Prepare your deep sense of pride. It’s time to flaunt your appreciation for our own arts, specimens, and historical artifacts!
Now, let’s talk about the five reasons why you should consider visiting our National Museum:
1. It shows a glimpse of the past.
One thing that I realized whenever I go to museums — entering its door is kind of bizarre, yet magical. It’s like flipping a page of a book into its previous chapters and allowing yourself to put the clock back. From the striking visuals of old paintings to the antiquated scent, you’ll definitely have a sense of the past.
It’s like a good way to snap the rich and vivid history of our country. As you visit the Baybayin Gallery, try to immerse yourself in the ancient and traditional scripts. Moreover, it’s also a chance to see our ancient characters, which were once carved on leaves using pigments, or on bamboos using sharp objects for engraving. For sure, you will never doubt writing these Baybayin scripts as well.
2. It resurges buried narratives.
To visit museums is to break new ground. Even if you are the Niccolò Machiavelli of your history class, I bet that you can’t make tails of some historical facts that you could capture in the museums. The buried narratives are no exception, even the buried treasures, literally.
As I went to National Museum last 2019, I got the chance to grasp some of the significant narratives that were not written in books. Kaban ng Lahi: Archaeological Treasures is one of the exhibits that really caught my eye. Although I have to admit, it gave me spine-chilling vibes seeing a bunch of mortuary potteries and burial jars. At the same time, I felt like I was in the set of Indiana Jones, as I beat a path inside the cave setting gallery.
3. It’s a stellar spot to learn.
As our history teacher taught us, primary sources are first-hand access to the subject of our research. Well, if you’re looking for primary sources for your research about Philippine history and landscapes, our National Museum is full of them!
Unleash your inner Xiao Chua as you can bear witness to a variety of historical remnants. National Museum of Anthropology exhibits various exhibitions that will bring you closer to the different kinds of culture. The Lumad Mindanao Gallery features the material culture of the 13 Lumad groups represented in the National Ethnographic Collection. Moreover, Biyay Gallery highlights the previous studies and documentation by early ethnographers and researchers on the Negrito groups, including the two of the earliest human remains found in the Philippines.
4. It sparks creativity.
Some of the artists have this notion — a creative mind never sleeps. Yes, it’s true, especially if you are passionate. But, there are also times when you find it hard to squeeze your creative juices. You just have to roam around and catch sight of the out-of-the-box perspectives. And if you’re looking for a sign: here it is!
Try to wander around the National Museum of Fine Arts. For sure, the Early 20th Century Philippine Portrait Hall will inspire your artistry to create classical realist arts awakened by the prolific artists of the “Amorsolo School.” Additionally, Dr. Jose Rizal Hall will also prompt your vision as it exhibits the martyrdom’s works. Viewing these exhibits will truly widen your artistic horizon and place you in the shoes of our own remarkable artists.
5. It’s a perfect place to unwind.
In this time of the pandemic, there are countless times where we feel anxious. Due to the physical boundaries, the warmth of conversing with friends became limited. In spite of that, you should spend even a bit of your time loosening up after a series of stressful days. Maybe, you would consider a museum date?
A study revealed that visiting museums and galleries plays a bigger role in helping us cope with stress and anxiety. Furthermore, some researchers have found that browsing through an art gallery can help lower the body’s concentration of the stress hormone cortisol and increase that of the pleasure hormone dopamine. Moreover, research suggested that art museums have an opportunity to strengthen their social role by becoming health and well-being resources for their communities.
There you have it! I know you are now thrilled to have a glimpse into our National Museum.
As you visit the wonderful exhibitions, you may follow your eyes to wherever they lead you. It’s time to appreciate our own identity, cultural legacy, and natural heritage.
John Alfred Esmilla is an aspiring online journalist and educator. In his free time, he plays Mobile Legends and watches reality shows. A pitcher of coffee fuels him. He believes that height is just a number, so don't dare to ask it. His love language: acts of service.