The Ayala Museum has long been around the corner, literally. Though seating just beside Greenbelt 5 and perhaps, lurking along my daily walkway route when I was still reporting at our Makati office, I never got a chance to peek what’s inside. I was never curious, probably because of their yellow branding and frequent showcase of the Aquino family. Yup, to be honest, I am not a fan of Cory nor Ninoy.
Just recently, my visiting friends from Indonesia (Annisa, Wina, and Veeta) were curious and were willing to explore the museum. Since I volunteered to be their guide, I joined them, with my expectations at the extremest low. I had no idea how to be an effective guide since I was completely clueless about what the museum has to offer.
Anyway, we still went in and paid the entrance free. Full admission costed ₱425 for foreigners while locals need to pay ₱225 to access the 4-storey exhibits. This is very shameful to mention but the three ladies paid my entrance fee. Thankie!
The museum, by the way, offers guided tours for groups up to 20 pax. You just need to contact them three days prior to book and pay additional ₱100/pax on top of the admission fee.
The reception staff oriented us about the museum policies. She highlighted that photography is not allowed in the third and fourth levels.
Level 4: Crossroads of Civilizations
The tour started in level 4 with a short audio-visual presentation about the importance and the use of gold during the pre-Hispanic Philippines entitled, “The Gold of Our Ancestors”. The video showed us how early Filipinos mined and utilized gold as status symbol.
Following the video presentation was a walk around the display of the actual golden figures, rings, necklaces, waist bands, belts, anklets, sashes, earrings, and even a regalia. Though unpolished, they still looked absolutely stunning.
That very moment, I could understand why they prohibited the guests from taking pictures. I could imagine how much treasures they keep in the museum. More than any monetary value, are the proofs and testaments of the crossroads of Philippine history. So, as a Filipino, I feel obliged to protect those treasures.
To give you and the idea, I grabbed the photo below from a another blog. I wondered if the photo owner was allowed to take this photo.
Also in the fourth level is an exhibit of indigenous Philippine textiles and Asian wares including the popular blue and white porcelain from China, an evidence that the Philippines had been trading to its neighbors even before the Spanish arrival.
Level 3: Pioneers of the Philippine Art, Images of the Nation, New Frontiers
The third level is the gallery of the paintings by Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, and Fernando Zobel entitled “Pioneers of the Philippine Art”. The “Images of the Nation” and the “New Frontiers” exhibits by Vicente Manansala, Jose Joya, Victorio Edades, and the color blind Cesar Legaspi can also be found in the third floor. And yeah, picture taking is still not allowed at this level.
Level 2: The Diorama Experience
We went down to the second floor and what we immediately noticed were the miniature of the galleons used during the Manila-Acapulco trade, and so with other water crafts that plied the Philippine waters before.
But the highlight in the second level is the “The Diorama Experience”. It was Philippine History told in a form diorama, since the Tabon Man until the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution. Summary texts with corresponding timeline were made available as guides for the guests.
I also found a gallery of life-size images of previous Philippine Presidents indicating their heights. Former President Ferdinand Marcos wasn’t there but Ninoy was there beside Cory. My question is, why? Hmmm, ….
Level 1: Contemporary Arts
Level 1 exhibits contemporary arts and other collections. This level also houses the information and reception counter.
We completed our unguided tour for nearly 1.5 hours and I was a bit refreshed on how are we as nation. My friends learned alot too. Don’t worry, we did not plan for a gold heist.
You too can explore Ayala Museum, it’s worth it! Visit them between 9AM to 6PM, Tuesdays to Saturdays at Makati Avenue cor. De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City, Philippines
Contact: +63 2 759 8288