Monday, 8 September 2014

The Diorama Experience

How's everyone doing?

Last time I studied Science through the Mind Museum (See entry here:A Day Inside Mind Museum ). This time, I took up History, Philippine History to be exact. ♥
Remember when I visited Jana Benitez's exhibit in Ayala Museum? (Check it here: Life Force by Jana Benitez) I also visited the museum's Diorama Experience which takes up the entire second floor. The exhibit itself was completed in 1971. Carved by highly skilled woodcarving craftsmen from Paete, Laguna (a province known for their excellent woodcarving artistry), the exhibits uses miniature statues, infrastructures, and scenery which are then encased in glass showcases to depict the major events in Philippine history. The exhibit also comes with an Audio Diorama Guide available in iPods which can be rented.

Please take note that these are some of the displays I liked best and NOT the entire exhibit.

Upon reaching the second floor, there's a mini display of our cultural heritage from different provinces of the Philippines and The Maritime Vessel Exhibit which displays the different boats that traveled the Philippine Sea. These various boats were used for maritime trade and warfare.  

The Diorama is like a maze since several wall panels houses the displays. But don't worry, the displays are numbered so you know exactly where to go next. The first few dioramas show the of the prehistoric and pre-Spanish colonization. Few examples are the "Taong Tabon" and the "Tabon" caves as well as the how the "payew"  which is now known as the "Banawe Rice Terraces"  was built, and the barter trade system with neighbouring countries.

Left-side - down: Prehistoric Living
Right-side - down: Taong Tabon, Payew, Barter Trade System
The next displays include the highlights of the three hundred colonization of Spain. To name a few, this part of the exhibit includes the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan in 1521, the first Catholic mass, the Mactan Battle, and the blood compact between Datu Sikatuna and Miguel Lopez de Legazpi. The other displays include the the conversion of pagans to Catholicism and the tyranny of the old Spanish government. The exhibit also displays what some famous streets and building looked like during the Spanish occupation.

Top Left: Arrival of Spaniards
Top Right: First Catholic Mass
Bottom Left: The Mactan Battle
Bottom Right: Blood Compact
Top Left: MalacaƱang Palace
Top Right: Tondo
Bottom Left: Escolta
Bottom Right: Construction of University of Santo Tomas
The next part is the story of the Katipunan. It tells the story on how the KKK or simply "Katipunan" was founded. It includes how "Katipuneros" (members of the Katipunan) started the rebellion against oppression and the fight for freedom from the Spaniards and how the Americans took over. Some of the highlights include the Cry of Balintawak, the execution of Dr Jose P. Rizal, the battle of Tirad Pass, the capture of Emilio Aguinaldo, the assassination of General Antonio Luna, the Flag Raising at Kawit, Cavite on 1898, and the Malolos Congress. (Sorry if it's not in order, I'm just going by memory here. -__-")

Top Left: The Cry of Balintawak
Top Right: Rizal and the Firing Squad
Bottom Left: The Flag Raising At Kawit, Cavite
Bottom Right: The Malolos Congress
Did you know that there was a Philippine-American war? I didn't. All I knew that there was unrest because some Katipuneros did not approve of America taking occupation in the Philippines but I didn't know that it was a full blown war. Most of the history books I've read in high school didn't seem to include that part. (Either that or I wasn't paying attention in History class. :P) Anyway, the last part of the Diorama exhibit was the events that transpired during the Second World War. It includes how the Japanese attack the Philippines, the declaration of Manila as an "open city", the horrific Bataan Death March, the return of General Douglas MacArthur, the inauguration of President Manuel L. Quezon, and the Flag Raising on July 4, 1946 that finally made the Philippines as an independent country.

Top Left: The Return of General Douglas MacArthur
Bottom Left: The Philippine Flag Raising
Top Right: Manila is declared an Open City
Middle Right: The Bataan Death March
Bottom Right: Inauguration of President Manuel L. Quezon
The last part of the exhibit is in a small room: a multimedia presentation of the events during the Marcos Regime that led to the People Power Revolution. I wasn't able to take some video stills because there were a lot of people inside and it seemed rude to take pictures when they were engrossed in watching the presentation.

I enjoyed zigzagging through the halls like a grade school girl on a field trip. I was amazed by the detailed and intricate wood carvings and the depictions of these events. I relearned Philippine History and discovered other important events. 
If you're a museum-lover or a history-buff, I recommend that you drop by the Ayala Museum and pay The Diorama Experience a visit.

For more info, visit their website:

Til the next post,

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