museum of Chinese in Philippine life
The Kaisa Heritage Center, that houses the museum, was conceptualized by the late anthropologist, scholar and expert on the Chinese overseas, Professor Chinben See.
It was his lifelong dream and deathbed wish that the Philippines has a lasting repository for the cultural and historical legacy of the ethnic Chinese on all aspects of Philippine life.
In December 1993, philanthropist Dr. Angelo King, having learned of this dream, readily agreed to help make it a reality. The land on which the Center stands was purchased in 1995 and on Aug. 27 of that same year, President Corazon C. Aquino led the groundbreaking ceremony.
Initial funding for the construction of the Center was provided by Dr. Angelo King while additional funds were still being raised. With the overwhelmingly generous response from the Tsinoy (Chinese Filipino) community to the call of building this historical monument, the Center was completed in Dec. 1998 and inaugurated on Jan. 19, 1999, again with President Aquino as guest of honor.
The museum documents the transformation of the early barefooted, illiterate, impoverished, peasant immigrant to become the modern-day Tsinoy or Tsinong-Pinoy.
There is also a collection of Chinese ceramics, dating from the 10th to the 17th centuries, unearthed in the Philippines, stand testament to the intensive and extensive maritime trade between China and the Philippine islands.
Other than Bahay Tsinoy, museum of Chinese in Philippine life, the Kaisa Heritage Center also houses :
1. Chinben See Memorial Library -- a specialized library on the ethnic Chinese in the Philippines, the Chinese overseas, and an extensive collection of rare Filipiniana.
2. Kaisa Research Center and Data Bank -- collects current research material, books dissertations and theses on the ethnic Chinese, microfilmed archival material, data from Chinese tombstones, documents dating back to the Spanish and American periods, and so on.
The Center is not just for the Tsinoy community but it is a gift to posterity -- a lasting tribute to the Filipino nation.
This article is contributed by Ms Meah Ang See,
Director of Bahay Tsinoy
Kaisa Heritage Center ceramic collection
Images supplied by Kaisa Heritage Center.
Copyright of Kaisa Heritage Center
Photographer: Mr. Leonardo Coll