It is easy to hate Metro Manila. If you’ve also been living here for almost fifteen years, you might have your own list of reasons why you want to leave. I only have to think of two words: public transportation. Since it’s too early for a Halloween post, I will not explain that anymore.
But once in a while, we give this city a chance, as it has also been giving us opportunities the past years.
Yesterday, my brother Juk and I had some bonding time with a challenge: spend less than 300 pesos. It was Sunday, so I told him we should go to the National Museum. There’s no entrance fee there on Sundays.
In the Museum, we saw that Juan Luna’s The Parisian Life is getting attention from the visitors. A museum staff offered a lengthy interpretation of the symbols believed to be shown by the painting. That includes the representation of the Philippines by the woman on the painting: the figure seems to be a mirror image of the country’s map.
After the lecture, Juk and I had the same thought: “It could also be just a painting of some chick Luna met in Paris.”
My favorite works to look at are the studies made by the artists. Those rough sketches remind me that it takes practice to perfect the work. Above, you see Fernando Amorsolo’s sketches showing how the master seems to take time getting the hands drawn the way he wants.
The sculptor Guillermo Tolentino also made sketches before executing them on his medium. Some of them are drawn on graphing paper.
That’s my favorite playboy looking dapper as usual. In the Museum, Dr. Jose Rizal’s original Oyang Dapitana (plaster of Paris, 1894) is placed in the middle of the sculptures of the same figure made by Guillermo Tolentino (bronze cast, circa 1961) and Isabelo Tampinco (plaster of Paris, undated). Rizal’s terra cotta works, including A Mother’s Revenge (shown at the bottom right of the photo above), are also on display inside one of the halls.
After visiting the Museum, we walked towards Luneta, where hundreds of people gathered to watch the weekly musical fountain show. We had ice cream, foot long sandwich and softdrinks, while going around the park to look at the sculptures of lesser known heroes and patriots. All in all, this sibling bonding time made us spend less than 300 pesos. That’s inclusive of the 100 pesos we paid for three pieces of shirt from a nearby thrift shop.
Well, what can I say, Manila? There are so many reasons to hate you, but there’s a lot to love about you as well. And while we’re here, we’ll love you like home.