RAFI’s Gabii sa Kabilin Bags an Anvil AwardPosted: March 2, 2011
The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) won the “Anvil Award of Merit for public relations program—sustained basis: arts and culture/heritage/tourism” for the “Gabii sa Kabilin (Night of Heritage) 2010”.
RAFI President Roberto E. Aboitiz, RAFI Executive Committee Chair Ma. Cristina C. Aboitiz, RAFI Chief Operating Officer Dominica B. Chua, RAFI Executive Director for Culture & Heritage unit Dr. Jocelyn B. Gerra, and RAFI Communications Officer Haidee Palapar received the recognition during the 46th Anvil Awards’ “Gabi ng Parangal” held last Feb. 18 at EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, Mandaluyong City.
They were joined by Msgr. Carlito Pono, President of the Visayas Association of Museums and Galleries Inc. (VAMGI); Odette Jereza of the University of Southern Philippines-Rizal Museum; heritage writer Gavin Bagares; and Barangay Sto. Niño captain Pancho Ramirez.
The award was given to RAFI “for helping develop appreciation for local heritage with a cultural event that has grown into one of the biggest in Cebu” through the Gabii sa Kabilin.
“This is an affirmation of our work in RAFI as architects of change. Gabii sa Kabilin is only possible by collaboration of partners; hence, the award is a symbol that by working together, we can achieve greater heights,” Gerra said.
Gabii sa Kabilin, the only museum and cultural event of its kind in the Philippines, is held every last Friday of May with the aim of raising the awareness about Cebu’s rich culture and heritage.
RAFI, in collaboration with the VAMGI, started organizing the Gabii sa Kabilin in May 2007 to mark the International Museum Month and the National Heritage Month celebrations in May.
Patterned after Germany’s and Europe’s “Long Night of the Museums”, the nighttime heritage tour features museums and heritage sites that open their doors to the public beyond the conventional operating hours, specifically from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight. Visitors only need to purchase a P100-ticket to gain access to all the participating museums and see all the presentations, as well as P50 for the bus and tartanilla (horse-drawn rig) rides.
In 2009, about 729 visitors were registered. The number more than doubled to 1,800 participants in 2010, recording a 125-percent increase in ticket sales.
From four participating museums in 2007, the Gabii sa Kabilin features nine museums—Casa Gorordo Museum, Cathedral Museum of Cebu, Basilica del Sto. Niño Museum, Fort San Pedro, Yap-Sandiego Ancestral House, Museo Sugbo, 1730 Jesuit House, University of Southern Philippines Foundation-Rizal Museum, and Sacred Heart Parish Alternative Gallery—in 2010.
In last year’s Gabii sa Kabilin, nine barangays in Cebu City—Santo Niño, Tinago, San Roque, Tejero, T. Padilla, Cogon Ramos, Pari-an, Zapatera, and Day-as—deployed their tanods to secure the routes as well as volunteers to man information desks and drive designated buses back and forth selected venues.
“These museums, barangays, institutions, and private companies share RAFI’s vision for culture and heritage, which is to help communities understand, value, and share their culture and heritage with others because a confident community begins with a strong sense of identity,” Haidee Palapar, RAFI Communications Officer, said.
Other partners included the Cebu Provincial Government; Cebu City Government; Cebu City Police Office; Cebu City Traffic Operations Management; AboitizLand; Shangri-La’s Mactan Island Resort and Spa; and City Savings Bank.
This year, the Gabii sa Kabilin will be held on May 27.
“The award is a challenge for us running museums to improve our programs in order to attract more and sustain the interest of the public on culture and heritage. We hope our exposure through the Anvil Awards will encourage organizations in and outside Cebu to replicate the Gabii sa Kabilin in their respective areas and tweak the program according to their needs,” Gerra said.
For Msgr. Pono, the award is a “wake-up call for the Cebu community to appreciate the role of museums in community development.”
“Museums are not just repositories of things but they are constant reminders of who we are and the kind of community we want to be. Gabii sa Kabilin is a statement of Cebuano culture, appreciation, and preservation,” he said.
Ramirez, on the other hand, considered the Anvil Award of Merit for Gabii sa Kabilin “a great honor for Cebu.”
“This recognition encourages us as a partner to do more to ensure that our culture and heritage will continue to be alive in our community,” he said.
The Anvil Awards is given yearly by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines in recognition of outstanding public relations programs and tools designed and implemented in the past year.
From Nancy Cudis