Old water tank repository of Capiz artifactsBy Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
ROXAS CITY—Capiz’s repository of cultural and historical memorabilia and artifacts is a century-old water reservoir at the heart of the city.
The “Ang Panublion” museum, derived from the Hiligaynon term for “heritage,” is housed in a cylindrical tank that had served as the main water storage facility of residents for decades.
Built in 1910 during the administration of Pastor Alcazar, then the president (mayor) of Capiz town (former name of Roxas City), the tank provided water to the people, especially during the dry months.
The tank is 6.10 meters high and has a diameter of 11.5 m and wall thickness of 4 centimeters. It stands on Hughes Street near City Hall and the Immaculate Conception Metropolitan Cathedral.
When it was still functional, water flowed from catchments of the municipal building and an underground water stream to the tank. People would line up to get water from a spout in front of the museum, according to Bryan Argos, museum curator and acting city tourism officer.
During World War II, the municipal building burned down and the water tank was hidden from public view because offices were built around the structure.
With the creation of the Metro Roxas Water District and the construction of the Paslang pumping station as a main water source in the late 1980s, the tank ceased to be the main water source of most of the residents.
In 1993, the offices were transferred to the present City Hall and the water tank became visible again. That year, the facility was converted into a museum upon the initiative of a group of private individuals.
The tank structure was maintained though and it underwent only minor modifications, including repainting, flooring and the construction of an administrative office, exits and windows.
The museum contains artifacts of the indigenous group Panay-Bukidnon, such as weapons and utensils, as well as antique collections and memorabilia of prominent residents of both city and province. It is also home to photo exhibits of outstanding Capiceños.
A permanent section contains the memorabilia of the late President Manuel Roxas, a native of Capiz.
Argos said the museum receives 10-15 walk-in visitors daily, aside from groups of students on study tour.
Aside from learning from the artifacts and memorabilia, the visitors are oriented about the building’s historic past.