Tagum City’s center for expression

The Tagum City Historical & Cultural Center

Art, music, history— capture these in a single stop in the City of Tagum. Undoubtedly, the Tagum City Historical & Cultural Center is one of the most exciting destinations of the city today. Rising from the former center of governance is the new home of expression. 

It is no surprise that what follows the home of the previous City Hall is another dynamic center for the booming art scene in all its form—visual, music, performance, history and learning. 

A wing for history. Preserving history, remnants and photographs of the old government building are on display in a designated space in the Kagikan: Museum of the Tagumenyo People, the first LGU-operated museum on the third level of the building. But it goes beyond memories of the old structure. 

Kagikan Museum of the Tagumnyo People

The old municipal building's wood truss exhibited at Kagikan Museum

Scale model of the old municipal building

Locals identifyinng Tagumenyos in old photographs

Kagikan has several interpretations like “beginning” and “extraction,” and the museum extracts everything about the city’s past, its origins, and it presents facts and figures of yesteryears that molded the place and the populace into what it is today. 

Did you know that Tagum was named after the Tagum River, which got its name from the plant “Tagum” abundant in the area in the olden days? 

In a timeline, Kagikan narrates in text, photos and exhibits fragments of the past, including the three peoples that shaped it- the Tipanud, Moro and the Dayo; the city’s cultural heritage; and the prominent figures instrumental in the the city’s modernization. 

The peoples of old Tagum

Hall of fabrics

A learning hub. Go a level down and enter the Tagum City Library and Learning Commons where the mood is young and hip yet kept conducive for studying. It’s quiet on the inside among the shelves of books with a welcome interruption of the bustling view of the city street minus its sound. 

Hip place to learn. One of the IG-able spots inside the library

A reminder

Kids' space

Merging modernity with the traditional, the library uses today’s technology and social media-worthy nooks with old-fashioned appointments. Whatever generation you belong to the card catalogue can and will draw awe and grins. It’s a discovery for some and nostalgia to others. 

Have you ever, or when was the last time you leafed through a library's card catalogue

Even the pre-schoolers can have fun while learning with a space created for them. To highlight the National Hero, a designated museum-like room is dedicated to Jose Rizal. 

A room dedicated to Jose Rizal

Home of visual arts. On the ground floor, the Tagum City Cultural Center Art Gallery is a head turner. Artworks whistle at you upon entry inviting you to graze the art pasture of Tagumenyo artists. Yes, the gallery was conceived for the local artists. With the rising stature of the city’s creative set in the Mindanao and national art scene, the rest of the city and its visitors should bear witness why it is so. 

Tagum City Cultural Center Art Gallery

The scene can stir the artists in every Tagumenyo to pursue the calling of the arts. With exhibitions constantly mounted, the budding artists can find their spaces on the walls of the gallery, perhaps even alongside the works by renowned art personalities. The Tagum City Cultural Center Art Gallery is truly a breeding ground for art. 

Take center stage. While the art gallery highlights visual arts, the Tagum Theater provides a stage for performing artists and their obras. Whether the act is performed live or captured in film, the Tagum Theater is the venue to showcase these expressions of creative arts. 

A stage for performance arts- the Tagum Theater (Photo by Tagum Tourism & Cultural Office)

The auditorium’s stage has been one of Tagum’s busiest art-inspired zones in the past months. It has hosted some of the most prestigious events in 2022, like the Mindanao Film Festival, the Tingusbawan Circa 1945 stage play and the Musika, Musikahan musical-variety show. 

The building’s architectural details? You might be wondering why a G-clef hugs the building. Apparently, “The Music Capital of the South” is a city’s moniker which makes music a creative influence on its design. The other interesting detail on the opposite side of the building is easy to miss out from the ground, but look out from the window on the top floor and catch the ebony and ivory piano keys designed on the floor of the seating area flanking the Freedom Park, the outdoor activity and performance venue for the center. 

Design details inspired by music

Tourism and cultural activities beyond the walls of center and across the city are conceived within the offices of the building. This is where the the City Tourism Office and the Tagum City Tourism Council meet to collaborate on events that make the city exciting. 

It’s not only gold that runs in the veins of the province, but the vibrant hue of arts and culture as well. With a hand on the heart, the Tagum Tourism and Cultural Center embraces these facets and can proudly declare, “We are Tagum.” 

Art is everywhere in the building

Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.

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