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The Ayala Museum in Greenbelt, Ayala Avenue in Makati

I had a wonderful time visiting the Ayala Museum last June 19th as they celebrate the International Museum Day. The entrance is absolutely free so I took advantage of it. The theme is via the hashtag, #InspireEveryDay which we answer via paper or social media accounts on how do we inspire people in our own ways. I have been to this museum a few times already and I always come back.  Ambeth Ocampo’s funny lectures about our historical figures is one example. I was there when he talked about FernandoAmorsolo’s portrait of the artist as historian, Doble Kara: Rizal In Art andMonuments and Japan in Philippine History. His most recent talks I regret to not blog about it as I became busy but I was there as well.

Because of this opportunity, I was able to revisit and take a look inside of the many exhibitions that I have seen a few times already. For me a one-time visit to a particular place like Ayala Museum that holds so much of stories from our rich history won’t do good for you to understand what is it all about so here I am.

The place is jam-packed mostly with students and teachers from around the metro. I am lucky to have arrived just after lunchtime so the line is quite short but just after about 30 minutes the crowd becomes double and the lines kept getting longer every minute.  What I love about Ayala Museum is that it is situated in a prime destination which is in Greenbelt. It is in the heart of a shopping place where a lot of people visit.  

Unlike other museums that you really had to exert efforts to come and see it, Ayala Museum won’t cost you a sweat. I made this post to invite more people to be more appreciative of our heritage by citing Ayala Museum as one of the way. Let me give you a glimpse of what you will see there. I would like to show more pictures but since this is a private museum, we have to respect their policy that you cannot take photos in some parts of it.

The Ayala Museum is made of 4 floors. The Ground Floor Galleries holds contemporary exhibits of leadng Filipino artists in various media like large – scale paintings, installation works and videos. The Second Floor Galleries  showcases a 60 Diorama experience about the major events of the Philippine history from prehistoric times to the recognition of Philippine independence by the USA in 1946. The most recent addition are photos and multimedia presentation of the Marcos, Aquino during the Martial Law.  Sharing in the same floor are representations of different maritime vessels. This is a one-of-a-kind boat gallery showcasing miniatures of the different watercrafts that plied the Philippine seas and contributed to the development of our maritime trade and colonial economy.  You can take photos of these for as many as you want. Just make sure don’t use the flash.

The Third Floor Galleries shows  75 paintings of Fernando Zobel. He is a prominent painter in the late 19th century to the 20th century. He lived in Manila, Boston & Providence in the USA and Madrid, Spain. His most noted citations are the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts in 1983 from Spanish of Ministry and the Presidential Medal of Merit from our Philippine government.

The Fourth Floor Galleries hold two of the most priceless possessions of this Museum: a gold and ceramics exhibits which I am sure you will drop your jaws in awe.  The Gold of Ancestors Pre-colonial Treasures in the Philippines  features more than one thousand gold objects that existed in the Philippines before the colonization in 16th century. Note that these are REAL if not PURE objects made of GOLD.  One of the most spectacular display that I would like you to check out is the a gold sash from Surigao. It weighs 4kg and is worn over the left shoulder and diagonally across the chest. This cord is referred to as “Upavita” or the hHndu symbol of purity and birth.

Second is A Millenium of Contact: Chinese and Southeast Asian Trade Ceramics in the 
Philippines. Here you will see an amazing collection of ceramics from Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Southern China and Guangdong Province that existed as early as 10th – 11th century.

Photos cannot be taken the 3rd and 4th floor exhibits so let’s leave the delight to your own eyes when you come here.  A plus bonus when visiting Ayala Museum is while traversing back and forth to these galleries, from the glass windows you can see the spectacular view of the Greenbelt shopping center. I am sure that after your visit, you will surely be enticed to drop by here to go on a shopping spree, attend a mass in Greenbelt chapel, watch a movie, dine in your favorite restaurant or just stroll around.

For regular days, the entrance fee is P250 each. For more details of Ayala Museum, you may check their official Facebook Fan page here

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