Had a chance to finally visit the new home of the Ayala Museum. I have visited it a lot of times when it was still in its old building, which was designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro Locsin. The new modernist building is also designed by Locsin's Leandro V. Locsin Partners headed by his son, Leandro Jr. This is located behind Landmark and a few metres away from the circular church building at Greenbelt Park.
Beside the museum building is a sea of green arranged in the style of an Asian garden with lots of bamboo and water elements. The huge capiz lamps are very Asian, if not totally Filipino. I think it's very nice to stage a show here or perhaps a formal dinner whenever the museum has special events. You must visit this area if you are able. You will love it!
There is a pedestrian overpass from the CBD area that snakes its way along the side of the museum. At one point, it even "enters" the musem, but the walls are covered in glass. This allows people to have a glimpse of what's inside without having to walk in, but really, the idea is to attract visitors. Entrance is so affordable at PHP 150/person but foreigners are charged PHP 300. Museum memberships are also available and exciting privileges await the applicants.
The M Cafe (Museum Cafe) is located at the ground floor across the main entrance. It boasts of an impressive menu and a dining area of a streamlined setting of white and earth colors, complemented by Filipino-designed embellishments.
Posters here show what's up in the museum for the current month. Several exhibits are permanent like those shown here. There's a sprinkling of Amorsolos, Damian Domingos, Lunas and, of course, Zobels. However, the collection is so small that you might end up wanting for more which I think is good because you will be forced to visit other museums as well.
If you want to drown in Luna, for example, one only need to proceed to the National Museum's Gallery of the Masters in Manila to see an entire hall of Lunas, plus the chance to see the staggeringly huge, breathtaking, and gold-winning Spoliarium. There are also Amorsolos in the next building, the National Museum's Museum of the Filipino People where the loot from the sunken galleon, San Diego, are also kept. Entrance fee to the National Museum is just PHP 100 (but this was like several years ago).
There's something wrong in the way the dioramas are presented in that the dates of two display windows were interchanged (the AD came before the BC; a slight oversight). Also, aside from the dates and the description of the event being depicted and the occassional quotations from old books (which are a pain to read especially if you are tall and the dim lights are of no help at all), there is nothing else to help foreigners and locals alike to recall the importance of such "turning points" in our history. At least a statement on their significance could be added in the future.
Don't get me wrong. I love my history, but not everyone feels the same. We can help change that mindset by making things easier to understand and appreciate, especially for the young ones who don't even remember People Power or appreciate the significance of the arrest of Aguinaldo, the execution of Rizal, etc.
Also, there is a sort of "boat of the month" gimik at the model galleons area in which light is flashed on one galleon and none on the rest of the collection. I think there is no more need for this because for many first-time visitors, their visit may also be their last. This will rob them of the chance to appreciate the entire collection, fabulous as it already is.
HOT TIP. For first-time visitors, brush up on your local history before visiting so you don't come out more bewildered than when you came in.
Makati Avenue cor. De La Rosa Street
Greenbelt Park, Ayala Center
Makati City 1224
PHONE: +632.757.7117 to 21
FAX: +632.757.ARTS (2787) / +632.757.3588