the replica of the Spanish galleon ship and the most expensive artwork by Picaso, “Garcon a La Pipe,” which was worth $104 million dollars. Because of the success of his museum, Boy Abiera received 39 awards. He shared his secret of life: one is to trust God; two is strong emotion; he is a humble and positive thinker. He prefers to be a freelancer. The Museum of Art is his greatest contribution to the people of Maasin City and the Province of Southern Leyte. Boy Abiera said he can’t make a museum on his own, but with the help of good relations with people. Boy Abiera showed us his love and passion for the arts and culture by his advice to never give up, strive harder, and that all impossible things will become possible. (Marg Cadano)

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