DUMAGUETE CITY | Silliman Hall & Anthropology Museum

The building that houses the rare, and priceless collections of archaeological and ethnographic artifacts is the oldest standing American structure in the Philippines. The Silliman Hall is located at the southeastern part of Silliman University, and is faces the Rizal Boulevard, and into the sea. It is of Victorian or Stick type design, and was constructed 2 years after the birth of Silliman University.

The Silliman Hall would have stood out if the clouds were shy that day, and shown too much of the blue sky. But no. Them clouds decided to be nice, and broke the direct light from the sun making it fairly nice weather to do a walking tour with.
Yet, even in a day full of clouds, the structure of textured solid groundfloor walls, white-washed painted walls, grey beams of graceful, and delicate curves,and warm red toned rooftops was a stand out.

It was too good to pass that we decided to visit it not only for it’s exteriors but also with what what historical artifacts it holds.
Besides, we were already there, and the only thing that was stopping us from getting inside the Silliman University Anthropology Museum was that — it was still close. Then out from nowhere (like really, I didn’t see what direction she came from), the assigned personnel came, and took out her keys. It was an unspoken decision, we would tour the place ourselves.

For 30Php we were allowed to wander off in the museum. Strictly no picture taking is allowed on the ground floor area, and the second floor. But taking pictures is allowed on the balcony at the second floor, and the third floor. There are reasons why you’re not supposed to take photos of the artifacts — respect that.
That’s me, with a pen, a few seconds, in a room of strict photo taking restrictions — it was a room full of jars. And the Burial Jar, with an actual skull, and bones in it caught my attention. I was hoping to finish those lines off but I left it like so as I hurried out realizing my friends left me inside the room by myself. There was a certain chill in the room. Then again, it could be just the airconditioning. But I was not staying long enough to find out though.

The second floor was the strict photo restriction area. It was nice to see coffin logs, talismans, and love potions there. And we were mostly drawn to witchcraft, and the voodoo doll with a pin sticking on it. Or maybe because we were too excited for the Siquijor trip we were planning before ending the trip. 
When we got to the third floor which probably the alcove of the building, the photo restrictions were lifted, and you could tell how excited we were talking shots after another. The dark wood beams that frames the roof was a good contrast to everything white. You would see panels of history printed to take you down the Philippines history lane. The items you would see here are old paraphernalia of print media, items in the academe, and education. The Silliman Hall & Anthropology Museum would be very educational for the young travelers, and a trip down history for the adults in the group.
You might like to read DUMAGUETE CITY related posts here:
En Route Dumaguete | Daylight on the Road

Why Taking Pictures In Museums is Prohibited

I’ve always been a museum nutcase. Excursions to museums was a favorite during my grader years. I must have liked it so much, because, now, I would try not to miss visiting a museum if time allows. Museums are like banks that holds treasures of history, and creativity for me. It houses artifacts, and are home to masterpieces from famous artists of their time, and of ours. It’s kinda like a structure that contains the past in the present, and preserving them for the future. And other museums are now interactive. More than a place for learning, it is also entertaining, and engaging. But do you ever wonder why some museums do not allow picture taking inside? Don’t you just hate that?

Taking pictures inside some museums is prohibited for some reasons. Some, and not all museum, a certain area, or specific artifact/s may have high restrictive photo policies because:
1] Intellectual Property. Some museums have very specific intellectual property rights agreement with their donors, and lenders. These museum is to provide the restrictive policy, and it is easier for them to carry it out to an area, or gallery, or the whole museum as a no picture taking area to safeguard their contract.
2] To Conserve the Artifact. A rule of the thumb: Never take photos of paintings. Whether if it be oil, watercolor on canvas, wood, a sculpture, or what. And also on artifacts that has surfaces that are sensitive to light exposure. Ahem. The very same reason behind why museums keep a low lighting, or those fancy light fixtures that are not directed straight on or to the object.
3] Revenues. Museums has a way to control distribution of an image of an artifact through their catalogs, or postcards at their gift shops. A friend once asked me, why I bother buying him a postcard when I can get a picture if allowed. Keeping the postcard industry, and getting the Oh! Mr. Postman something to do are two of the other reasons that I do.
4] Prevention. Some may be done with a purpose to do harm, to reproduce, or other motives than just to take a souvenir shot. Hmmmm.. I know. I think I may have watched too much museum-breaking films. 
5] Causes Traffic. The more you loom over the art, the bigger the crowd that you seem to have formed. Maybe you have not noticed, but you’re not the only one inside the museum. And yes, they are paying visitors too. And no, they do not have the whole day that you may have.
6] and Lessens Art Appreciation. I like guided tours when visiting a museum for this reason because one might miss important details on an artifact, and it would be nice to have someone point it out for you. The more time we spend adjusting our camera settings, the less we try to pry on an objects details, and less time to study, and appreciate them.

So, okay, if you can take better photographs, and okay if you can work with low lighting, without flash, and still get an awesome shot. I get it. You must be one of those talented people out there. But with all due respect to the museum industry, or the postcard business, and your, uhm, credibility should those shots be seen by others who know better. It is always smart to ask if it’s okay to take a shot, or be sorry, and be called for because of ignorance.
There have been cases, when invited as a blogger versus than just a random traveler checking out the museum that photographs were allowed to be taken for documentation purposes. I have been lucky to visit a few museums lifting the restrictions and allowed us to take photographs inside, and around the place. And believe me when I say, how the little kid in me jumps around like crazy every time. If you happen to be lucky like that — still take the flash off, limit your shots, and, nicely, ask to what areas are allowable.

+ Ask if it is allowed to take pictures, or what areas are prohibited or restricted.
+ You can take a souvenir shot in front of the museum building or facade, or at the lobby. Most museums have a photo wall that are good backdrop for your souvenir shot.
+ They do have pamphlets with museum information. Usually I just take a picture of that one, and put it back. I do not what more papers stacked up, and getting those only increases their production demand for it. Unless they are useful for scrap booking, a photo of it is good to go.
+ Do not let photo restrictions stop, or hinder you to enjoy the museums! Come on now.
But most of the time —  like when I am traveling alone, and have no one take a photo of me — I aim the camera down and take a photo of my feet, and of the surface I am on when I  find myself in a museum where taking pictures is not allowed.

DUMAGUETE CITY | Silliman University Church Across the Field

The Silliman University Church is a favorite on campus. Right on the right side when you make your entry by the West Portal gate, you can see empty space that spreads, and a church at the other end of the field.

And I say that even if we were not lucky enough to visit the interiors of the church. I like the massive doors up front, that is without any carvings of some sort. Just your plain wooden planks held together, painted in white, and framed in near chestnut of colour to accentuate the old marble tile pattern on landing of the steps.
A typical American-influenced architecture, different to the churches built during the Spanich period that is rich of texture, massive, and solid structures. People say that it is Neo-gothic in architecture — but I would not know anything about that. But it does resemble old UCCP, and Methodist church. I wished we were able to visit the interiors. I’ve saw several images of it, and I was a bit disappointed that we were not able to check out for ourselves. 
But I was contented by the the large front lawn framed by lined Acacia trees with rich foliage spread in like a hood of an umbrella by it’s large branches.


The pews painted in Leprechaun green neatly arranged in a semi – circular pattern fronting the small church facade.
And a pathway so you will not disturb the green grass under your feet carpeting the field with only but small patches of brown showing the earth beneath it.
I could picture long, not-so-sunny afternoons here with anyone interesting, and comfortable enough even to sit there in silence.


But since I was traveling in a group, a thought of maybe a pen, and my journal with me on a lazy afternoon would suffice. But ofcourse, I kept that to myself. I was with friends with me that day, and travel is always different when you have company.