IA#4: Museum visit 1

Museum is place where interesting and valuable things can be found like paintings, sculptures, artifacts and etc. These things were preserved, restored and collected to be shown to public. There are several museum in the Philippines, and one of them is National Museum along Taft Avenue. This is not my first time in National Museum. I’ve been there before through an educational tour when I was in high school and elementary. However, I wasn’t able to appreciate the masterpieces because I was too young back then.

Spolarium by Juan Luna (Oil on Canvas)
The huge masterpiece was declared as Pambansang Yamang Pangkalinangan. It adresses social injustices and death when it was painted. It was made when we are still a colony of Spain and it probably wants to show what it is like to live during the spanish era in the Philippines. What is great about it is that it’s still relevant until today especially the extrajudicial killings that is happening in the our country now.

Bihag by Edgar Talusan Fernandez (Oil on canvas)

The painting was made in 1985 which is a time towards the end of Marcos regime. It shows the unjust and cruel exercise of authority during the martial law. Its one of the darkest time in Philippine history where Filipinos are prisoner (bihag) of its own government. With everyrhing that’s happening in our country today where people are being killed without due process, I hope that we’re not going to repeat the mistakes we have committed in the past. Once mistake is enough.

Children Playing in the River by Fernando Cueto Amorsolo (Oil on canvas)
I personally like this painting for it reminds me of my childhood playing in riverbanks and rice fields with my cousins whenever I came to our province to spend summer vacation. The painting depicts the difference of children then and now. I’m glad that I grew up knowing what is real meaning of playing where I personally meet friends unlike today. It’s saddening that children nowadays play virtually through computers and video games.

Magtanim ay di biro by Agustin Goy (Oil on canvas)
The painting unveils how hard a farmer’s life is. Farming is a usual job for Filipinos especially in provinces and rural areas. It is one of the hardest job to do but they don’t usually receive a fair amount for their services rendered. I think we tend to overlook our farmers and its great that the artwork became an eye opener for us.

Experience by Lao Lian-Ben (Oil on wood)
Abstract is one of the hardest art to appreciate for not all people can easily understand it. I think its good that people will try to understand what it means which trains a person’s cognitive skills. I think it depends on the person on how to interpret the artwork base on its perception. Personally, the painting shows what we experienced, we are experiencing and we will experience. We should forget all the things that hurt us in the past and focus in the present and look forward for the future.

Retablo (side altar) by unknown artist (wood)
Philippines is a nation where about 90% of the population are catholics and is considered as the third largest catholic country in the world. The masterpiece came from a church in Dimiao, Bohol back in 18t century is one of many evidences that Filipinos are truly faithful even before. I believe that the spanish colonization era plays a vital role of what the Philippines have become especially in religion aspect.

Model for the Commonwealth Triumphal Arch by Guillermo Tolentino (Bonded marble and polychrome resin)
The sculpture shows people helping each other lifting the arch of Commonwealth. Commonwealth is an era of reform and empowerment for the Philippines. It was this time when Philippines received proper education system, organized economy, democratic institution, agrarian reforms and etc. This reforms were achieved through the Filipinos who act as one and help each other. I think we’ll be able to achieve our aspirations and dreams for our country if we act as one nation.

Batong Monreal (Monreal Stones)

It’s a huge chunk of stones with symbols engraved on it which is believed to be baybayin or alibata. Alibata is considered as the oldest system of writing in the Philippines. Filipinos used it even before the Spaniards came. Being able to discover an evidence of our oldest alphabet would tell so much about our undocumented and unwritten history. It may be useless to learn baybayin in present time but I think it’ll bring out our identity as Filipinos without the influence of any colonizers.

Our visit in National Museum is more fun, mind-blowing, exciting and thrilling than I expected. I thought I won’t be able to appreciate it for I’m not an artistic person. However, I just realized that art is beyond its beautiful colors, lines, curves and etc. It represents a country’s citizens, culture, history, politics, social issues, environment and an artist’s imagination, ideas, experiences, mood, character and personality. Lastly, we don’t have to be artistic to appreciate arts, we just have to be open-minded and try to embrace its meaning.

More pictures: