Ayala Museum Gets a New Home

Manila Bulletin, October 3, 2004 | Go to article overview
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Ayala Museum Gets a New Home


In a mall, one can do everything... shop, dine, play, hear mass or even go to a museum.

In line with its goal to bring culture closer to the public, the Ayala Foundation together with the late National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin began a 10year program to renovate and relocate Ayala Museum.

Originally, they planned to transfer the museum in the Ayala triangle but since its far, they opted for this spot (Greenbelt 4). When Leandro died, his son Andy took over. The concept (of a museum in a mall) is a good idea because there should be no reason at all why someone cant go to a museum, explains Manolo Quezon III, curator.

Finally, the idea was hatched! the Ayala Museum on the corner of Makati Ave and dela Rosa St. is a stunning gateway to the redeveloped Greenbelt commercial center.

The inauguration was led by guests of honor Pres. Gloria MacapagalArroyo and former president Corazon C. Aquino.

Representatives from the mu-seums local and international partners as well as donors, lenders, artists and patrons of Filipino art also graced the event.

Ayala Foundation chairman Jaime Zobel de Ayala, under whose auspices the museum belongs, said that the new Ayala Museum is a gift to the Filipino people.

Its mandate has always been too serve the community and the nation. Through the museum, we help re-collect our past by bringing back to the country Philippine collections from overseas institutions to share with the local audience, he explains.

The exclusive event featured performances by Filipino musicians... soprano Margarita Gomez, cellist Wilfredo Pa-samba, pianist Albert Tiu, violinist Joseph Esmilla, the Manda-luyong Childrens Chorus and the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchesta under the baton of Maestro Ryan Cayayabyab.

However, prior to the formal inauguration, Ayala Corp. stakeholder relations associate director Emy de Lara invited members of the press for a quick tour of the state-of-the-art museum.

Our group was welcomed by Ayala Museum history curator Manuel Manolo Quezon III who served as our tour guide.

First stop was at the Diorama Section. Representing key points in Philippine history, the dioramas formed the core of the museums historical collections.

These dioramas were a mainstay in the old museum. They were not repainted, just cleaned. Its like the Sistine Chapel, when they cleaned it they found out that the colors were psychedelic, remarked Manolo.

Visuals were added to make the diorama section more interactive. There are life-sized cut-outs of the Spanish conquistadores, Dr. Jose Rizal, Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and Pres. Manuel L. Quezon to give viewers an idea how these people looked and how tall they were.

From the dioramas, we proceeded to the multi-media People Power room which brought us to the past... from the creation of the republic to the tumultuous events that restored Philippine democracy in 1986.

Actually, the dioramas only covered our history from pre-Hispanic era up to 1946, when we got our independence from the Americans. What happened to our history after that? At first, we tried making new dioramas.

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