The newly completed Dr. Graciano Lopez Jaena Shrine in Jaro district is now home to Iloilo City Public Library (ICPL) which provides learning resources for the Ilonggos.
Named after the noble son of Jaro, Dr. Graciano Lopez Jaena Learning Resource Center and Museum is situated in the former home of the Ilonggo national hero in Fajardo Street.
Lopez Jaena is the founder and first editor of La Solidaridad and known as “the Orator of the Propaganda Movement”. Of the so-called Triumvirate of the Propaganda Movement, he was the first to launch it in Spain where he arrived in 1880. Jose Rizal followed in 1882 and Marcelo Del Pilar in 1891. Of the three, Lopez Jaena was also the first to die on January 20, 1896 at a Charity Hospital in Barcelona.
The Dr. Graciano Lopez Jaena Foundation, Inc. (DGLJFI) started the construction of the shrine but it had been pending since 2017 due to lack of funds.
In 2018, the DGLJFI turned over the property by way of usufruct for 50 years to the Iloilo City Government. In December 16, 2020, Mayor Jerry P. Treñas led the groundbreaking ceremony to signal the resumption of construction of the shrine, which was completed last December 2021 and transformed into a public library.
Treñas wants the establishment of shrine in honor of heroic Ilonggos in other districts.
“After this, we will have an Avanceña shrine and library in Arevalo. We will allow the younger generation to know more about the important persons in their districts who contributed a lot to our lives today. We are what we are because of what they did for us during their time,” Treñas stressed.
This will pay tribute to Arevalo’s pride Ramon Avanceña, the former chief justice of the Supreme Court. Part of La Paz plaza redevelopment will also host a library.
“As we aim to provide learning resources to the Ilonggos, especially to the younger generations, we are also hoping that our Ilonggo hero’s legacy and his bravery will help shape the Ilonggos to follow in his footsteps,” Treñas said.
City Librarian Marion Aguirre said they have purchased new books to be delivered soon. This, after they have updated the collections and to return to stockroom the worn-out and unserviceable ones.
ICPL promotes love for reading among children and helps students in their research.
Aguirre said there have been many requests for ICPL to open on Saturdays. She added the plan to extend the weekday services will be presented to the mayor for approval.
ICPL also entertains online queries via their Facebook page.
ICPL joined the World Read Aloud Day Febuary 2 with Iloilo River Plains Integrated School as representative. They also sent the recorded presentation to LitWorld, an international organization based in New York, USA.
ICPL proposed to the mayor to join the 63rd Public Library Day of the National Library of the Philippines. Its proposal is in lieu with the 2022 Istoryafest in collaboration with Philippine Librarian Association Inc.-Western Visayas Region Librarians Council (PLAI-WVRLC).
“We will compile our online videos and show the films to all pediatric vax sites for kids to learn and be entertained,” said Aguirre. (via Iloilo City PIO)