Learn more about Western Visayas’ prehistoric past and geological events that heavily impacted its physical landscape in the Geology and Paleontology Exhibition Hall of National Museum Western Visayas in Iloilo City. The permanent exhibition will be opened to the public starting today, January 25, 2020.
“The gallery gives the public an insight into the region’s complex geology. Through the exhibition, one will learn that the biodiversity and endemism of species in both Panay and Negros Islands are the result of their unique geological formation,” said National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) Deputy Director-General, Dr. Ana Labrador.
National Museum is excited to present to the public the culmination of years of research and fieldwork of NMP staff and the product of tedious exhibit planning, conceptualization and fund sourcing led by the Geology and Paleontology Division.
The exhibition is divided into three themes: Treasures of the Earth, Traces of Ancient Life and Western Visayas Through Time.
The centerpiece of the gallery are the fossilized teeth of extinct elephant species, Elephas sp., and stegodont (Stegodon sp.), found in Cabatuan, Iloilo. These were discovered buried in the Pleistocene rock formation called Cabatuan Formation.
The public can view the samples of the region’s rich mineral resources including tektite, the glassy rocks of possible extraterrestrial origin, collected in Iloilo province, one of the few locations in the world with known tektite deposits. They can also get a grasp of WV’s flora and fauna dating back five million years ago through the marine and plant fossils.
“Humans have always wondered about the origin of life on earth. And in between this curiosity, humans have adapted to their environment to survive. Through this exhibition, we hope to provide some scientific answers to their question of ‘What was the Philippines or Western Visayas like millions of years ago?’ We also hope to explain in simplest terms why there are similarities in the flora and fauna in the islands of the region and correlate it with the similarities of the way of life of Western Visayans,” added Jaan Ruy Conrad P. Nogot, Senior Museum Researcher of NMP’s Geology and Paleontology Division.
#NMWesternVisayas is located at the Iloilo Capitol Complex, Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City. The museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays, 8:30 AM to 5 PM. Entrance is free. Group tours (more than 20 persons) must be booked through email email@example.com or phone 327-3782.
Text & Photos by Maricyn De los Santos/NM Western Visayas