Museum Hopping

Went culture shopping in where else but historic Intramuros? 

First stop was the National Museum – our main purpose: to see Juan Luna’s Spoliarium as Ipe has never seen it in person (I, on the other hand, had seen it many times before as I’ve been visiting the museum since high school). Now, for those who don’t know, Luna’s masterpiece won a gold medal in the Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes in Spain; it was actually a payment to the Ayuntamiento of Manila who provided him with a scholarship in exchange for a work of art.

But as an added treat, the Assassination of Bustamante by Felix HIdalgo was also there (this one, I can barely recall, since it doesn’t have that much of a ring in my memory). This painting has a bit of a colorful history as it depicts a rather forbidden topic. But the genius behind the painting cannot be denied and it deserves its rightful place in the museum:

shirt, Promod; shorts, Kamiseta;taken outside the Museum steps 

Now, most of Hidalgo’s prize-winning masterpieces are on display at the Bangko Sentral’s museum, so we added that to our itinerary as well. You might want to check out Las Virgenes Cristianas Expuestas al Populacio (Christian Virgins Exposed to the Populace) and La Barca de Aqueronte (The Boat of Charon). The former won a silver medal in the same competition as Luna’s Spoliarium while the latter won a silver medal Exposicion Universelle in Paris and a gold medal International Exposition of Fine Arts in Madrid. 
Intramuros holds a special place in our lives since we got married there four years ago, in the oldest Catholic church in the country, and one of four baroque churches in the country listed in the Unesco – The San Agustin. So far, we’ve visited three out of four, although the last one in Iloilo is a bit far fetched since if we do go there, it would be the sole reason for our going (so friends, if you can recommend anything worth visiting/doing in Iloilo, drop me a line). 
The Manila Cathedral and the Pieta (which was cast from the same mold as the original):

The old finance Central Bank which was gutted down by fire many many years ago, and the status of King Philip of Spain fronting it:
The Archbishop’s official residence:
The Post Office:
For those who don’t know, the city of Manila was actually patterned after Washington DC by renowned American architect Daniel Burnham (yes, the same man who gave his name to Burnham Park in Baguio) – so you can consider it a miniature version of the US capital.
There are a host of other museums in the city of Manila, and other historical landmarks to visit but a half day is obviously not enough so I’ll just take you there on another blog post. 😛
* Spolarium and the Assassination of Bustamante from Google Images

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