Love thy own: The National Museum

I was browsing through my Tumblr dashboard when I saw this poster reblogged by Dora from UrbanHistorian. I immediately promised myself I haff to go, as in haffffff. Just like what the waitress in the first episode of Breaking Bad season 5 said (because I was watching the series a while ago), “Free is good, even if I was like rich, free is ALWAYS good“.

I originally planned on going with TLW and Dora and AC. Unfortunately, I was bound for Laguna when they went. I decided to go by myself but I couldn’t seem to find the time. Either I was too busy or was uncomfortable going to the particular area alone (thanks to my father who always scares the shit out of me). Thanks to the lovebirds, I was able to visit on the second to the last day of October, an hour before the 4:30 PM cut off. Plus, Nong brought his car so free ride for me yay!

Again, free is always good.

Most private company supported galleries were closed like that of PLDT’s and PAGCOR’s. Those that were open contained lots of pots from a ship called “San Diego”. I already forgot 90% of what I learned from my Araling Panlipunan subjects after the final exams plus we didn’t have enough time to go around and read everything so we relied mostly on our sense of sight.

Ceramics are cool, especially the ones which were hand painted individually. So much detail and so much effort I would not have the guts to eat on them.

As I said, we were in a bit of a hurry so I wasn’t able to jot down the names of the exhibits. One particular gallery though was dubbed “Kasaysayan ng Lahi” and it would give you and idea of how our ancestors lived.

Different faces of a Filipino. I believe we are one of the top nations in terms of interracial marriages. Hence, the diversity of our facial structure. Stop already with the color and nose and hair texture discrimination. And I have nothing against those who’d spend thousands for a fairer complexion because that’s one of the effects of colonial mentality but I look up to those who are comfortable with their own skin.

My father’s goal is to own a hut in the middle of a farm. Growing up, I found his dream weird and wayward, a contrast to industrialization and modernization. After living in the city for four years though, I came to understand why. One needs a shelter away from anything fast paced once in a while. Now I want to visit Ifugao or any place in the country where the kind of houses pictured below are still existent.

Anitos or the idols our ancestors used to praise and believe in in the past. Of course we shouldn’t serve idols but it’s part of our history. I took the picture with the thought of posting it on Facebook and tagging Ramm but I talked myself out of the mischief.

Red and blue and a wooden floor. Future reference for my dream house. hehe

One of the reasons why I wanted to go to the National Museum is to see in person the famous Spoliarium by Juan Luna. After going through all four floors of the building, we did not see the painting. Only when we inquired did we learn that there are two buildings both called the National Museum. One contained mostly treasures from sunken ships while the other had famous paintings and sculptures. The latter was the Old Legislative Building. We had to walk for a couple of minutes to reach the entrance. When we arrived, it was already past 4:30. Thank God the security was kind enough to let us through.

I wanted to see Spoliarium for two reasons. First, it is one of the most celebrated paintings by a Filipino. In Ambeth Ocampo’s words (via Wikipedia), “…the fact remains that when Luna and Felix Resurrection Hidalgo won the top awards in the Madrid Exposition of 1884, they proved to the world that indios could, despite their supposed barbarian race, paint better than the Spaniards who colonized them.“. Second, it is the title of one of my favorite Eraserheads song (despite the cryptic lyrics, the way I like “I am the Walrus”). In fact, when asked on the inspiration for the song, Ely Buendia answered, “I will take this secret to the grave“. This made me love it even more, I like mystery.

I was supposed to post a picture of the painting only but thousands could be found through Google. Besides, I wanted to emphasize the size. I didn’t expect it to be that big.

A disturbing painting I saw which reminded me of another disturbing work of art I saw at the Metropolitan Museum in Bangko Sentral Complex.

Sculptures made of plaster (apparently, plaster of paris wasn’t only used for casts), clay, wood, etc.

This one I liked. The hands were too big for the boy don’t you think?

Old plenary hall. Grand and elegant looking but smaller in size compared to the one in Batasan Complex. Maybe if our politicians had sessions in a place that makes you want to be honest and courageous and generally good, they wouldn’t be the way they are now. No?

Trixie was not feeling well that day so she just stayed in one gallery while Nong and I roamed around. I took this picture of her and the scene in “Coming Soon” where the protagonist was in the hallway of a movie theater and the lights suddenly went off one by one flashed back. Nope, not a good memory.

All the doors had the letters “NM” which stands for, wait for it, National Museum!

The kuya at the baggage counter. The staff of the museum are nice.

I really like Trixie’s shirt that day. It looks good in photos especially inside the museum where the walls in some galleries are painted red and green and orange.

100% Pinay. Ay, 75% lang pala because I am 1/4 Chinese. Ay, mga 60% lang pala because my maternal cousins said we have other nation’s blood coursing through our veins. Whatever. Majority of the blood in my body is Filipino (blood doesn’t have “nationalities” anyway, only types and Rh). I grew up a Filipino and I will die one. Or better yet, let us all just be citizens of the world yay!

And for the I-couldn’t-believe-I-shot-this-using-point-and-shoot photo of the day, I present the Philippine Flag under the surprisingly blue Manila sky.

Even though it was on short notice and I could feel that I was enjoying myself the most (because some people get tired after seeing too many pots), I had fun. Thank you Trix and Nong! :]

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3 thoughts on “Love thy own: The National Museum

    1. Sa old plenary hall eh. basta tumawid lang kami papunta sa kabilang building tapos yung painting na bubungad sa entrance. hehe. pwede ka pa namang mag visit kaso Gi 150 ata entrance, mahal. haha

      7 more episodes to go. Face off broke my heart. I have lost faith in Walter White. HAHA

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