Home Headlines Tabnuan: Mabalacat City Cultural Center unveiled

Tabnuan: Mabalacat City Cultural Center unveiled

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MABALACAT CITY – Restored to its original appearance, the municipio – the seat of government – of the old town has been repurposed as a hub for local history, culture, and arts dubbed as Tabnuan, the Mabalacat City Cultural Center.

Built in the late Spanish colonial period (1889) as the Casa Tribunal, it started its purpose as municipal building during the American period, and survived the devastations of World War II.

Serving as the seat of the municipal government, the municipio as it came to be called underwent multiple renovations and expansions, until after Mabalacat became a city and a city hall was built in Xevera in Barangay Tabun.

Cognizant of the municipio’s important role in its people’s history and culture, Mayor Crisostomo Garbo left no stone unturned in transforming it into a living memorial of that legacy of local heroes and a showcase of the hopes and aspirations of Mabalaquenos expressed in the activities and exhibits to be held in the building.

The Tabnuan – translating to “meeting place” – features a variety of amenities aimed at engaging the community and promoting local talent. The center includes rooms dedicated to historical descriptions, a pasalubong center showcasing products from micro, small, and medium enterprises in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, a training room for small groups, and an online market option for local products and delicacies.

One of the exciting additions to the center is Cafe Municipio, which will be serving the city’s own Balacat tea, providing visitors with a taste of local flavors and hospitality.

The second floor houses an exhibit hall, with the inaugural exhibit titled “Haligi ng Haraya,” showcasing the works of Gawad Manlilikha ng Bayan awardees and Order of National Artists recipients.

Leading the ribbon-cutting ceremony opening Tabnuan on Feb. 28 were Mayor Garbo, Vice Mayor Atty. Gerald Guttrie Aquino, DTI-Bureau of Industry and Planning and Innovation assistant director Jo-Dann Darong, National Commission for Culture and the Arts executive director Oscar G. Casaysay, Clark Development Corp. president and CEO Atty. Agnes VST Devanadera and Mabalaquenian matriarch Juliette Gomez-Romualdez, mother of House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.

“The inauguration and blessing of Tabnuan coincided with the celebration of National Arts Month, underscoring the city’s commitment to promoting and supporting the arts,” enthused city tourism officer, Arwin Paul Lingat.

The inaugural featured a special showcase of 10 talented Mabalaquenian artists, highlighting the richness and diversity of local artistic talent.

Mabalacat City has been selected as a recipient of the DTI “Lungsod Lunsad” program. With this grant, the city will launch a digital kiosk featuring a directory of the local furniture industry, showcasing the craftsmanship and artistry of local artisans. This initiative is particularly significant as the city is home to a training center for weaving and woodworks, making it a natural fit to highlight the talents of the local furniture industry.

Tabnuan will also offer livelihood training programs in weaving and woodworks, providing residents with valuable skills and opportunities for economic empowerment. These training programs will be closely integrated with the city’s existing training center, further enhancing Mabalacat’s reputation as a center for craftsmanship and innovation.

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