BPI celebrates Cebu’s rich culture at Gabii sa Kabilin

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), through its social development arm, BPI Foundation (BPIF), took part in Gabii sa Kabilin 2024, Cebu’s renowned cultural event.

Initiated in 2007, by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), Gabii sa Kabilin aims to celebrate Cebu’s rich heritage, cultivate a sense of identity and pride of place among Cebuanos, and help preserve local culture and heritage by encouraging the public to visit museums.

This year’s theme, “My Beloved Bisaya,” paid homage to Fr. Francisco Ignacio Alcina, S.J., who dedicated his life to serving the Visayan people and documenting their culture and tradition. By participating, the Bank of the Philippine Islands reaffirmed its commitment to social responsibility and its deep-rooted connection to the Cebuanos.

“BPI is honored to participate in Gabii sa Kabilin 2024, a celebration of Cebu’s rich heritage and vibrant culture. As the home of the third BPI branch in the Philippines, Cebu holds a special place in our history,” shared Carmina Marquez, BPI Foundation Executive Director.

Marking a century of service in Cebu, the Bank of the Philippine Islands celebrated this milestone with the museum exhibit, which served as a pre-celebration event for BPI’s centennial anniversary of banking presence in Cebu.

“For 100 years, we have been a proud partner of Cebuanos in their development. This is our way of giving back to the community that has supported us through the years,” said Maximo “Rey” Eleccion, BPI Cebu South and Bohol Area Business Director.

Visitors explored the untold story of El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel II – the country’s first bank, founded in 1851. The BPI Museum Cebu delved into the fascinating evolution of money circulation and banking experiences in the Philippines, specifically from 1492 onwards.

Among the historical artifacts on exhibit were rare coins from the year 1492, gold coins honoring Queen Isabella II, a commemorative bill worth 100,000 pesos, English and Japanese bank notes, as well as old vaults and old maps.

Early bird visitors enjoyed a special 30-minute guided tour led by Curator Carlos Apuhin. An audiovisual presentation was also shown, delving deeper into Cebuano history, the significance of BPI Museum Cebu, and the evolution of money in the Philippines. Guests were also treated to free massages from Cebuano Massage Therapists, adding a unique touch to the experience. The BPI Bayan Volunteers were also present during the event to welcome the visitors and assist them throughout their visit.

Beyond showcasing its history, the Bank of the Philippine Islands recognized the importance of financial empowerment for a brighter future. Participating in Gabii sa Kabilin allowed BPI to connect with the community, promote financial inclusion, and foster a lasting appreciation for Cebu’s culture.

“This participation was not just about celebrating the past, but also about empowering the future. BPI hopes to foster cultural understanding and a deeper appreciation for financial literacy within the Cebuano community. We aim to inspire a sense of community pride and equip future Cebuanos with the tools they need to thrive,” Marquez added.

The Ayala Foundation, through the Ayala Museum-Curatorial team, also contributed to BPI Museum Cebu’s redesign, led by Kenneth Esguerra and Aprille Tijam, working closely with Curator Carlos Apuhin.



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