The Philippines is truly an amazing country to visit. Its culture and history are so rich that there are countless museums and resource centers in Metro Manila alone. One of these and among the leading repositories of Philippine art, culture and history is the Filipinas Heritage Museum or Library. A division of the Ayala Foundation, the Filipinas Heritage Museum or Library showcases a wealth of information on Filipino culture through its electronic resource center that boasts of the latest in information technology and telecommunications.
What can you find in Filipinas Heritage?
We’ve come up with a short list of some their best offerings.
The first thing you will find there would have to be the books. And not just any books: rare books. There are over 2,000 volumes of books that were printed before 1946, antique 18th Century books, and rare century-old maps. This is why this library is also often referred to as a museum. It contains more than artifacts and archeological finds, since the printed words in books will never fade away. They provide a clear picture of how Filipinos lived in the past too.
The library also has more than 12,000 volumes of monographs on the history, culture, art and literature of the Philippines. The special collections of Filipinas Heritage include books on the life and works of Dr. Jose Rizal, the national hero, rare books on the liberation of Manila (donated by Memorare Manila 1945 Foundation, Inc.) and old photographs showing how the country and its people looked like in long-ago times. Filipinas Heritage has over 35,000 photographs depicting how Filipinos lived in the 5th Century all the way to the early 1970s. Some of the photos may even be purchased for research or personal purposes only.
One of the library’s newest collections is the Roderick Hall Collection. It features 700 World War II books and novels about Manila and the Philippines. This rare collection was donated by Roderick Hall.
As in all libraries, the Filipinas Heritage also has a Reading Room where you can enjoy and intimately flip through its growing collection on Philippine history, art, language, religion, and social sciences. Not really designed as your typical library but more as an upscale lounge, the Reading Room may also be used as venue for cocktails, light parties, formal dinners, training seminars and product launches. It can accommodate 80 to 120 guests. For those in need of a bigger and breezier spot, the open-air Courtyard is where to go.
Outside the confines of its facilities, Filipinas Heritage Library actively advocates reading. It regularly donates books to schools, libraries, and reading centers. Filipinas Heritage believes that the love of reading and learning should be promoted to all Filipinos, and so the library does its share in providing the needed reading materials. The library also hosts a number of reading programs and events for free to children and youth.
Located at Makati Avenue, Ayala Triangle, the Filipinas Heritage Museum or Library is open to the public. It also offers online services for students, teachers, librarians, and all lovers of history and culture.