The Señor of the National Museum's New Wing


The National Museum recently announced the soon to open new wing of the museum, posed to become the national artists' wing that will also feature 20th century art. If we look back in our history, this used to be the old legislative building (Congress) before it was moved to Batasan in the North.

There was a time when the Sandigan Bayan's grounds used to be my playground (but not because law and legislators were my thing and neither was I there on trial -_-'.) Let me tell you a short tale about a entity called "Señor".


"Señor" was a spirit I was told to acknowledge whenever I visit one of the old offices. Rumor has it that he haunts this 6-foot tall metal filing cabinet. It was a towering cabinet! (O.K. I was small human being.) It's right beside the coffee table in the middle of office so its hard to miss but hardly a suspicious looking thing.

To appease "Señor" one would have to ask permission to do their business in the area. For example: "Señor, kakain lang po muna kami", "Señor pahinga lang po muna kami" (I don't know about their siesta culture, I just recalled that being said so don't ask me), "Señor pa-patong lang po muna." I noticed this because it wasn't just one person doing it.

I, on the other hand, would only call out to him "Señor, lets eat". It was always merienda time or lunch time that I made any sort of communication with him. As a kid, I always wondered why this 'Señor' never showed up. I thought the only person worth calling Señor at that time was Sir Garchitorena, that is, then Preciding Justice Francis Gachitorena, whom I call "PJ" or "Mr. PJ". So sino ang tunay na Señor?!

I have this faint memory of the cabinet being open (you bet I was waiting for a skeleton to fall out) but it was just a regular filing cabinet.  When I asked about how "Señor" came to be, I was told that he might have been a spirit from the WWII who has been there since the peace time.

"Señor" is just one of those few vivid memories I have of the old SB. The staff probably told me this to straighten me up (ah, adults say the darnest things.) Ever since my last visit during the centennial celebrations, I have been on my toes whenever the topic of the Nat'l Museum is brought up. All the more I am excited to revisit these halls as they open it to the public.

Or I could just be too eager for Halloween.

Later Days.

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