The old, historic Don Rosendo Mejica Museum and Residence


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A visit with one of the prime families of Iloilo and Molo. Don Rosendo, was a superior businessman, a superb public servant having served as City Councillor in Iloilo for over 30 years and a supremely generous philanthropist.

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The old, historic Don Rosendo Mejica Museum and Residence

  1. 1. 1 photographed and written by: Fergus Ducharme, assisted by: Joemarie Acallar and Nilo Jimeno. © proudly present: The Don Rosendo Mejica Museum Baluarte, Molo, Iloilo. A National Historical Landmark of the Philippines.
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  4. 4. 4 We were very fortunate when we visited the offices of the Makinaugalingon Press on Lopez Jaena Street in the Baluarte district of Molo, Iloilo recently. We were introduced to Pilar Mejica Martinez, who is the Curator of the Rosendo Mejica Museum and Historical Landmark. Ms Mejica Martinez was kind enough to show us around this magnificent building and explain in great detail the various artefacts on exhibit as well as a full explanation and outline of the lifetime achievements of her grandfather, the reknowned, Don Rosendo Mejica.
  5. 5. 5 Don Rosendo Mejica Molo, Iloilo March 1875 – February 1956
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  7. 7. 7 This is a brief outline of what we learned that day. Don Rosendo Mejica was a self-made man. As a young person he worked as a 'sacada' in Negros in order to earn enough to be able to establish himself 'back home'. It is said that in his life he exemplified independence, self-sufficiency and self- reliance. He lived a very modest life, eventhough he was likely considered a fairly wealthy person. He preferred to spend his considerable income on his fellow man. He dedicated his life to public service. In 1902 he was named the first Municipal Treasurer of Bacalod. Once, he returned home to Iloilo in about 1906, he became an elected member of the Iloilo Municpal Council and served in that elective position until 1936 as a member of the 'Union Nationalista' Party.
  8. 8. 8 In addition, in 1905, he founded the first public elementary school in Philippines. The school building which was built during the American 'occupation' is now the main building of the Buluarte Elementary School in Molo; just across the street from the family business: Makinaugalingon Press which he founded in May 1913. The Makinaugalingon Press was founded with an initial investment of 8,000 Pesos, a veritable fortune at the time. Don Rosendo was a superior businessman, when he bought the printing presses for the business he did meticulous research and purchased his first machine in Germany. He operated from rented space in 'downtown' Iloilo for many years until he moved to the current location in 1949. Much of the equipment from the early years is still functional and is used today for special jobs.
  9. 9. 9 One of the original printing presses, purchased in Germany & still operating today!
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  15. 15. 15 The original print shop in 1913, in downtown Iloilo.
  16. 16. 16 The three founding partners of the Makinaugalingon Press 1913
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  18. 18. 18 After the move to the new location in 1949.
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  20. 20. 20 The family home, as we mentioned, is now a Museum. Many scholars and students visit to use the impressive and extensive collection in their research. In addition to the impressive collection of printed materials the home contains many significant and very interesting historical artefacts. The printed materials collection include newspaper files dating the early 1900s and provide a unique insight into the life in Iloilo and in fact the Philippines as a whole in the early years of the 20th century. Two of the prized possessions of the collection are the first translations into the Hiligayon language of Rizal's major works Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. Both works were translated by Don Rosendo in the mid 1910s .
  21. 21. 21 Some of the day to day items in the extensive collection held in the Mejica Collection
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