BPI celebrates Cebu’s rich culture at Gabii sa Kabilin - Cebu X-Geeks


Thursday, June 20, 2024

BPI celebrates Cebu’s rich culture at Gabii sa Kabilin

The BPI Museum Cebu opened its doors to the public on May 10 as part of Gabii sa Kabilin.

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), through its social development arm, BPI Foundation (BPIF), took part in Gabii sa Kabilin 2024, Cebu’s renowned cultural event.

Initiated in 2007, by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), Gabii sa Kabilin aims to celebrate Cebu’s rich heritage, cultivate a sense of identity and pride of place among Cebuanos, and help preserve local culture and heritage by encouraging the public to visit museums.

This year's theme, “My Beloved Bisaya,” paid homage to Fr. Francisco Ignacio Alcina, S.J., who dedicated his life to serving the Visayan people and documenting their culture and tradition. By participating, BPI reaffirmed its commitment to social responsibility and its deep-rooted connection to the Cebuanos. 

“BPI is honored to participate in Gabii sa Kabilin 2024, a celebration of Cebu’s rich heritage and vibrant culture. As the home of the third BPI branch in the Philippines, Cebu holds a special place in our history,” shared Carmina Marquez, BPI Foundation Executive Director.

Marking a century of service in Cebu, BPI celebrated this milestone with the museum exhibit, which served as a pre-celebration event for BPI’s centennial anniversary of banking presence in Cebu.

“For 100 years, we have been a proud partner of Cebuanos in their development. This is our way of giving back to the community that has supported us through the years,” said Maximo “Rey” Eleccion, BPI Cebu South and Bohol Area Business Director.

Visitors explored the untold story of El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel II – the country’s first bank, founded in 1851. The BPI Museum Cebu delved into the fascinating evolution of money circulation and banking experiences in the Philippines, specifically from 1492 onwards.

Items displayed inside the museum include (from left) an old Teller’s station, a vintage vault,

and a collection of old bills and coins.

Some of the historical collections on display included rare coins dating back to 1492, gold coins commemorating Queen Isabella II, a commemorative 100,000 pesos bill, bank notes of English and Japanese series, alongside vintage vaults and antique maps.

A total of 1,847 attendees explored the BPI Museum Cebu at Gabii sa Kabilin 2024. The museum was open from 6:00 PM to 12:00 AM, welcoming visitors at its Magallanes Corner P. Burgos Street location in Cebu City.

Early bird visitors enjoyed a special 30-minute guided tour led by Curator Carlos Apuhin. An audiovisual presentation was also shown, delving deeper into Cebuano history, the significance of BPI Museum Cebu, and the evolution of money in the Philippines. Guests were also treated to free massages from Cebuano Massage Therapists, adding a unique touch to the experience. The BPI Bayan Volunteers were also present during the event to welcome the visitors and assist them throughout their visit.

Photo shows BPI Bayan Volunteers and blind Cebuano Massage Therapists.

Beyond showcasing its history, BPI recognized the importance of financial empowerment for a brighter future. Participating in Gabii sa Kabilin allowed BPI to connect with the community, promote financial inclusion, and foster a lasting appreciation for Cebu’s culture.

“This participation was not just about celebrating the past, but also about empowering the future. BPI hopes to foster not only cultural understanding but also a deeper appreciation for financial literacy within the Cebuano community. We aim to inspire a sense of community pride and equip future Cebuanos with the tools they need to thrive,” Marquez added.

The Ayala Foundation, through the Ayala Museum-Curatorial team, also contributed to BPI Museum Cebu’s redesign, led by Kenneth Esguerra and Aprille Tijam, working closely with Curator Carlos Apuhin.

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