imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

IN MY EYES: Priceless heritage: The RSQ museum, techno-park

If there is something the Province of Ilocos Sur should be proud of more, it should be the RSQ Techno-Park and Museum in Barangay Bannuar, San Juan, Ilocos Sur. It’s just a few steps away from the national highway going to Barangay Solot-solot.

I don’t know if you have seen it, but if you have, it’s always worth seeing it again and again and again.

It’s one in a million, fellas. The content is priceless.

It is a combination of local, international and even universal collections. The owner, Roland S. Quilala (RSQ), is no ordinary collector. He is the former president of the National Power Corporation (NAPOCOR) who rose from a mere utility man to become the top honcho of this GOCC.

The place is divided into 24 booths where each booth is a wonder in itself.

Stations 1 and 2 house a collection of stalactites, stalagmites and million-year-old rock formations. They also include polyp stones, some of which were taken in Baguio indicating that the city was once submerged in water. A wonder thing in here is a black elongated stone, remains of a meteorite that fell off the Sahara Desert in Libya.

The evolutions of things are vividly presented in the other 22 booth stations:

Kaansisitan features display of miniature power plants, folk houses, home appliances and other tiny collectibles.

Kasilagan features various buri products of San Juan town and the procedures in the making of these including the various tools used in production.

Kinawayanan has local and imported bamboo products including those from other Asian countries. Also featured here are two Vietnamese pillows made of soft bamboos.

Panagabel showcases ancient loom apparatus with all the tools associated to it plus the different abel products of old.

Sarut-Saririt is a laboratory shop for the first wave of tools, equipment and electronic appliances and their evolution from the olden times to the present.

The Panaderia-Miki-Opia station features bakery equipment used in producing the old “pan de sal” utilizing firewood in a “brick and clay” type to the use of tinsmithed gas ovens. The station also has old miki equipment but what is something else here is the opia clay oven called “pyalo.” Opia is a diet biscuit made of glutinous rice, flour, molasses and sesame seeds cooked in the charcoal-heated  pyalo.

Pandayan is an old blacksmith station consisting of anvil, blower, vises, mechanical drill and other gadgets. All kinds of San Juan blacksmith products are displayed in this station. Here, the evolution of the drill is also presented.

Caroceria and Sash Factory is where the processes in the production of cart wheels and capiz windows (kulintipay) are showcased.

Station 11 features animal-drawn vehicles such as the ancient calesa and the tilburin or single rider/sports vehicle.

The Carrosas come in next with the old carro for funeral delivery and a carro trailer for miscellaneous purposes.

The Vintage Cars Station houses a 1957 Chevrolet Sedan.

At the Farmer’s Yard are a dadapilan, plow and harrow set, anawang (barn for cooking sugar) and molino (rice mill), all old-fashioned.

The Children’s Playground has a seesaw, swing and glide.

Another wonderful station is the Pump and Water Wheels and Pools Station. It has bamboo hydraulic wheels, bicycle water wheel pump, electric jack pump, manual jack pump, water pitcher pump and jetmatic pump.

RSQ’s house, also called buri house, is also a museum in itself, fellas. The walls upstairs are made up of buri trunk woodbarks, so hard that according to RSQ could hardly be nailed.

The Downstair Sala consists of a cart body converted to wall cabinet containing a vast collection of seashells (conchology), old furnitures and miscellaneous bric-a-bracs. Outside the sala near the windows are vintage bicycles.

At the Downstair Kitchen is a cartwheel converted to chandelier, a 6-seater “dulang” and a 200-year old “lakasa” or baul. The sink is a giant shell.

At the Upstair Sala are displayed a buri bellang paneling, a gallery of photographs and driftwoods, hats and salakot collections, the evolution of the flat iron and also goldsmith tools and a working table.

Asuncion’s Room features an old maid’s bedroom complete with antique bed and other amenities.

The Mezzanine showcases the evolution of the sewing machine, the evolution of audio-visual equipment, bamboo roots converted to chandeliers, an old bamboo divider (kanser), vintage cameras and bamboo balusters.

The Family Hall is laden with antique furniture and ancient gadgets like the gramophone which was invented in 1887, phonograph, quadrosonic stereo system, harp and other musical instrument, a bamboo organ, mechanical clock time pieces, a lover’s cozy nook and other antique collections that awe any visitor.

The Upstairs Kitchen has the following in display: collection of old kitchen stoves, old kitchen wares and utensils, metal and stone grinders, pewter collections, china cabinet and wares and collection of weapons and bolos.

The 24th station is a house called the Ifugao Hut, an authentic 3-storey Mayoyao Ifugao hut transformed into a multipurpose hall and office. Inside the hut are also authentic Ifugao household materials from the first to the third floor. In the first floor could be seen the receiving and working areas, wildlife collections of deerhorns and leather, snake leathers, tortoise shells, shark teeth, reptile skins, miscellaneous toys and display of Chinese wines. In the second floor are the bedroom, kitchen, and dining room while in the third floor are the granary and stock room, the chimney and the portable ladder.

And what more? Museum tour is free until the provincial tourism office suggested a minimal fee per entrée for maintenance.

How much is the entry per head?

“It’s so minimal that it’s almost free and I can be reached anytime at 09063386256,” RSQ said.

He also serves as the tour guide.

“I invite all tourists, students and my fellow Filipinos to visit this museum, my humble contribution to countrymen,” he said.

To see is to believe, fellas.

Believe me. #