With no hesitation, I marked my calendar and made sure that there should be no other activities that could hinder me from going to this special privilege. For me, visiting museums is more interesting than going somewhere during the weekends. I can spend almost half of the day here sometimes. I know it may sound boring and absurd to some people, but doing it would be as relaxing as a warm bath or a whole body massage.
Tagging along Andrew with me, one of my closest friends in the office, this museum visit became much more interesting as we discussed art and culture. This activity turned out to be an eye-opener to me by starting to realize a lot of things about who we really are, what we are and what would we might become.
The Highlight: Gold of Ancestors
|Photo Credit: Asian Traveler|
There is one area in this museum that caught my entire attention, fascination and excitement. This is the tripartite exhibition called Crossroads of Civilization. Here it features the luxury and richness of the Philippine community during the 10th to 20th century, and even the time as early as five hundred or more years before Magellan came to the country. This area displays our early forms of linguistics, beliefs, social organization, material clothing and adornments. But I guess the most spectacular highlight of this exhibit is the Gold of Ancestors:
Gold of Ancestors is a gallery that shows how intense the desire of our early ancestors to gold. Rare pieces, one-of-its-kind ornaments fascinated me as I take a look at them closer. Being recovered from the 10th to the 13th century, these more than one thousand unique golden masterpieces displayed here that includes chastity covers, hilts, bangles, ear pieces, sashes and necklaces have become the earliest symbol of social class. True enough, I realized that we really have a rich cultural heritage...literally.
More than just What Meets the Eyes
Would you dare to wear a golden sash weighing almost 4 kilograms? The picture below (Gold Regalla) shows that our ancestors once wore sashes as heavy and as precious as this:
While keenly observing these unique golden pieces at the forth floor of the museum, I felt a certain degree of pride knowing that we once owned these pieces. Picture started popping out in my head on how do people those early days wore them. I wonder how rich we were all before.
But as I observed each pieces, I started to feel that I was no longer staring at them superficially. I started to imagine, reluctantly wanted to dig deeper on their "historical DNA". Questions started popping up on my head and I was beginning to be bugged by these.
Though I can't imagine what exactly the kind of life Filipinos have during the "golden" times, I couldn't help myself compare our present scenario. I was thinking that maybe during the time that the Philippines was rich like gold, I could imagine that there could be no individual suffering from hunger and extreme poverty as what we are having today. I can picture a community with no illegal settlers, no homeless beggars, and no corrupt authority . I caught myself reconstructing a bigger image of happy living and an abundant life.
But I just ended up forcing a smile. I ended up shaking my head while saying "Wake up!" I might just be day-dreaming again.
I ended happy though that even once in our history we were once rich. Though we are now sliding down slowly on the economy ladder, at least I could still own the fact the we really had this richness before. Though I think we could no longer revert our present situation, this museum illuminates who we are and what could we have become.
More about the Ayala Museum
Reading books is not enough if you are really a history buff like me. You must go out and explore. Visit Ayala Museum today.
More museum exhibits? Click here to see their website.
Disclaimer: Photos used without the "What Michael Likes" logo are solely property of ayalamuseum.org. "What Michael Likes" do not own these images.
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