The National Musuem, Manila
A few days shy of the New Year I thought I’d fulfill a long-unticked item from my bucket list, which is to visit this building that houses some of my country’s national art treasures. I have always known that Juan Luna’s Spoliarium is big, but I was still surprised at how magnanimous it truly was.
The building is a wonderful artefact in itself. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon looking, reading,and learning some new things about the great creators of my race. I loved the paintings, but my favorite 5 minutes were spent inside the old Session Hall, drinking in as much of its hallowed space and committing it to tactile and digital memory. Sunlight through the windows, the loud sound of silence, my jaw slack in almost-cheesy awe but maybe that’s just me. I have never felt so much spirit inside an old room before, “past glory” never took on so much obvious meaning. Kind of sad, the way we were, compared to what we are now.
Most of my peers have passed through those dubiously-hued pillars; only I’ve never joined a HUM2 field trip (because back in college I was like, why should I go on a Manila field trip? I can go there anytime – well “anytime” took several years). Glad to have done this on my own pace and pocket of free-time. Sadly a lot of wings were closed for renovation (I didn’t get to see Imelda’s shoe collection for example), but that just gives me an excuse to go back some other time.