HAU-CKS launches vintage fan exhibit, digital kiosks for best-ever museum experience

The Center for Kapampangan Studies (CKS) of Holy Angel University (HAU) launched on Friday, May 26, a new mini-exhibit of vintage fans entitled “Unfolding History: PAMEPE”, at its groundfloor museum, featuring some 14 pre- and post-war Spanish and European “abanicos” from the collection of Dr. Jose Valencia IV of San Fernando.

HAU OIC President Mr. Leopoldo N. Valdes, with Dr. Valencia, led the Ribbon Cutting, assisted by CKS Executive Director Mr. Robby Tantingco and Museum Curator, Alex D. Castro, with key CKS staffers Myra Paz Lopez and Leo Calma Jr.

Visitors marveled at the artistry of the period fans that had European scenes painstakingly handpainted on the fabric leaf and intricate fretwork carvings on the sticks. The collection was supplemented with period advertising and commemorative paper fans from the 1920s thru the 50s, given away by beauty care and beverage products.

“The pamepe has an interesting history”, says museum curator Alex Castro. “From a functional object that provides respite from the heat, the fan evolved to become a statement of style, symbol of status, and even a tool for courtship rituals—for flirting and messaging. This exhibit acknowledges the extraordinary place of the seemingly ordinary fan in our social history”.

In the same event, CKS Director Robby Tantingco revealed the latest developments in the region’s premier research center. The new attractions include digital kiosks where visitors can access digitized Kapampangan dictionaries, songs, games, videos, apps translating English words into Kapampangan and converting letters into kulitan characters, a search engine for culinary destinations—all made by student volunteers and trainees from the HAU School of Computing and the Angeles City College, under the supervision of deans, advisers and Mr. Leonardo Calma Jr.

Innovations include new technologies such as quick-response (QR) codes that provide instant information on items in the museum, as well as augmented reality (AR) or computer-generated images that are integrated in the exhibits.

The Center is also allotting a space where seasonal exhibits alternate with cultural performances like polosa and poesya, and a “school of living traditions” where invited artists can pass on folk arts and crafts to young Kapampangans, like how to make parul and burarul, pukpuk, letras y figuras, kulitan, clay pottery, face casts, and how to compose Kapampangan music, prose and poetry.

The Center recently opened a new facility, the HAU History Room, where alumni can find information about their alma mater and batchmates through an interactive digital kiosk.

The Center also recently unveiled a repainted retablo and the bas-relief artwork “Limbun.”

Aside from the Center for Kapampangan Studies and the HAU History Room, the University also has the Pinatubo Museum and the Museum of Kapampangan Arts, featuring the largest collection of sketches by National Artist Vicente Manansala.

The PAMEPE exhibit at the CKS museums is now open for viewing, from Monday to Friday at 8 am-5 pm.