The National Museum of the Philippines was my attempt to go back in time.
On September 21, 1972, President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law throughout the whole Philippines. It was a floodgate to years of abuse, torture, killings, and disappearances. On November 18, 2016, that very architect of the Philippines’ dark days was buried in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’Cemetery). There was no announcement. No news. We only learned of it an hour before they laid his body beneath the ground. On the same day, I joined my very first street protest. I tried to find solace in the thrum of the drums, shouts of the youth, and clenched fists against the sky. On that day, I learned that I did love my country, and hours later, when I was finally out of my fresh-from-a-rally dress, kitten heels, and blazer (we were all taken unawares), I decided that there was a need to revisit my country’s past.
The National Museum of the Philippines exhibits works of art, specimens, and cultural and historical artifacts that represents the country’s rich culture, patrimony, and history. It has recently become free of charge, and has thus become more accessible to more people. It has numerous galeries, featuring everything from historical to contemporary paintings, sculptures, and photographs, and various other kinds of art. It’s a haven for artists, an inspiration to all Filipinos, and an eye-opener to visitors.
Please note: These are only very few of the collections that one can find in the National Museum. Nothing will ever beat the experience of actually visiting the gallery.