An invaluable addition to the National Museum of Anthropology in Manila opened to the public on June 11, 2022. The Elizabeth Y. Gokongwei Ethnographic Stoneware Resource Center, located on the fifth floor of the museum’s East Wing, is the fruit of a partnership between the National Museum of the Philippines and the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation.
The on-site and virtual launch marks the beginning of GBF’s legacy in preserving our heritage and enriching our culture, which is in line with the Foundation’s advocacy of building the nation’s future through education.
Education + Culture to Transform Our Nation’s Learners
“As a staunch advocate of a holistic education, the Foundation takes to heart its duty to protect our heritage, enrich our culture, and pass this on to the next generation,” said GBF General Manager Lisa Y. Gokongwei-Cheng during the event, underscoring the interwoven relationship between culture and education.
"We at Gokongwei Brothers Foundation view education as a platform to equip our nation’s students with the necessary skills to thrive in the future. But apart from teaching practical skills, education is also a tool for transmitting culture — our core values, norms, traditions, and shared experiences—that all together, define our heritage," said GBF General Manager Lisa Y. Gokongwei-Cheng in her speech. IMAGE GBF
Beyond its vision to provide “every Filipino with access to education that enables them to work and contribute to family and the country,” GBF also hopes to inculcate a stronger sense of identity, belongingness, and connection among Filipino learners. This ambition entails the two-pronged task of building a venue to preserve our tangible heritage and providing a platform to propagate our intangible heritage.
Beyond the Classroom and Inside the EYG Resource Center
This collaborative effort between GBF and NMP provides a research facility that will encourage students, educators, and researchers to learn more about the way of life of early Filipinos.
The minds behind the project are committed to following the best practices in collections management and documentation with the goal of providing universal access to the knowledge that may be gained from the study of the stoneware vessels. Through the resource center, approximately 1,000 stoneware and earthenware ceramics from the National Ethnographic Collection are now accessible to students of archeology and the general public.
Since the project’s announcement in 2021, GBF has provided support in the repair and upgrading of the EYG Resource Center, delivery of equipment and supplies for interior furnishing, transport of the ceramic collection from regional museums and satellite offices, and the ongoing inventory, condition, and assessment of the pieces in the collection.
To maximize the reach and impact of the EYG Resource Center, sustaining efforts are being implemented including special tours, provision of digital reference materials for teachers, and other new ways of learning about the collection, such as the 360° VR exhibit.
There is also an accompanying book entitled “From Kiln to Kin: The Philippine Ceramic Heritage,” which will feature the full catalog of collections found inside the resource center. It will extensively discuss the ceramic history of the Philippines and its significance with our ethnolinguistic traditions and culture.
Celebrating milestones and gearing towards a shared mission
Named after the late Gokongwei matriarch, the Elizabeth Y. Gokongwei Ethnographic Stoneware Resource Center was unveiled in the presence of the heads of NMP and GBF.
The EYG Resource Center is one of GBF’s projects and programs that altogether serve as a testament to the Foundation’s dedication in transforming Philippine education and equipping the country’s future STEM workforce.
This year, the Foundation is gearing for its 30th anniversary, driven and committed to its mission that by 2025, GBF will have taken part in the educational transformation of 10,000 educators and 1,000,000 learners.