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DEX N MUT: BEST BULALO IN TOWN
Bulalo with rice all you can
Posted by Dexter Matilla - - 0 comments

By Dexter R. Matilla
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:22:00 12/01/2008

THE National Historical Institute (NHI) is the conserver of the country’s past. “The search for a common past is important for people in search of identity because it is a way for all these diverse people to have a common future,” said the NHI chairman, historian and columnist Ambeth Ocampo.

To fulfill its mission, the NHI has been doing its job quietly: doing historical research, declaring historical landmarks, translating documents, and publishing history books.

The NHI recently celebrated its 75th founding anniversary and as it aims to make history popular and relevant to people today, it will launch the website National Heritage Sites 360-Degree Interactive Gallery.

“The website will allow people to visit the shrines online,” Ocampo said of the project by the NHI and Firefly Designs. “With just a move of the mouse, you will see the inside, outside, top, and bottom of the landmarks maintained by the NHI.”

Marking the diamond anniversary of the NHI is the opening of exhibits that tackle the institute’s history, advocacies and collections.

An exhibit on the rich and colorful history of the NHI is featured, with rare and vintage images of the institute’s movers and shakers such as Carmen Guerrero Nakpil, Esteban de Ocampo, Serafin D. Quiason and Samuel K. Tan.

Another exhibit showcases furniture, furnishings, personal objects and pictures culled from the NHI collection. Some of those on exhibit have been loaned from other collections. The display gives people an idea of the bourgeois lifestyles and customs once practiced by the middle-class ilustrado families. 75 Sites, meanwhile, is an anthology of monuments and memorials found throughout the Philippines, their symbolisms and their stories.

“If you think history is boring, you probably had a bad teacher and this is one thing the NHI hopes to address on its 75th year. We not only rest on our laurels but make history in tune with the 21st century,” Ocampo said.

The NHI had its beginnings in 1922 when American governor-general Frank J. Murphy issued Executive Order No. 451, creating the Philippine Historical Research and Markers Committee (PHRMC). Successive agencies were created through the years until Presidential Decree No. 1 was issued in 1972, which integrated all government historical committees into the newly-created National Historical Institute.

Also in commemoration of the anniversary, Minor Prints, a subsidiary of Manila Prints Australia, has released “Footnotes of Philippine History.” Authored by Australian-based historian Renato Perdon, it is a collection of essays on various topics on the Philippine’s past. It aims to reinforce the knowledge of overseas-bound Filipinos regarding Philippine history.

Perdon said that he got the idea for the book when Filipino expatriates in Australia and in other countries had noted the clamor for an information source regarding their history and culture as they struggled in foreign climes.

Former NHI chairman Tan described the book as “a well-sought out initiative to bring Philippine history in meaningful perspective to a growing community of overseas Filipinos searching for roots, identity, direction and purpose as they look back in nostalgia to their native land.”

E-mail the author at dxmatilla@yahoo.com.

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