Reconciliating History and Art – Philippines’ National Museum and Paco Park

“To foretell the destiny of a nation, it is necessary to open the book that tells  of her past.”

(May 29, 2016) I am walking somewhere today I said on Instagram capturing my feet on a reddish cemented floor. There started a random walk along Manila particularly Luneta.

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I planned to go visit National Museum when I read an ad saying that the whole month of May is free entrance. And so, why not? I’ll only spend for transportation and I won’t afford to lose opportunity like that. As always, I went alone.

My initial plan was to attend mass at Manila Cathedral in Intramuros (I haven’t been there. Next stop.) I got into MRT Taft then LRT United Nations. Upon looking at the stations map, I realized that UN comes first before Central Station, where Manila Cathedral is. It was almost 10am and I should get off the train quick or else I’ll be late for the mass. Luckily, I searched through google map the other churches near the area. I found Paco Park at UN station then Gen. Luna St. What gets me excited to see this park is it became a shooting location for Starting Over Again (Toni Gonzaga and Piolo Pascual). I was expecting for the fountain, of course.

I got inside the church just as the mass was about to start. It’s a dome shape and I like how its small space made me feel closer to the strangers around and to God. I walked around after. At the marker of GomBurZa, I saw three men in costume – 2 guardia sibil and 1 like Rizal in black or was he a priest? I don’t know. Just examine the photo and tell me. Then, doves. It was nostalgic because I felt like I was in Boso-boso church in remote Antipolo again. However, I didn’t stay long. There’s still the main thing I have to do.

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I rode a jeep again then alighted at a road crossing the National Museum. I asked the entrance and a man pointed at a building. I approached it. At the door, the guard asked me if I have a companion. I said no. She jokingly told me that she will give me companions and guys behind me overheard the conversation. They asked me to go with them and I said I’m fine alone (haha). I’m not a snob. I just prefer being alone in places like that. I wanted to stare more.

I went around that building (2nd to 4th or 5th floor?). I came across Spanish era, Filipino tribes and Filipinas among others. At the end, I wasn’t able to see what I was there for. Asan ang Spoliarium? (Where’s the Spoliarium?) Mission : A backfie with Luna’s Spoliarium. I asked a guard and he said, it’s in the other building. Whoooah, I was in the wrong building! That shouldn’t be the first (Museum of the Filipino people). Anyway, I went to the main Museum.

A long spiral line was at the entrance when I arrived (2pm). I got inside and yes, the Spoliarium is really glorious! I stayed more minutes in front of it and when I can’t ask somebody to take a photo of me, I decided to go into the galleries. Pure paintings, sculptures, arts are into those exhibits. Okay, I was captured by F. Amorsolo’s sketches. I was inspired somehow with what I sometimes do though, I wasn’t that good. I can do abstract sketches?hahaha

Back to the main exhibit, I really hoped I can get my mission fulfilled. With a glimpse outside, the rain already poured. I stayed longer and just watched people went by.

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I was out by 4pm. I endured my rumbling stomach. And guess what? Mission failed. That’s a con for a soloist. Maybe, I’ll try harder next time. And I might consider one companion, too. I walked under the rain and went the way I was.

I treated myself to a super late lunch (or dunch) and a movie (Love Me Tomorrow) when I got home. It may not be 100% done as planned but hey, I really had fun.

 

Where to next? (I’m still on track with my Tungko Church visit.)

 

–Roma Pi