Ayala Museum is a museum located in Ayala Center, Makati City. It is the home of some of the best ethnographic and archaeological collections and exhibits in the country. Being in the center of one of the busiest business districts in Metro Manila, Ayala Museum serves as a contrasting safe space that is full of culture, art, and history. The museum houses remarkable contemporary art pieces and artifacts that were a huge part of our country’s history.
When I was taking up Art Appreciation in college, we were assigned to visit Ayala Museum for a course requirement. I don’t remember why but I did not go. Anyway, a year and a half later, I finally went to Ayala Museum with Jem. We arrived late in the afternoon so we only had an hour to explore all the floors before the museum closes. Cameras were not allowed except for the second floor, if I remember correctly. I enjoyed the exhibits even though we were in a hurry. During that time, there was a BenCan exhibit on the ground floor. That was the first time that I got a loser look at BenCab’s creations. Too bad taking photos were not allowed, I would love to relive that particular moment.
Some of the exhibits that can be found inside the museum are: The Diorama Experience, Maritime Vessels, Pioneers of Philippine Art, Gold of Ancestors, Embroidered Multiples, and A Millennium of Contact. There are also changing exhibitions every month which are very interesting and they definitely provide more reasons for Ayala Museum’s first time visitors to come back every now and then. Among the permanent exhibits, my most favorite ones are The Diorama Experience and Maritime Vessels.
Also one of Ayala Museum’s most important features is the Filipinas Heritage Library. Filipinas Heritage Library can be found on the sixth floor of the museum building. It houses rare volumes of all sorts of reading materials about Philippine art, history, and culture. The library also has some vintage recordings of Philippine music, as well as photographs, maps, periodicals, and multimedia materials. Some of the collections care also available digitally. The library has an online search engine that provides access to more than 357,000 Filipiniana database records. Think of it this way: it is a modern library that provides access to a thousand contemporary titles relating to the country’s rich past. The Filipinas Heritage Library is indeed a dream electronic research center that came to life.
Ayala Museum offers a wide array of artworks and historical artifacts that makes it worth visiting. The museum is no doubt a breathing space in the city that helps the country’s arts and culture scene very much alive. Hopefully, there will be more cultural places like this built in the city, instead of constructing more malls and condominiums.
If ever you find yourself looking for a place in Metro Manila where you can unwind and immerse yourself in art, come visit Ayala Museum. It is definitely a worthwhile experience. Ayala Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9AM to 6PM.