Manila Photo Walk for August Part 2: The National Museum

Thursday, September 29, 2011

After the Manila Central Post Office visit, we headed to the National Museum via jeepney again. There are actually 2 museums located next to each other, the National Museum – Art Gallery and the Museum of the Filipino People.

The National Museum contains the paintings and used to be the Legislative Building. The Museum of the Filipino People on the other hand houses the Anthropology and Archaeology departments of the National Museum and it used to be the Department of Finance building.

Admission is currently free to the National Museum because of all the renovations going on. SLR cameras are not allowed inside the museum but smaller point and shoot cameras are allowed as long as you don’t use your flash.

I’ve seen Juan Luna’s Spolarium for my Art Appreciation Class in DLSU. That class expanded my knowledge and appreciation for art thanks to our fabulous professor, Ms. Frances Sangil. To clarify things, I’m no art aficionado, genius or am cultured. I’m not at all. I do have a small culture bone in my body that I like indulging from time to time. I really wanted to go back to the National Museum to revisit the famous painting which is located near the museum entrance in the “Hall of Masters”.

Inside the Hall of Masters.

A group of military men were touring the museum.

THE Spolarium. It’s massive!

We took our time staring at the Spolarium. The aircon made us also stay longer. Haha

Also on the first floor, we ventured into the Hall of National Artists for Visual Arts. I loved that this gallery was radically different from the Hall of Masters.

Idiot Box by J. Elizalde Navarro – Wood 1964
It’s about television so I’m partial to this piece! Haha Unfortunately this piece is about the ill effects of the medium.

Hills of Nikko by Jose Joya – Oil on Canvass 1964
I don’t have an artsy fartsy profound explanation but I really liked this piece.

Planting of the First Cross by Vicente Manansala – Oil on Canvass 1965

I wasn’t able to get the title and artist of this piece but I fell in love with the details of the painting. I couldn’t capture the beauty through the camera so you’ll have to see it in person.

This gallery didn’t have a name.

The museum “courtyard” was still under renovation and was off limits to visitors. I hope they fix it up soon because I’m so ready to hang out there.

This was another gallery that didn’t have a name and also lacked artworks’ information. I was overwhelmed by the space of the room. It really allowed you to stop and take the painting in.

Room 215 – Silvina and Juan C. Laya Hall featuring the works of Fernando Amorsolo

Right next to Room 215 is the gallery featuring the work of Juan Luna. Apparently, I’m a Juan Luna fan! When I saw the photos from this trip, I had the most number of photos of his work.

I’ve been obsessing over this kind of style the past couple of months which explains why I gravitated to it.

I liked the framing of this piece.

Another beautiful gallery on the second floor without a name.

Room 302 – Vicente and Carmen Fabella Hall

Directly above the “Hall of Masters” is a section of the museum that is insanely awesome. I had a huge smile fixed on my face as I walked into this area. The architecture and detail of the room is just magnificent. I seriously told my friend, “I want my reception here”! haha I don’t think that’s possible though but this hall would make a bride cry.

Ganda diba???

We got a bit lost inside the museum continually asking what galleries were open or not.

What I liked about the museum:
- you go on your own pace
- good air conditioning in most of the galleries
- galleries looked different from each other
- we couldn’t bring in our bags, it was load lifted!

The National Museum has so much potential. I really wish that the renovations are finished soon and that they repair not just the galleries but the hallways as well. Some parts of the museum looked absolutely awesome while some sections, specifically the walls and hallways, looked like they were part of a bad hospital. I have so many comments to improve the museum and it comes from a place of love.

What I think can be improved:
- information as to what galleries are open and not
- adding gallery names and descriptions
- adding titles, artist’s name and description to the piece
- more secure baggage area

As a visitor, I wanted to know more about the pieces and artists featured in the museum. I wish that each piece had an accompanying article next to it. Perhaps when you enter a gallery, there’s a short voice over about the room and its pieces.

I can’t wait to return to the museum when more galleries are open.

P.S. we saw this outside the museum! Haha

The rest of my Manila Photo Walk for August posts are here: Part 1 and Part 3. Make it a Manila weekend and have a staycation in the city. Book your hotel here.

* Additional photos from Danix Labudahon.

National Museum of the Philippines
Padre Burgos Drive, Manila City
The National Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Free admission on Sundays. Currently, the National Art Gallery is undergoing renovation. Entrance will be free until renovation is complete.

Past Photo Walks:
January - Quiapo and Makati
February - Negros Occidental
March - Zamboanga
April - Corregidor
May - Bellarocca
June - Cirque du Soleil's Varekai and White MoonBar
July - Venice Piazza Food Adventure

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