The complete set of the whale skeleton measures 43.5 ft. long. The specimen belongs to a male sperm whale, a highly specially toothed whale of the species Physeter macrocephalus. This prompted the NM Director Gabriel S. Casal and Mr. Wilfredo Ronquillo Chief of the Archaeology Division, to purchase the whale skeleton subject to the availability of funds, verification and information of the whale skeleton and reasonableness of the price.
Finally, on November 22, 1994 a group of researchers from the Archaeology Division travelled to Marinduque to verify the whale skeletons and the negotiate for the price of the osteological material. It was agreed upon that the purchase of the whale skeleton would be P50,000.00 in the presence of other public officials.
The whale skeleton is now housed in the NM Building awaiting proper storage and funding for the exhibition of this rare osteological material.
The inclusion of the Angono petroglyphs site was the result of the Memorandum of Agreement signed on December 8, 1994 with Mr. Alexander G. Asuncion, API President and the National Museum Director, Fr. Gabriel S. Casal.
The API also considered donating about 5,000 square meters of its property for the National Museum use and expansion or development.
At present a budget of .5 million pesos from the capital outlay was released for the construction of a mini-museum gallery, office and other facilities which will commence at the end of 1995.
Construction work, following a survey by the Restoration and Engineering Divison, begins early this year to provide the branch with additional staffing, display facilities and utilities. Late in 1994 Zoological and Zooarchaelogical work were initiated, as well as a preliminary inventory of the collections conducted by the Anthropology Division. The new branch will focus on the rich and sophisticated culture of the Tausug.
Cruising the heart of the city, one will notice the sporadic presence of old churches lining the streets and avenues of the main road, a reminiscence of Catholicism in the city. Then you'll chance upon the significant Shrine of Magellan's Cross. And as you traverse the historical Plaza De Indepencia, looming into view is Fort San Pedro, basking with pride as she claims to be the repository of priceless and invaluable treasures of Cebu.
The 1.3M donation from the Spanish Embassy put an end to the anxiety of cultural workers who have long dreamt of establishing a National Museum branch in his historical City of Cebu. Instruments to this undertaking is Director Gabriel Casal who through collaborative talks with Undersecretary Pantig of PTA led the signing of the Contract of Lease between the National Museum and the Philippine Tourism Authority. However, only certain areas of Fort San Pedro were granted for museum operations for a term of 10 years commencing from the date of the signing of agreement and renewable for another ten (10) years.
Formally inaugurated on April 23, 1994, this two-storey museum building houses a vast collection of archaeological artifacts comprised mainly of ceramics and archeological replicas; and depicts the archaelogy and history of San Diego Wreckage. Worth mentioning is the fact that San Diego galleon was actually built in Cebu. Dependable Mr. Vicente Secuya III pilots this region VII Branch Museum and has been actively promoting and marketing the museum to the schools, universities and colleges. He has also developed linkages with various civic-oriented organizations and NGO's for the purpose of acquiring assistance for developmental projects.
So, the next time our local and foreign tourist friends visit Cebu, they should make it a point to include in their itineraries one of Cebu's significant cultural landmarks - Fort San Pedro Branch of the National Museum.