Sunday, November 04, 2012

a trip to the National Museum

In a bid to get more Filpinos to visit the museum, the National Museum announced that they would waive the P100 entrance fee for the whole month of October!

 My officemates were itching to see it and we now had no more excuses not to go.Yes, we're a lazy bunch.

The National Museum used to be the Senate building before they moved to the GSIS.
The renovated Senate Hall

MY family has actually been to the Museum of the Filipino People, which is just on the other side of the road but the main art gallery was closed then, so this was my first visit ever.

One of the highlights of the trip is seeing Juan Luna's massive work, the  Spoliarium.
It is 23 feet wide x 13 feet tall. And to think I was complaining about how huge 2feet x 3feet was for my Pagcor painting! 
I asked a lady guarding the paintings if this was Juan Luna's wife and she said she didn't know. Well a little reaearch said she was Maria de la Paz Pardo de Tavera, Luna's wife. In a fit of jealousy, Luna killed her and her mother. Luna was acquitted on grounds of temporary insanity daw.

There are more artworks on display but the ones that most fascinated me were the works of Amorsolo, Manansala and Botong Francisco. Francisco's 4 huge paintings depicting the progress of medicine in the Philippines is interesting because it was recently restored and moved to the museum to save it from deteriorating at the PGH.

There's also a lengthy write up interpreting the paintings and how I wish there were more write ups like this because there was hardly any information about most of the other works on display. There were no brochures and when I asked one of the ladies guarding the works about Luna's painting, she had no clue. Which is a shame since a lot of visitors would also have lots of questions about the works. So I suggest that would-be visitors read up on these painters before going to the museum until they come up with a brochure or knowledgable tour guides. Which might not be in the near future because I hear it's losing money just paying for the electric bills.
Detail on painting2.  Notice the manananggal and otherwordly creatures?

It's such a shame that we don't go to museums as often as we go to the malls. Yes, the entrance fee might be the reason but during the free month, most of the visitors were students who were probably too busy thinking of what to write in their reaction papers than appreciating the beauty of the artworks.
Maybe ABSCBN or Star Cinema should shoot a movie or soap opera here to get more people to visit.  They'd flock here looking for their John Lloyd or Bea and leave with a little more pride and culture, too!

Unfinished Amorsolo
Basta, I'm so proud of my officemates. So many of us went there when we found out it was free! :D I hope all our facebook posts also raised their friends' interest to visit it, too!

Some reminders: Cameras are allowed, as long as you don't use the flash. No food and water allowed. Big bags will have to be left at the counter. There's no museum cafe but SM Manila is just a few meters away.

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