Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Book Museum Cum Ethnology Center (Marikina Heights, Marikina City)

Book Museum and Ethnology Center
127 Dao Street, Marikina Heights, Marikina City
(02) 5704449

One of the smallest book in the world can be found in Marikina! And in this age of eBooks, it is no longer a ludicrous probability that real books will all end up in a museum. It is sad that the probability of real books (where you can actually touch and feel the pages) being replaced by the more convenient eBook is becoming more of a reality. In fact, it is now becoming more difficult to find real chess books. If you are asked, what do you think is better - an eBook or a real book? Perhaps, it is just a matter of preference. One hard argument for preferring the latter is you can put thousands of eBooks in a single gadget like a cellphone which in turn you can simply put in your pocket. The font and its size can be adjusted depending on your comfort. If you desire to search for the meaning of a particular word, all you have to do is press that word when reading an eBook.

A visit to the Book Museum Cum Ethnology Center can somehow give you other insights on the raging "eBook vs. real book debate". I recognize that an eBook has its advantages. However, a real book has a certain value that cannot be matched by an eBook. A real book is tangible property that can be displayed on a shelf for everyone to see and admire! A real book is art itself - just like a sculpture that can trigger a multitude of emotions. Once I saw what is considered as one of the smallest book in the world in this museum, I immediately knew I was not just seeing a book but a work of art in itself and a historical evidence!  The moment I saw the "first edition books" displayed in this museum, I actually saw how life was during that time. A real book is like a painting whose value can be dictated by provenance itself.

I admired every display in this Book Museum Cum Ethnology Center. The collection showcased not only books but other artifacts from a diverse Philippine culture. The marble sculpture of a foot that greets you in this two storey with other adjacent structures being built during our visit is a symbol of the owner's rare achievement of traveling to almost all countries in the world.

Aside from the smallest book, what should not be missed here is the unique Maranao Chess Set (male and female) described as "a form of recreation for those belonging in the upper class". I wonder why there is a different set of chessboard for male and female? Anyway, this shows that different regions in the country has its own way of depicting chess pieces like in Maranao and in Ifugao.

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