Ayala Museum is one of the most important and most visited private museums in the Philippines. Located at the heart of the Ayala business district in Makati, Ayala Museum showcases a number of exhibits that cannot be found elsewhere in the country. It opened in 1974 and moved to its present location on the corner of De La Rosa Street on September 28, 2004 during Ayala Corporation’s 170th anniversary.
Here are exciting reasons why you should check out this world-class museum of art and history:
Sixty beautifully handcrafted dioramas. The museum’s main attraction is a collection of dioramas showing 60 of the country’s significant historical events dating back from prehistoric times to the recognition of Philippine independence in 1946. A recent addition is a multimedia presentation of the 1986 People’s Power Revolution, in which the business district of Ayala, Makati played an important role. This, as well as the dioramas, provides foreign visitors a wonderful glimpse into understanding how the Philippines had come about.
Boat Gallery. Part of the diorama experience is a collection of finely detailed miniature boats that show the evolution of sea vessels that were used in the Philippines. Boats, in a way, forged the Philippines as a nation. The early Malaya people came in on prehistoric boats, Chinese merchants traded business on boats with early Filipinos, the Spanish conquistadors came on a fleet of Spanish ships, and the United States Navy waged war against Spain in the Battle of Manila Bay.
Ethnographic artifacts. The best items in a museum are always the archeological finds. The museum holds a small collection of ethnographic artifacts of Filipino minority communities both from the northern and southern part of the country. The ancient items include tools, weapons, ritual objects, clothing, body ornaments, and musical instruments including the kulintang from Mindanao. Included in this collection are war armors and helmets that were worn by Muslim datus or chieftains in ancient Mindanao. Other archeological finds are bracelets, flake tools from 5000-2000 BC, and burial jars from 2200 BC to 1521. There are also collections of ancient costumes and garments, ceramic ware used for trading, and Chinese pottery.
Rare paintings by Filipino Masters. Ayala Museum proudly possesses important works by some of the great Filipino masters, which include Fernando M. Zobel de Ayala (1924-1984), Fernando Amorsolo (1882-1972), and Juan Luna (1875-1899). Juan Luna is considered a national hero because he used his art to depict the struggles of the Filipino people against Spain. (His most important work, the Spoliarium is displayed in the National Museum of the Philippines). Fernando Amorsolo, a well-loved national artist, is known for his landscape paintings. Another featured artist is Damian Domingo, considered as the first important Filipino artist. He is famous for his portraits, religious paintings and watercolor albums.
Golden exhibit. Spread for all to enjoy are a thousand gold objects dating back to between the 10th and 13th centuries. The golden artifacts were excavated from different parts of the country.
These are just a few of the sights Ayala Museum offers. The museum is open from Tuesday to Friday at 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, and Saturdays and Sundays at 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.