A Weekend at the Ayala Museum

We want a good preview of what the country and its people are like before we go on a longer trip. Where do we go first? A good initial step is a weekend trip to Ayala Museum. It is one of the country’s finest museums, displaying quality historical relics, models, portraits, and remarkable souvenir items.

Ayala Museum is right at the corner of Makati and Dela Rosa Avenues in Makati. From EDSA going to Ayala Avenue, the short trip takes two corners and a left turn on Makati Avenue to get to this tourist museum. It was a brainchild of Fernando Zobel de Ayala in the 1950s and actualized in 1967 by Filipinas Foundation, Inc., now known as Ayala Foundation, Inc. This museum was first housed along Ayala Avenue at the Insular Life Building, but later transferred to its present location. The present home of Ayala Museum, a nice target for a weekend trip, was designed by the late national artist Leandro V. Locsin and was finished sometime 1974.

A weekend trip to Ayala Museum with the whole family will prove quite rewarding. It offers educational displays that will stimulate both adults and children. Some 60 handcrafted dioramas (Paete made) are the center piece of Ayala Museum, along with other captivating exhibits.

A short trip to this museum reveals scale models of ancient sea vessels that once docked the shores of the islands. These displays are backed by ethnographic, artistic, and archaeological displays that showcase prehistoric, historic, and present events. Art collections are precious paintings of Juan Luna (1857-1899), Amorsolo (1882-1972), and Fernando Zobel himself (1924-1984).

One of the spectacular sights to be seen in a weekend trip to this museum is the boat gallery that highlights the maritime ingenuity of Filipinos and their seafaring technology that enabled them to cross long distances for trade and commerce. This short trip can also satiate a craving for native artistry by real masters of the 19th century. The displays one finds in a weekend trip to this museum is a depiction of European liberal ideas that influenced our artists in those times.

A weekend trip to this place also exposes one to revealing artifacts un-earthed from ethnic sites around the country—ethnic gears and utensils, weapons, ritual implements, fabrics, native accessories of bamboo, wood, native fibers, and others. One particular collection gleaned in this short trip is the “Kulintang,” a line up of gongs in various sizes. These are placed on an elaborate stool shaped like a “Naga.” A naga is a magical snake famous in Maranoa tales.

Ayala Museum, with its unique displays and collections, is a perfect place for a weekend trip.

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