Built in 1788, the Padre José Burgos National Museum is in the ancestral home of Father José Burgos, one of the three martyr priests executed by the Spanish in 1872. It is a two-story structure located near the provincial jail made famous by being the site of President Elpidio Quirino’s birth, and a school named after the martyred priest. It was renovated by the Filipinas Foundation, Inc. and inaugurated on May 3, 1975. In January 1989, a Contract of Lease was executed by the Ilocos Sur Historical and Cultural Foundation, Inc. leasing the memorabilia for 50 years, and turning over the administration to the National Museum showcasing some of Ilocandia’s most illustrious (and controversial) historical figures.
It houses an extensive collection of Ilocano artifacts, including a series of 14 paintings by the locally famed painter Don Esteban Villanueva depicting the 1807 Basi Revolt. Iloco-Kankanaey-Itneg material culture such as wooden plates and bowls, wooden coffins, burial chair, musical instruments such as drum (tambur), bamboo mouth flute (paldeng), and brass gong (gangsa); weaponry such as shield (kalasag) and spears; weaving implements and wooden loom (pag-ablan); textiles; and jars are also on display. A collection of Father Burgos' memorabilia and photographs, family antiques and jewelry can also be seen; Father Burgos’ quarters and a mini library containing his student Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere, which the teacher received as a gift is also opened for public viewing.
The ancestral home is well-managed and charges only a minimal fee. It is open to the public Tuesdays up to Saturdays, closing for around two hours during lunch time. Tour groups may also schedule viewing during weekends and holidays.
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