Tuesday, October 09, 2007
Going to the National Museum of the Philippines is an exhilarating experience especially when I consider it as a fortress of my country’s natural and cultural wealth. My visit to that stronghold of my nation’s heritage infused me with pride and nationalism and made me aware of my cultural identity.
Built in 1901 and presently housed in the Old Congress Building at the heart of Manila, the National Museum boasts of galleries featuring Philippine ethnographic, historical, artistic, scientific and cultural resources, all of which crystallize the Filipino body, of which I am an integral part. Seeing the San Diego china and pottery wreckages in Galleries I, IV and V left me in awe because of the richness of my country’s history, all the more when I saw the best of Philippine visual arts featured in Gallery 2, which made me conscious of the natural Filipino talent. Gallery III which showcases my islands as a vital pre-colonial link of sea-trading East Asian countries fills me with pride because of the importance my country played during the ancient times. The Pinagmulan Gallery amazed me because I was given an alternative story of my Filipino origin. The next gallery, aptly named Kahihinatnan, gave me a better understanding of the diversity of the present Filipinoculture. The cloth and object theater gallery primed me with the textile tradition in my country as well as the odyssey the Filipinos have undergone and continue to undergo.
The National Museum is the collective pride of the Filipinos, and my becoming more conscious of my cultural idiosyncrasy adds to that pride all the more. It serves as a window to the national horizon.