The restored old Iloilo provincial jail will surely be an additional tourist attraction in the city as it is set to open as Western Visayas Regional Museum in the first quarter of 2018.
National Museum of the Philippines director Jeremy Barns and other officials recently inspected the beautifully retrofitted architecture formerly known as the Iloilo Rehabilitation Center (IRC) building. It is being planned to be inaugurated in time for Dinagyang Festival 2018, which is held every fourth weekend of January.
The restored building now has an elevated glass dome which was appealingly done, and a vibrant landscaping in its rooftop.
According to National Museum, the ground floor of the edifice will house five galleries which will feature the cultural and natural heritage of Panay Island and Negros Occidental.
Constructed in 1911, the old Iloilo provincial jail sits on a lot area of 868 square meters owned by the provincial government along Bonifacio Drive, Iloilo City.
It could hold over a thousand prisoners, and remained operational until it was abandoned in 2006 after the completion of a new provincial jail in Barangay Nanga, Pototan.
The conversion of the Iloilo provincial jail into regional museum is a pet project of Governor Arthur Defensor, as part of P430 milliom Iloilo Provincial Capitol Redevelopment Project. [Collage of photos by Paolo Dehan]