What used to be only imagined of Mindanao culture from the descriptions found in history books can actually be seen right at the heart of Cagayan de Oro City.
Drawing crowds from the academe to history buffs, the Capitol University Museum of Three Cultures is the latest cultural attraction that boasts of Mindanao culture shown through its museum objects that weave the story of the three communities.
Opened last year, the museum has showcased distinct cultural groups in Mindanao specifically the M'ranao of Marawi, the migrant lowland cultures of Iligan, Cagayan de Oro, and the Indigenous Peoples of Northern Mindanao.
The first gallery that welcomes visitors is the "Kasaysayan". It houses the collection of rare period photographs of Cagayan de Misamis and Northern Mindanao.
You would also see huge Spanish bottles used as containers of perfumes traded during the Hispanic era.
There are also Chinese porcelain and pottery from Butuan City's archeological sites.
A visit to this museum would best complement classroom learning of Philippine history and Mindanao culture as you would personally see, not just visualize and imagine, historical objects which form a significant mark in history.
The second division of the three-part museum is the Posaka M'ranao which showcases the owner Madame Laureana San Pedro Rosales' collection of antique M'ranao brasswares, jewelry, musical instruments, textiles, wooden crafts etc.
Rosales' collection is dubbed as the most extensive collection of M'ranao antiquities of Mindanao culture. She was able to own artifacts of gold, silver, and ivory including M'ranao heirlooms of Chinese blue and white wares from the Sung Dynasty.
Most of these original antiquities come from the artisan village of Tugaya, Lake Lanao.Also, guests can personally play some of the musical instruments displayed in the museum. This is intended for guests to fully appreciate the rich artistry of M'ranao Mindanao culture.
The third gallery is called Rawari, a Lumad name of the river that traverses from Matigsalug to Manobo countries of Southern Bukidnon. Here, local artists find a home for their artworks as this gallery is especially designed to cater to the display of art of exhibitors.
To get in, public school students are only charged P5, private school students with P20, visitors of Cagayan de Oro with P100, while a family regardless of size is charged P150.
It is open daily from 9am to 12 noon, 2pm to 6pm except Mondays. Group tours under Museum Docents (tour guides) can be pre-arranged through the office.
The visit to the Museum of Three Tribes is also part of the Mindanao culture tour attractions of Northern-Western Mindanao travel and tour package designed by the Mindanao Tourism Council and the Davao Council of Travel and Tour Operators and Allied Agencies offered to local and foreign tourists.