By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora
Tourist can now experience an enhanced trip at the historical Mt. Samat Shrine of Valor as it launched Thursday its augmented reality-enhanced war museum, the first heritage site to offer such digital innovation in the country.
“The introduction of the 3D Augmented Reality feature in the Underground Museum made Mt. Samat the first historical site and war museum in the country with the AR technology,” Mt. Samat Flagship Tourism Enterprise Zone (FTEZ) Administrator Francis Theodore Initorio said.
The Mt. Samat FTEZ, under the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), initially proposed the project in 2018 as part of the initiative to have a new curatorial design in the Underground Museum.
Its first phase includes the integration of computer-generated content and animation overlaid on the war museum exhibit, which can be seen through an AR mobile application.
The virtual reality system, meanwhile, will be unveiled in the last phase of the project, while more AR codes and digital features are expected to be integrated in various facilities of the Shrine of Valor in the second and third phases.
These full features will be introduced to the public next year, according to TIEZA.
“The AR technology is actually being eyed by the DOT to be used in top tourist destinations and historical sites, like the Mt. Samat Shrine of Valor, Intramuros and Corregidor. It’s an added feature that will encourage the youth to visit historical sites, and to understand the Philippine history better by using new technology and gadgets,” said Atty. Karen Mae Sarinas-Baydo, assistant chief operating officer of TIEZA for TEZ Management Sector.
The Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), meanwhile, extended its message of support to the latest initiative for the war museum.
“The PVAO supports the use of digital innovation in the war museum. We expect that this will lure more tourists to Mt. Samat,” said Brig. Gen. Restituto Aguilar, the chief of PVAO Veterans Memorial and Historical Department.
A series of life-sized diorama of the Battles of Bataan in the war museum is also eyed in the historical landmark, which will be similarly equipped with AR and virtual reality. (PNA)