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The Museum of Three Cultures in Capitol University

The Museum of Three Cultures for me is the best place to get a snapshot of history about Cagayan de Oro and the Northern Mindanao. I have seen the place, talked to the locals and why not get the glimpse of its heritage? It is quite sad when one goes to a place, returns home would  probably have a hundred stories of what is the best food to eat, the best pasalubong to bring and where’s the best spot to hangout in that place. But ask what that place was named that way. Most of the time, the answer is a nod.

My curiosity of knowing Cagayan de Oro sans the image of white water rafting was somewhat fulfilled through this visit. The Northern Mindanao’s history is told mostly through the six tribes that thrived in it. These are the Higaunon, Higaunon Manobo, Matigsalog, Western Bukidnon, Southern Bukidnon and Manobo. It is very interesting to know that some if not all of the indigenous people remained “untouched” against the Spanish colonialism. From the late Paleolithic period or Old Stone age until early American time, they do NOT wear woven clothes but use the barks from the trees. Proof is the Andesite bark beater which is a piece of wood used to smash the barks from the trees to make it thinner and lighter to wear.

There is this Danganan, a ceremonial bladeless sowrd owned by the sultan of a tribe. The longer and the bigger its size, the greater the power and authority of the sultan. One I saw is 10 feet long! Panggao is the sultan’s bed which is more elevated than the usual bed in his tribe. Meaning the sultan should be ahead of everything even in the smallest things like height of the bed!

I admire the large Damajuana jars, originated in Italy, brought to Spain then to Mexico, from where the Manila – Acapulco Galleon Trade sent these to the Philippines containing “aguas de olor” or perfumes. There are still a lot of things inside that I can’t help but drop my jaw because of the beauty, present monetary value or simply the innate creativity to prove that richness of  culture does not need to be composed of thousands or millions of people but a group of that has the heart to stood up for their identity against anything even time.

Like every museum, it is prohibited to take photos inside except the painting made using the seven colors of different soils from Talaandig which is part of Northern Mindanao.made by the local artists  and for sale.  How did they do it? They dried up the soil, turned into powder then mixed with glue or egg white. These seven different colors of soils ARE IN DANGER because of illegal mining in the area. 


  1. i saw the paintings and i am so amazed. wish i can go there in the place to see these 7 colors. hmmm i wonder what colors are these made of hhmmmm...

  2. This was featured on a tv show before. Cant remember when and which channel [Repost last Aug 13th]