Tuesday, November 13, 2012

National Museum Visit, Part 2

I almost forgot to post about my second visit to the National Museum. It was the National Art Gallery (Old Legislative Building) that I visited in my last post about the museum. I went to see the Museum of the Filipino People (Old Finance Building) in October 30, 2012, the day before the last day of free admission.  Now the admission fee is PhP 150 for adults and PhP 50 for students. Discounts are available for group tours.

So the first artwork you will find there is this set of sculptures by the stairs done by Jerusalino Araos, one of the most accomplished Filipino landscape artist and sculptor.

The first gallery you are most likely to step into is one of the three  galleries  of   the sunken 16th Century galleon, the San Diego. It was built in 1590 in Cebu by Basque, Chinese and Filipino ship builders. Originally a trade ship, it was converted into a warship and was sunk by a Dutch warship in 1600. What's left of the shipwreck is still in the waters near Fortune Island in Nasugbu, Batangas. 

Artifacts from the shipwreck that are being displayed include the cannons, the anchor that looks more like a tree trunk because of corrosion, and a lot of smaller stuff, like a Spanish helmet, an ivory rosary, and these silver coins.

The San Diego has a lot of are these terracotta vessels. The museum should sell some of these to antique dealers hehe.

There's also a lot of Chinese blue and white porcelain. Enough to fill more than one cupboard!

There's a small gallery that display a few preserved plants and animals. I though it might be best if they joined  here the taxidermied animals and skeletons found in the other building.

Tree nymph  butterflies and these locusts are the only insects in this gallery.


I think this crab looks cool. A horrid elbow crab. A live one has colors that mimic coral or stone.

One of the galleries that I find interesting is the one that display the anthropomorphic burial jars  that were found in Ayub Cave in Maitum, South Cotabato. These earthenware jars were dated approximately 3 BC  to 370 AD.  Ancient Filipinos had the custom of a second internment for their departed loved ones. After the  body has completely decomposed, the bones are cleaned and then placed in jars such as this.

The human figures on the lids are sculpted with childlike simplicity. Perhaps they represent the person whose bones they contain? But some jars contain bones of more than one individual.

This is a diorama showing how the burial jars are placed when they were discovered in Ayub Cave.

Another favorite gallery is the one that is about Philippine ethnology. It is in this gallery you will see the diversity of our rich aesthetic culture before Western influence.

These are traditional garments and ordinary household items of the Sama D'laut people (also known as Badjao). They are are an ethnic group from the province of Tawi-Tawi and they live most of their lives in boats. 

I love these musical instruments of the Maranao people.

Traditional clothing, jewelry, swords and other items also from the Maranao people. I'm beginning to have a fascination for the artistic culture of these people from Mindanao.

I always have an appreciation for Igorot artifacts. I love  the primitive charm of these people from the Cordillera region.

I was looking around inside the Old Finance Building and saw some large empty rooms like this one, with windows overlooking Luneta Park. I imagined having this room as my art studio.

The Old Finance Building has an atrium where you'll find this lovely Ifugao house. It's authentic! I hope I get to visit Banaue someday soon.

So this concludes my visit to our National Museum. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday, 10AM to 5PM. I hope you guys find time to give it a visit. Seeing all the things here in person makes proud to be Filipino!


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