I came across an article posted by my friend Nadia about the free admission for kids at the Ayala Museum from the 26th to the 30th. The article says that there will be activities for kids to join and kids-approved exhibits like the Diorama of the Philippine History and the Rizal Virtual Reality experience.
For me, a trip to the museum is always a good thing so I asked my husband if we could go before New Year. Since we were going to Pasay today, we decided to include the museum in our itinerary.
Fourth floor down
What greeted us was beautiful OPM music played by a violinist at the cafe across the museum. We already heard the music while walking the bridge that connects the malls and then found out it was live music. Ooh, what a joy! We let the kids sit and listen for a while before seeing the exhibits.
At the reception, we were told that we can only take photos in the second floor and of the featured exhibit, Curated by Federico de Vera.
Ayala Museum has four floors. We were advised to start at the top and work our way down to the ground floor.
Gold of our Ancestors
The exhibit at the highest floor was all about Gold of our Ancestors: Pre-Colonial Treasures in the Philippines. There was a short video that explains about the exhibit as soon as you come in, but you get to read short texts about the pieces displayed as you check each one out.
I tried to discuss some of these pieces with the kids and talk about how it was during the pre-colonial times. I thought it was fascinating to know that colonizers were shocked (my words) when they first came here and found our natives wearing jewellery as part of their everyday clothing. Makes me wonder if that triggered the invasions of our lands.
Did you know that our natives wore headpieces that indicate their position in society? I think that people around them recognize this by the size of their crowns and the intricacy of their designs.
Fernando Zobel and The Ascuncion Legacy
Third floor featured the works of Fernando Zobel and the Ascuncion family collection. There was such a great distinction between both exhibits.
The Ascuncion art works were more classic and realistic in style. They made a lot of portraits of different men and women, most likely family or relatives.
Fernando Zobel’s works were modernistic and abstract. I thought they were all nice pieces, but I loved the one with the figure of man the most because I understood what it was.
Curated by Federico de Vera
The Ayala Museum official website best describes the exhibit, Curated by Federico de Vera as:
The exhibition Curated by Federico de Vera is a rare gathering of some of the most superlative examples of Philippine fine art, artifacts, religious figures, and miscellaneous objets d’art. Its curation involves the deliberate effort to mingle objects of different periods, styles, forms, and function to present the beauty and complexity of Philippine history and culture. Each object, selected after sifting through the Philippine’s leading museums and prestigious private collections, and their meticulous juxtapositions are exhibited to prompt awe, curiosity, and reflection.
For me, each art piece evoke different interpretations. They don’t seem to all belong to the same genre.
There were a lot of religious paintings and church artifacts on display that show our catholic influence, and there were some that felt a bit too dark (and too scandalous) for me. But that’s art for you, haha!
The Diorama of Philippine History
The kids enjoyed the Diorama of Philippine History exhibit the most. In fact, Pablo, our eldest, begged for more time to read all the texts and admire each diorama. I was thrilled! Today, our kids learned more about our history than we’ve taken up in our home school.
There were dioramas that depicted the blood treaty between the Spaniards and the Filipinos, the Galleon Trade, the massacre of Chinese people, and the history of University of Sto. Tomas, and so much more. It was like a crash course on our journey to independence.
My favorites are that of Gregorio del Pilar at the Battle of Tirad Pass and the capture of Macario Sakay. Their final words which they included in the texts, and how they have given their lives to win freedom for our country moved me to love the Philippines even more.
“I realize what a terrible task is given me. And yet I feel that this is the most glorious moment of my life. What I do is done for my beloved country. No sacrifice can be too great.” – Gregorio del Pilar
“Death comes to all of us sooner or later, so I will face the LORD Almighty calmly. But I want to tell you that we are not bandits and robbers, as the Americans have accused us, but members of the revolutionary force that defended our mother country, the Philippines! Farewell! Long live the Republic and may our independence be born in the future! Long live the Philippines!” – Macario Sakay
Jay, on the other hand, said he wasn’t aware about the British invasion during the Spanish colonization period, and how that played a role in weakening the Spanish regime. So he was glad to learn something new about our history.
The Diorama Experience is described in Ayala Museum’s official website as:
Carved by artisans from Paete, Laguna, the dioramas are unique achievements in woodcarving as well as in miniature painting and decoration. They depict sixty major events and themes in history, from prehistoric Philippines to the recognition of Philippine independence by the United States in 1946. The exhibit culminates with People Power, a multimedia presentation that chronicles significant events, including the tumultuous 1950s and the riotous martial law years, that led to the First EDSA People Power Revolution in 1986.
The Diorama and the VR experience are permanent exhibits at Ayala Museum, Curated by Federico de Vera is not.
The Diorama is numbered from one to 54-ish (not sure, but it’s definitely past 50), and it was very interesting, even to our 6-year old.
However, there are plenty of stations which might be a bit too much to take for the younger ones, so take it easy.
We also went through the Philippine textiles section where they have panels that the kids can pull out to see the different clothing the indigenous people used to wear. They enjoyed that one.
Out before dark
We really enjoyed our time at Ayala Museum. We went in at 3 PM and left before dark. I wish I can post more photos because I really do have more, but I’d rather that you go and see the exhibits yourself because they are beautiful!
I googled on the benefits of taking your kids to the museum and here are a couple of blogs that I found:
The Importance of taking kids to the museum by Rebecca Gross
Educational benefits for bringing kids to the museum by Mommy University
Ayala Museum is open on Wednesdays to Fridays, except on Holidays. If you want to book a visit with your kids, here are the details: