SOUTHEAST ASIAN BLOGGERS NETWORK

Friday, September 12, 2008

SE ASIA'S BEST MUSEUM: The Ayala Museum






We found another one of Southeast Asia’s Best Museums. This is actually what me and my friends came here for – check this building out and that special collection on the 4th floor.

We loitered, sashayed, gawked, sashayed some more, had coffee, loitered even longer and spent the whole darn rainy day in and around the “legendary” Ayala Museum. I say “legendary” because since we saw that docu (by Che-che) on satellite telly a few months ago, we were itching (like scabies) to come over and check it out.

The Ayala Museum was established in 1967 by the Ayala Foundation Inc., owned by the prominent Ayala family. One of the most modern in the country. It is an Art & History museum showcasing works of famous Filipino masters and their recent collection has drawn visitors from all over the world *including me, me and me!*.

I am prepared to talk about the Gold of Ancestors Exhibit on the 4th floor all day but my friends say we should also mention about the other exhibits on the floors below – there, I mentioned it already. Can I continue? Good. Now, listen....
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The Gold of Ancestors exhibit is the most exciting, exhilarating, thrilling (and to some extent, drooling) pieces of evidence that the Philippines has their OWN identity before their colonizers.

A whopping 1,059 gold objects (jewelleries!, accessories, sabre and all things wonderful) is a new permanent exhibition from the 10th-13th century. Its’ importance to RE-WRITING history is like a refreshing ray of sunshine…

A goldenkinnari(deformed, photo below) suggests that the people of Southern Philippines (Surigao) share similar cultures with Mainland Southeast Asia and Indonesia. I told you! We are brothers! Goddammit. You won’t believe me – why is it all about Spain, Spain, Spain?! Wake up already! Ha! Nothing wrong with being similar to our neighbors.

The centrepiece *drumroll*, is a 4kg-pure-gold belt (an Upativa, a Hindu term for the “Sacred Thread”). You have to check it out to believe it!

No cameras allowed in the museum *I don't even know where other blogs got theirs!*. Ok, I can live with that. But I can assure you…I will never forget the images that I saw in there for a long, long time. The thrill that I felt that a nation, trying so hard to find its identity, has finally found it.

Visit the Ayala Museumhighly recommended and worth the trip. Located on the corner of Makati Ave. and De la Rosa Sts. in Makati City. It’s easy to find amidst the Ayala Center shopping mecca. Open between 9am-6pm [Tue-Fri] 10am-7pm [Weekends] Closed on Mondays. Admission fee is Php450 (300Baht, US$10, 30 Ringgit) for foreigners. They also got a fantastic coffee shop and the mandatory souvenir shop in the building. Senior citizens (local or foreign) gets a discount!.


The Ayala Museum and its' Gold of Ancestors Exhibit

Treasures of Southeast Asia.

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**2nd & 3rd photo courtesy of the Ayala Museum official website.

23 Comments:

eyron said...

i watched only the documentary as i said in the previous post im not fond of visiting museum. hehe...

historical facts that philippines, indonesia and malaysia has cultural similarities. i think these three make up the malay people

Curbside Puppet said...

the philippines (got no idea on how north was its extent, probably extending up to pangasinan) was a part of the old sri-vijayan empire if i'm not mistaken.
in fact, the people of surigao and butuan are all raving about it. you (pisanu and the rest of the biseaners) must have visited it before when you went to northern mindanao.

benee said...

I can't wait to see it a third time to see this! The fourth floor was actually being made during my second visit, and they promised it would be grand. I guess they kept there word! Yay Philippines! And think the Philippines should revert back to its old culture. From what i learned it was great! everyone was equal and everyone was like a big family...until the colonizers came. hay.

btw, i think there's a discount for students too!

TAO said...

Oh, once again those evil colonizers!!! Wouldn't the world be just a great place if it wasn't for all those white colonizers...

Lets see, last time I checked Cambodia tried to regain their cultural heritage and I believe that was what the Khmer Rouge was all about....

Sometimes the past is best left to musuems...

Why is it that the Phillipines have such a hang up with being the first, the best, the whatever....

Is that a leftover mental state from the colonizers?

Remember, its not what you have been that matters or where you have been...all that matters today is where you are going...

Just look at the USA and its current focus on past greatness...it blinds them from the issues of the future....

It will also be the failure of Russia as it tries to reclaim its past greatness....

I think Bisean needs to focus on younger politicans in SE Asia....I think the current old guard needs to retire and get out of the way...

Curbside Puppet said...

@ tao,

i couldn't agree more. i don't know what your nationality is, but i felt your statement about filipinos' penchant for bringing back the "glorius" past out from the grave.

its an ego thing for us filipino readers and bashers (wink!) of this blog (i'm a reader and commenter only, trust me!). that way, we were reminded that we weren't complete losers.

but of course, its not an excuse. i guess and am pretty sure that it shows our insecurity to fellow SEA nations (a.k.a. Thailand and Malaysia -two countries we're most insecure of).

the focus should be on the present and the future.

national development involves renewed self-belief that we, as a people could make it big once more. and that self-belief does not involve bashing others unsquarely.

woah! my comment was quite a mouthful! i hope i made sense over there!

Carlos Javier said...

Indeed Filipinos had a distinctly Southeast Asian culture before Spain came and colonized us.

However - probably because of the inextricable relationship between Church and State in Spain at the time, it was Spanish Imperial policy to eradicate all traces of any local "pagan" culture they subjugate and supplant it with their own Catholic one.

Witness the Incas of Peru, the Aztecs of Mexico, etc. - like many other native cultures, they have disappeared from the face of the earth at the hands of the conquistadores.

On another note, the owners of the museum - the Ayalas - are descendants of Spaniards. Heck, they even look Spanish. LOL.

Matthew Andrew said...

Wow. Hindi ko alam meron palang Ayala Museum.
May na hukay na mga ginto galing sa nino natin?

I need to reasearch that. Very interesting!

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas at ASEAN!

Erique Fat Owl said...

Wow! What a nice museum! I wish we've got something like this in Jakarta...

@curbside puppet
...how about Singapore? don't the Filipinos feel insecure around that country?

Speaking of insecurity, Indonesians are generally feeling insecure towards any other countries...in Indonesia, most commoners think that most foreign countries (like Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines) are far more advanced than Indonesia, and I think it's good because this attitude makes Indonesians really humble people...LOL

(some commoners I encounter even believe that Baghdad is a nicer place to live in compared to Jakarta)

I personally feel that there isn't any reason for any of us to feel insecure towards each other. Look at Germany vs France vs Italy - sure, if you compare figures etc you can clearly see which country actually PERFORMS better, but who's to say which country is actually the BEST among all? There's so much more than figures and numbers -

...like for example, if you compare Indonesia and Malaysia - the GDPs, the development index, and any economic indications you can think of, it is pretty clear that Malaysia is better than Indonesia - but as a commoner, I don't necessarily feel inferior towards Malaysians, nor do I think that they're better than us per se - because we've got some other stuff that's better than Malaysia, e.g. shopping malls in Jakarta is IMHO much more exciting than KL...heehee sorry, don't mean to brag, but just illustrating my point...

danyhael said...

"why is it all about Spain, Spain, Spain?! Wake up already!"

-hahaha. yeah. got your point but it's like saying "eurasians are the perfect specimen."

@TAO, i won't call them evil colonizers though. somehow they shaped us. unfortunately back then, we were least prioritized by Spain that's why they sent corrupt and stupid officials to govern the old Philippines.

@curbside, and i won't call my own race losers either. shame on you.

Jake Tornado said...

This post and all the comments made me feel so GUILTY...

GUILTY of delaying my visit to Ayala Museum! LOL!

Dude, I sense your penchant for anything gold. The Metropolitan Money Museum, just beside the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (I heard) has tons of gold on exhibit this season. You guys may want to visit it if you're still in Manila. :)

- jUbeRtjOhN - said...

Huhu. It makes me feel envy. Philippines has a great past if not only the colonizers came and destroyed all the traces of ancient Filipinos cultures and tradition.

Looking forward to take a peek on the
renowned Ayala Museum this October.

the dreamer said...

wow this thing is sure a good thing to know as a filipino..

thanks for the info dude!

tagpibasak said...

Wow, it seems to me that our search for identity as a nation is coming to an end! This makes me feel proud of my roots especially in rediscovering our connection with our southeast asian neighbors. I have visited the museum once some years ago but when I watched the documentary, I cannot help but look forward to visiting the place once again.

Back in high school, we had a course on asian civilizations like the Majapajit and Sri Vijayan empires but it made no sense to me. Now, I am becoming obsessed in knowing and learning about anything asean.

@CURBSIDE, there's still some remnants of sri vijayan influence in the country especially in Pampanga Province as evidenced by the figures of san nicolas biscuit.

Thanks,Pisanu, for the this wonderful post and more power to Bisean!

Roman Paul said...

Mabuhay and Welcome to the Philippines! since you and your friends are here, why not visit bohol and see the tarsiers or dive in panglao or have a river cruise in loboc while listening to the loboc children's choir.. you may also try wake boarding at camarines sur water complex (but i think you have like this in bangkok) or visit my province pampanga where once you lived. are you going to vigan? pls try ilocos norte and see SEA's sole (i think so) wind farm at pagudpud and stay at fort ilocandia. dont miss to see the body of pres. marcos or if you want, you may visit me at my school in malolos city, bulacan and i'll tour you at the birthplace of asia's first republic.. i hope you have the time because you seldom visit our country... by the way, i'm very angry to 2 new programs in our local TV, why?, survivor philippines was held in thailand while pinoy fear factor was done in argentina.. tangina nila! we have 7107 islands to choose from! pls pls pls pls make an article regarding it! keep safe!

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

Thanks to all of you cool guys for dropping by for some inputs. You just don't know how much you INTRIGUE me with all your infos my calendar till 2009 is FULL!!!

Special welcome to The Dreamer...I see you're new here and we'd like you to know you are welcome, welcome, welcome here! Thanks for all the comments on some of our previous posts too.

And the "angry" Danyhael. I don't know...but reading your comments makes me feel you don't really like us much. LOL. Hugs, dude!

Thanks to the regulars Jake, Heinreich, MischMensch, RomanPaul, Jubert, Enrique!!! (Eat Like a Cow), Matt...uhm...whoelse?

It's Vigan after Cagayan de Oro, Butuan and Siargao. Following the footprints left by Cheche Lazaro!!!! Then surf, surf, SURF!!!

Pisanu for BISEAN said...

Tagpibasak! Whoa! What a name! So warrior-like. Welcome to BISEAN, dude.

Mark said...

Highly interesting. It's a shame to have a non-filipino appreciate what they have. You can visit the Central Bank Museum in Manila too for gold exhibits mostly from the loots of Imelda Marcos. You'll be amazed!! Nature tripping, you can check Caramoan beach (Gota) in Camarines Sur, the site of the current Survivor France. It's touted to be the next Boracay. It's just paradise. Be there before all the developments happen. Enjoy!!

tagpibasak said...

So you're in Cagayan de Oro right now? Oh I love this place! Have you tried whitewater rafting? It will be such a thrill, woohooo!

You may also drop by Museo de Oro in Xavier University. It may not be that grand but it can also give a glimpse on the life and culture of the Cagayanons centuries ago.

It's just saddening that some of the archeological sites have been ruined due to road expansion.

By the way, it's flattering to know that my name sounds warrior-like. I'm a warrior in a sense... SUGOD MGA KAPATID! LOL!

Saludo ako sa 'yo! Hope you will find tons of gold as you retrace and rewrite our pre-colonial history and that of Southeast Asia. Sa Cagayan de Oro pa lang, may ginto ka na... Enjoy your stay in the CITY OF GOLDEN FRIENSHIP!

rom said...

hey bisean,
pls. visit my hometown, Iloilo City, too. hope that you'll feature places from Laos, Burma,
ne Thailand and eastern Indonesia also.

danyhael said...

Oh, I'm sorry. i really didn't mean to be rude. i just don't like some of the topics but actually I love this site. I learned (and still learning) a lot. And since I can't really go around and travel (I have a weak body), this site makes me feel like I could go to some places. ^_^

I'm kinda working on my attitude so bear with me for a while. ^_^

the dreamer said...

@pisanu:

Thanks dude for welcoming me here. Well I have been a follower of this blog since the start of this month only. I fell inlove with your blog thats why i took the tool to leave some comment, its the least I could do to show how much i appreciate your effort in bringing Southeast Asia together.

Keep posting dude! *wink*

salingPUSA said...

another guilty soul here. Since as a child I have always heard that our museums in the Philippines are not good, I guess I have developed this negative attitude towards it. That I might be wasting my time and get disappointed if I enter one. Guess this post made me think twice. If BISEAN says it's good, it must be good.....

nayr said...

great info!!!

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