Monday, September 16, 2013

A day at the museum


I turned 23 last week! I took a time off from work to visit the National Museum because I haven't been there before despite spending my college years going back and forth to Manila. Surprisingly, a lot of people haven't either. 

It was silly of me not to take note of the directions before I left home. I thought I could locate it solely from memory. Well, I almost got lost (if not for my friend PJ who helped me through text).

It was an adventure, yes, but the feeling of not knowing where you're headed is without doubt, unsettling. Plus, I've always felt a stranger to this city. But I still enjoyed the mishap because you'll always learn something in the end.

I read here that one of the things happy people do differently is seek out an experience that is beyond the boundaries of their comfort zone. The article points out that:
"Happy people, are, simply put, curious....Curious people generally accept the notion that while being uncomfortable and vulnerable is not an easy path, it is the most direct route to becoming stronger and wiser."
Let's just agree that no truer words were ever spoken. For there is no other source of knowledge better than experience! So there I was, one Tuesday morning, in an almost desolate place.
The museum has two buildings; one for the historical artifacts and the other for the art exhibit. As I walked through the hallways of the first building, I wasn't impressed at what I saw. The galleries were old, the floors creaked on every step, and the materials used to present the pre-historic collection were (for a lack of better word) boring. I hope I didn't have to say these but that was the impression it gave me.

But as I progressed on the second floor, and the next, it began to grow on me. I especially liked the ones on the topmost, where traditional textiles and weaves were exhibited. I learned that bare arms used to be unacceptable for some of our ancestral groups. Their ornaments were taken off only once or twice a year--when it needs to be replaced or when the wearer goes into mourning. Interesting...

A long wall of portraits stood on one side and it showcases our rich and colorful heritage which I'm sure anyone would be so proud of. It was clearly a much updated gallery compared to the previous ones. Imagine my excitement when I finally entered the second building.

The first thing I saw was Juan Luna's Spolarium which was breathtaking in person! Sitting right in the middle of a very large room, this painting is bordered by what I assume to be the thickest framework there is.It was held by equally thick chains which perfectly matched the vibe of the art itself. I couldn't take a decent photo of its grandeur. It's something one must see firsthand.

The galleries here really made up for what the other building lacked. Works of many amazing Filipino artists whom I only read from the pages of our Art Appreciation book, now in front of me. The likes of Guillermo Tolentino, Fernando Amorsolo, Juan Luna, etcThis trip was worth the hassle especially for those who are interested in doing something educational. Haha! It's a 150 pesos well spent. For me at least!

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