Both museums stand proudly in the midst of Philippines’ original “concrete jungle where dreams are made of” – Makati. But they often get bumped off from the to-go places because people go to the malls surrounding them. Once in a while, it pays to visit historical and cultural places such as museums to enrich our knowledge, and revisit the history we thought we already know by heart.
Yuchengco Museum, named after an affluent family that owns a group of companies including Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), is located in RCBC Plaza, cornering Ayala and Sen. Gil Puyat Avenues. It houses the art collection of Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco.
It boasts not only of the art collection inside its galleries, but most especially of the architectural design of the museum, and the entire plaza as well. It has a permanent exhibition, more on Rizal’s arts and works, and, the digital art exhibits which uses augmented reality technology. It has some of Juan Luna’s paintings, Fernando Amorsolo’s and Carlos “Botong” Francisco and some other local painters of the later generations. National Artist Ben Cabrera being one of them. I’ve seen the BenCab Museum and his other works in Baguio. I am a big fan.
Some galleries allow picture taking so don’t forget to bring your cameras, but only bring them out once you’re done really “experiencing and feeling” the art. Come on, you’re only there a few minutes to an hour, I bet you that you can keep your gadgets away, except when you’re in the Samsung gallery because it will ask you to download their FACETS app, or use their tab for a different museum experience.
The Suspended Garden is perhaps the highlight of the museum, installed there in 2014, artists Tony Gonzales and Tes Pasola wanted to resemble a Japanese zen garden. It can be photographed from every angle.
Entrance fee in PhP: 100 for adults, 50 for students, 25 for children and senior citizens, Mondays to Saturdays 10am-6pm. The museum is closed on Sundays and holidays.
The Ayala Museum on the other hand, has a wide range of gold (it’s well guarded mind you), ceramics, dioramas and paintings of the greatest Philippine (and Asian) artist – Juan Luna himself – no photos allowed except at the 2nd floor where the dioramas can be found. It also houses Fernando Zobel’s own paintings, miniature ships that have anchored in the Philippine seas in the past and indigenous tribes’ textile history.
And since pictures can only be taken at the diorama (wood carved by Paete artisans) section, here they are, along with close up shots (to avoid the glass’ glare):
When we were there we chanced upon the exhibit: CHRONICLES OF A JOURNEY which will be there until October 27, 2015.
Operating hours and entrance fee in PhP: Tuesdays to Sundays 9am to 6pm.
Full admission: 225 for Philippine residents, 425 for non-residents, 125 for resident students and senior citizens, 300 for non-resident students and senior citizens.
Basic admission (not including 4th floor galleries): 150 for Philippine residents, 350 for non-residents, 75 for resident students and senior citizens, 250 for non-resident students and senior citizens.
So, whether it’s museums and galleries month or not, or you’re required by your professors or not, I say these two museums are a must-visit. And don’t forget Pinto Art Museum in Antipolo, too!