The Geronimo Berenguer de los Reyes Jr. Foundation, Inc.'s museum and fine arts collection in General Trias, Cavite, is dedicated to the preservation and display of the finest examples of Philippine-related rare books, maps, prints, and historical documents. The Foundation has placed special emphasis on the conservation and reproduction of 19th and early 20th century photographs of the Philippines.
The Foundation's goal is to preserve and make accessible for this and future generations the Philippines' rich and vibrant national heritage.
The concept of a museum and art collection began more than twenty-five years ago as the dream of Mr. Geronimo Berenguer de los Reyes, Jr., a successful entrepreneur with a passion for European and Asian art and a love for Philippine history. Mr. de los Reyes is the son of a distinguished Manila family which taces its roots back to Chinese-Malayan, Crisanto de los Reyes. Crisanto , a prosperous Manila landowner and manufacturer, outfitted ships at the port of Cavite, and was one of the primary supporters of the famous Cavite Mutiny of 1872.
This historic event culminated in the execution of Fathers Gomez, Burgos and Zamora, and the exile to Spain of de los Reyes and two fellow patriots and friends Maximo Inocencio and Enrique Paraiso. The Cavite Mutiny proved to be the forerunner and catalyst for the great Philippine Revolution of 1896. The Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, was so moved by these events and the fate of the martyred priests that he was directly influenced in the writing of his epic novels, "Noli Me Tangere," and "El Filibusterismo."
The Foundation is now headed by Ma Lourdes G. Herrera as President. It has acquired for the museum a substantial number of rare works documenting Philippine history and the first significant European and American contacts with the Philippines. This material covers a time span from the inception of the European Age of Discovery, or late 15th century. The focus of the collection is on the Philippines with additional rare books, maps and works of art directly pertaing to important early voyages of exploration throughout the Pacific region, East and Southeast Asia.