An art exhibit aims to promote the preservation and appreciation among the youth of some of the dying words in upland Cavite can still be viewed at Museo De La Salles’s Kalaw-Katigbak Room in Dasmariñas.
Titled “KUPKOP: Pagbuhay at Pagtaguyod sa mga Pawala Nang Salita Mula sa Diksyunaryong Isinulat ni Dr. Ruthmita Santos Hapin-Rozul” (Adoption: Enliven and Promote the Dying Words from the Dictionary written by Dr. Ruthmita Santos Hapin-Rozul), the exhibit located at the De La Salle University in-campus museum aims to recognize the value of language in heritage and culture.
It is based on the selection from Dr. Rozul’s dictionary which consists of a compilation of 2,651 Caviteño words collected directly from local informants to help document these words.
“Before they eventually disappear due to Cavite’s changing landscape,” said MDLS Museum Director Cecille Torrevillas-Gelicame in an interview on Friday.
A part of the museum’s “Glimpses of Cavite” project, Gelicame admits that the pre-exhibition process was long and tedious because, “in UNESCO’s cultural heritage domains, language, that is, oral traditions and expressions, are all part of Intangible Cultural Heritage”.
“Our challenge was: How do we exhibit language which cannot be touched, grasped, nor seen, something that is conceptual considering that MDLS is a lifestyle or heritage museum?” Gelicame said.
The MDLS exhibition team recognized that these “intangible” words would most of the time have their corresponding reference on tangible cultural heritage, which can either be movable (like artifacts, archival documents, artworks) and immovable (like sites and heritage structures), or to natural heritage (land and water, plants and animals).
The stories these tangible heritage tell relates to language and their cultural identities: the social practices that revolved around them that transcended generations (like indigenous farming or fishing practices), the expressions derived from a community’s experience or their geography (like “taga-labas” for those living outside the poblacion, and “taga-loob” for the old elites in the pueblo; or “maranao” which means people of Lake Lanao, explained Gelicame.
Taking all these concepts into consideration, the MDLS team believed that the best way to promote the preservation of these words is by showcasing tangible objects, for recall and association. Thus, a group of young artists from ASTRO LIKHA and DLSU-D artists were tapped for collaboration to bring new life and meaning to the words.
The exhibit features artworks mounted on individual panels to simulate an illustrated dictionary, Gelicame added.
The KUPKOP exhibit, which runs until February 29 next year, also hopes to stir interest and draw attention towards the revitalization and promotion of Caviteño languages.
“It is MDLS’ hope that these works will help provide visual memories as one recites and remembers the 25 representative words featured in the exhibition.”
But, most importantly, Gelicame adds, she hopes that the audience’s curiosity may arise to a desire to learn and explore more about languages.
The event, which opened on November 27, is also in celebration of the International Year of the Indigenous Languages for 2019.
MDLS is a lifestyle museum dedicated to the preservation of certain aspects & material culture of the 19th-century Philippine ilustrado lifestyle.
It is open Tuesday to Saturday and is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Gladys Pino)
News source: Philippine News Agency