A Makati Museum And Gallery Hop: The Perfect Rainy Day Getaway (ClicktheCity.com)

When a Milan-based friend called me to say that her boss, celebrated Italian visual artist and sculptor, Carla Tolomeo, was going to be in Manila for a few days and wanted to experience Philippine art and culture, I knew that I had my work cut out for me. The diversity of this archipelago means that the definitions and expressions of “art” and “culture” would be as vast as our seas, and that it would not do the Philippines justice to limit one’s experience of the country’s cultural gifts. Still, with only three half-days (and a lot of Manila traffic) to organize the tour, we prepared an itinerary that proved to be as full of surprises as it was with artistic juice.

Ayala and Yuchengco Museums: Proud bearers of Philippine history, art, and culture

Any museum and gallery hop in Makati ought to have, first and foremost, two of the country’s largest and most celebrated museums: the Ayala Museum(open Tue-Fri, 9AM-6PM; Sat-Sun, 10AM-7PM) and the Yuchengco Museum(open Mon-Sat, 10AM-6PM).

Inside the Ayala Museum with Italian artist Carla Tolomeo and Joice Gabriel | Photo by Nina Terol-Zialcita
Inside the Ayala Museum with Italian artist Carla Tolomeo and Joice Gabriel | Photo by Nina Terol-Zialcita

The Ayala Museum is perhaps the best the Philippines has ever seen, with historical dioramas, ethnic artifacts, and an exhibition of pre-Hispanic gold (many dating to a thousand years) that will leave its viewers in utter awe and amazement of everything that Filipino ancestors had been able to create and amass before the Spanish started labeling us “indios”. In the midst of our tour, our Italian guest, Carla, exclaimed that this was probably the best collection of gold she has ever seen. For someone who breathes art and who lives in the continent of museums and historical artifacts, you can tell that this is no exaggeration.

A sneak peek at the Ayala Museum's famed gold collection | Photo by Nina Terol-Zialcita
A sneak peek at the Ayala Museum’s famed gold collection | Photo by Nina Terol-Zialcita

Meanwhile, the Yuchengco Museum, while more modest in its assets and approach, is by no means a cultural lightweight. Its Masters Collection houses pieces from some of the country’s most celebrated maestros, including Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, and Carlos “Botong” Francisco; as well as pieces by National Artists Vicente Manansala, Ang Kiukok, Napoleon Abueva, Victorio Edades, Cesar Legaspi, and Jose Joya; among others. Our group also witnessed the homecoming exhibition of Edd Aragon (who you will find has an interesting connection to the museum’s patrons), who uses ultraviolet (UV) light to make his works come alive.

Tess Pasola's hanging rock garden at the Yuchengco Museum | Photo by Nina Terol-Zialcita
Tess Pasola’s hanging rock garden at the Yuchengco Museum | Photo by Nina Terol-Zialcita

This is an excerpt only. To read the full article, visit the ClicktheCity.com website HERE.

Author: Niña Terol

Niña Terol describes herself as a "communicator, connector, idea curator, and changemaker." A writer at heart whose 16-year career has spanned the public and private sectors, including roles in marketing, non-profit consulting, creative enterprise, publishing and media, politics, and corporate communications, she now heads corporate affairs for the Manila office of one of the world's largest and most trusted names in integrated marketing communications. Niña has written for a long list of magazines, dailies, and websites, including CNN Travel, Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia, Rappler.com, and Inquirer.net. She has also written and edited a number of books published by such institutions as the World Bank-Manila Office, the Asian Development Bank, the National Youth Commission, and a few others. Also a public speaker and trainer at heart, Niña has spoken at prestigious events such as TEDxManila (2010), Pecha Kucha Manila (2010), Ignite Manila (2010), the Social Good Summjit (2012), and the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines (IMMAP) Summit (2013). She has also taught live lectures and webinars, and been a panelist and thesis adviser, under the Certified Digital Marketer (CDM) program of the International Institute for Digital Marketing (IIDM). Niña graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree, minor in Hispanic Studies, from the Ateneo de Manila University, and obtained certificates in Internet Marketing and Professional Blogging (under scholarship) at the Asian Institute of Management and the European Journalism Institute (under scholarship) from Charles University, Prague, the Czech Republic and The Fund for American Studies, Washington D.C. When she's not working, writing, or speaking, Niña is running, practicing yoga, promoting sustainability and mindful living, trying out all sorts of dark chocolate, and planning her next plane ride. She blogs at www.littlerichgirlblog.com and www.betweenplanerides.com. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @ninaterol.

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