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Edutourism to promote Ilonggo cultural heritage

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT-U) has launched the Cultural Heritage and Educational Research Center (CHERC) in the university’s new site as part of the La Paz main campus in this city.

The center is a P9-million 3-storey building project funded through CHED’s Study in the Philippines (StudyPH) - Education Tourism Program.

“We want our state universities and colleges to recognize that they have competence in developing local tourism, that they themselves should be tourist destinations, and that they have the capability in research, in education, and extension to partner with local governments to promote tourism at the local area,” CHED Chairperson J. Prospero E. De Vera III said.

De Vera also noted that the proposal of the project also emanated from ISAT U and the Commission made sure that upon approval, the project would be conceptualized and implemented properly.

Meanwhile, in his message, ISAT U President Dr. Gabriel M. Salistre thanked CHED for the support that made the project possible, marking a milestone in the university’s vow to preserve and promote the Ilonggo cultural heritage while fostering educational research.

“The ISAT U Cultural Heritage and Educational Research Center which has been given the moniker ‘CHERC’, will serve as a museum with a cultural digital platform to communicate the Ilonggo ancestry, heritage, and history to the 21st Century learners in the Philippines and with our partner institutions abroad,” Salistre shared.

CHED Chairperson J. Prospero E. De Vera III explains how the StudyPH Edu-Tourism Project supports the promotion of local tourims and cultural heritage through the state universities and colleges in the country during the launching of the Iloilo Science and Technology University's (ISAT U) Cultural Heritage and Educational Research Center (CHERC), a project under the said program, in Iloilo City. (PIA Region VI photo)

According to ISAT U, the CHERC is envisioned to be “a digital literacy center to further supplement classroom instruction and research in history, social sciences, and as well as ICT.”

As a tourism hub, it will also be a one-stop shop that can cater to local and foreign guests as well as students who might need to do cultural research and exposure.

Meanwhile, the second level of the building bears some samples of ISAT U’s creative industry such as woodworking and fashion and design.

On the other side of the gallery is the so-called “Digital Library” where the digitized copy of the local newspapers dating from 1913 to 1941 can be found, preserving the Ilonggo culture and history. For this purpose, ISAT U collaborated with the very first Ilonggo Printing Press, the Makinaugalingon Printing Press, with the digitization of the archives of books and print collections of the Mejica Repository.

Some of the collections in the Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) Cultural Heritage and Educational Research Center like archives and digitized copies of local publications dated from mid 1900s, local tapestry and textiles, and crafts, among others. (PIA Region VI photos)

After serving the brain with the knowledge of the local culture and history, the third floor of the center is designed for a coffee shop or a café where local products and delicacies are intended to be displayed and savored.

De Vera added that apart from ISAT U, other SUCs in the region were also recipients of the Study PH Edu-Tourism program.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED) Chairperson J. Prospero E. De Vera III and Iloilo Science and Technology University (ISAT U) President Gabriel M. Salistre Jr. led the ribbon cutting of the new ISAT U Cultural Heritage and Educational Research Center (CHERC), January 18, in Iloilo City. They are accompanied by some of the members of ISAT U's Board of Regents, CHED Regional Director Raul Alvarez Jr., and other stakeholders. (PIA Region VI photo)

The Iloilo State College of Fisheries established the “Fisheries and Marine Science Museum and Laguerta De ISCOF Animalville,” a sustainable agri-fishery tourism project and Milkfish Farming and Processing, ISCOF’s Niche for Redefining Internationalization Endeavors; the University of Antique with the “JUAN-A GO Tourism Program” and “Sipal eskUelA”, a Tertiary Sports Tourism Summit Project; the “RISE Capiz: Riverine Improvement towards a Sustainable Ecotourism” with Capiz State University; Guimaras State College’s Guimaras 4.0: The Island that Fits Your Taste;and the “Tourism Studies on Island-Based Opportunities for Growth (TSIBOG) in Western Visayas” of the University of the Philippines Visayas, among others.

“Slowly, our state universities and colleges are recognizing their very important role in tourism promotion and I thank the Department of Tourism also for their full support for the project because we all have to work together to make sure these projects are implemented,” De Vera noted, lauding the SUCs in the region for implementing significant educational tourism project. (AAL/FRG/PIA6)

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Franz Remar Garion

Region 6

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