Every October, the Philippines celebrates Museums and Galleries Month. The celebration is observed by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 798, s. 1991, which aims to “underscore the importance of arousing national consciousness and pride in our rich Filipino culture and heritage embodying the aspirations of the nation, expressed in all media of art as well as historical and religious artifacts.”
Before the pandemic, October would often see museums cut entrance fee prices by half–or sometimes even have free admission promos for the entire month! But of course, because of COVID-19, museum visits are not possible as health protocols don’t allow leisure establishments like art museums and galleries to operate to avoid spread of the novel coronavirus. (Read: 5 Virtual Museums You Can Check Out While in Quarantine)
However, this is not a reason for us to not commemorate this special month! While we are yet to be permitted to visit museums, take this time to teach the younger generations why museums and galleries are important so that post-pandemic, they may be encouraged to visit them with friends and family.
Here are four reasons you can share with them!
It teaches us about Philippine history
Through artifacts, unearthed documents, and other items, people get to learn more about the history of the Philippines and its people. Through illustrations, fossils, and the like, we are able to see how people back then, including our ancestors, lived and survived. Because of these things, children–and even adults–are able to learn about significant moments in the past that have changed the way we live. Museums also help us not repeat the mistakes of the past. Through the displays, we see proof of atrocities, bloodbaths, and dark times that it motivates us to inspire change and ensure that these don’t happen again.
Museum suggestion for Philippine history: Martial Law Museum (digital museum), https://martiallawmuseum.ph/
It allows us to see our rich culture
Museums and galleries would often display different cultural items for us to see. Clothes, work equipment, and even household items can be seen in these establishments, which show us the different cultures from the over 7,000 islands of the Philippines. You’ll get to see traditional wedding outfits of different tribes, cookware people in the past would use to make their dishes, and also discover how they communicated back then without all the technology we have now! Museums make us realize that the Philippines is such a beautiful and culturally rich country with all its traditions and heritage. (Read: LOOK: These Masterpieces From the Louvre Museum Are Now Online!)
Museum suggestion for Filipino culture: National Museum of Anthropology, Rizal Park, Manila
It shows us the innate talents Filipinos have
As we all know, people around the world admire Filipinos for their innate talent in singing and dancing, evident in the Filipino singers that have graced the international stage. But it isn’t just these two talents that Filipinos are good at. Many Filipinos are also amazingly skilled when it comes to visual arts like painting and sculpting! Works by Juan Luna, Napoleon Abueva, Fernando Amorsolo, and many more are displayed in museums for visitors–both local and foreign–to appreciate.
Museum suggestion for Filipino art: National Museum of Fine Arts, Rizal Park, Manila
It allows us to explore places in and outside Earth
Aside from teaching us about the past, museums and galleries also lets us see what’s beyond the country’s borders, and even past the Earth’s clouds and skies. Thanks to science and technology, we get to explore outer space and learn interesting facts about the celestial bodies in our galaxy and even beyond that. Children who love outer space, and dream of becoming astronauts someday, will surely appreciate exhibitions like this as they are able to “experience” space at such a young age.
Museum suggestion for explorations: National Planetarium, Rizal Park, Manila