Located at Padre Burgos Street, Manila City, sat the two branches of The National Museum of the Philippines—the National Gallery of Art and the Museum of the Filipino People, where we went first. As we enter the hallway that leads to the first floor exhibits, we were greeted by a native Nipa hut complete with things that our ancestors used in the past. That same floor also houses the San Diego wreck site though it is a restricted area.
We then went up to the next floor where it features the coming of the Spaniard merchant vessels in our country, our contacts with the other countries in terms of trade and commerce, as well as the Linnaeus and the Linnaeans. At the third floor, there were three galleries: The Origin (Pinagmulan), where it presents information on the origin of the Philippines and its people. It retold the story of how the Filipinos lived during the four pre-historic period—Paleolithic; Neolithic; Metal; and Ceramic Age.
The second gallery is the Filipinos Today (Kinahinatnan), which features the diversion of our culture because of the influences of different countries and how colorful and beautiful it is. The last gallery is the Archaeological Treasures (Kaban ng Lahi), that showcases the burial jar collection and the importance of burial practice. The last floor was divided into two galleries. First one is the Kisame: Visions of Earth on Heaven that exhibits tons of photographs of ceiling paintings from Bohol colonial churches. It obviously displayed the religiosity of the Filipinos.
The last gallery is all about the Biodiversity Exhibit, which shows the various flora and fauna in the country. After a couple of hours in the Museum of the Filipino People, we headed to National Gallery of Art. Although it is under renovation, it still welcomed visitors for free! The first gallery is called “The Hall of Masters” as it features the works of 19th century Filipino painters, Juan Luna and Felix Hidalgo. The main attraction is the very famous Spolarium by Luna and opposite to it is Hidalgo’s “The Assasination of Governor Bustamante and his son”.
As we move to the second floor, there is the fantastic Bones Exhibit. It displayed the skeletal remains of different animals—from mammals (including that of a human) to reptiles, to crustaceans and birds—that can be seen in the Philippines. At the center of the gallery is the humongous bone of a juvenile sperm whale. The last gallery on the third floor features the clothing of native Filipinos, and how it was made. REACTION: It was actually my first time to visit these museums and I was really glad that I already had the chance to.
Although we spent almost five hours around the museum, I personally regret nothing. Every bit is worth the time. Seeing all those exhibits renewed my nationalistic heart and I’m more proud now to be a Filipino, realizing that we have tons of artistic countrymen and that there works are worthy of admirations. I’m also more aware now of our culture and how colorful it really is. I was really happy to see how our ancestors lived and how it evolved to our current lifestyle. I realized that why patronize foreign culture if you have your own that is way fun, right?
Courtney from Study Moose
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