Trip to the National Museum’s Art Gallery

October 28th was the 114th anniversary of the National Museum of the Philippines. I must humbly admit that, to my honest shame, I was unaware of this fact till I returned to the Museum’s FB page today. That date is special because it happened to be the day that I entered the halls of the Museum for the first time in my entire life!

And I was not disappointed…

Why it took me this long to pay the place a visit may be the subject of another post. But the reasons I took my kids there were, in order of importance:

  1. It is a long overdue field trip we needed to take to better appreciate our culture and history.
  2. It was Museums Month and admission was free.
  3. (Secretly) I’ve always wanted to go and see what was inside it (closet history buff here) so it was on the priority list but waiting for the right time.

If you need information about the latest exhibits and events, please click the link to the FB page above. The National Museum website contains information on the galleries, exhibits and other museums in the country although the information needs updating (as of this writing). I strongly recommend calling the Museum directly if you have questions on DSLR camera policies, child age limits, senior citizen discounts, etc.

The kids and I were overwhelmed with the  building, the National Art Gallery as well as the number of people and schoolchildren taking advantage of the free admission month. We were unable to see all of the galleries on the 3rd floor. We did manage to walk through, admire and study everything on the 2nd floor, including the section of the Berlin Wall that Germany gave to the Filipino people as a gift. A second visit is definitely in order.

The building that houses the Museum is old and built in the early 1900’s. Since I love old buildings I had to point out the unique historical architecture to the kids.

I can’t begin to describe all the artwork we saw. The work that had the greatest impact on me were Amorsolo’s work (captivating), the Spoliarium by Juan Luna y Novicio (literally jaw-dropping) and the El Asesinato del Gobernador Bustamante by  Félix Resurrección Hidalgo (a rather violent work depicting members of the church that also had me gaping!).

My youngest had his own favorites – a few sculptures and a portrait of Jose Rizal, one of the country’s heroes. My daughter was quite taken by the portrait of what appeared to be a young child asleep but had actually passed away. My older son, who was already tired from all the walking we did in the morning, was not too keen on the artwork. We had spent the morning at the Museum of the Filipino People which housed artifacts (cannons, burial jars and dead stuff) that was more exciting to him than the paintings (more of this in another post).

It was awesome! I was like a little kid in a candy store (and my kids heartily agreed). All those works and names from the books we studied came alive in that visit. It made the trip worth the sore feet we had when the day was over.

Just in case the National Museum website is down or you can’t click through the link, here’s a little help to get you started with your trip planning:

  • Closed on Mondays
  • Viewing hours: Tues to Sunday 10am to 5pm
  • Admission Fee (As of November 4, 2015): Students: PhP 50.00 / Adults: PhP 150.00
  • Contact for more info: +63 2 527 1215
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