I have never felt so little in my entire life. Back then, I always took pride of our Museo Sugbo – the biggest by far among the museums we had in Cebu. But standing in front of the National Museum, much more wandering inside it made me realize what a tiny spec of the universe I am a part of. Take note, this is just one of the four in this complex in Manila.
We chose the National Museum of Fine Arts. Liza Soberano’s fault. But mostly because of Pierre, the ‘Alagad ng Sining’ of the group and our instant tour guide. No complaints though, as we were already fed with all the interesting feats needed to know even before we entered the galleries.
Upon entry, Juan Luna greeted us with his greatest masterpiece – the Spoliarium – in the National Museum of Fine Arts. Thanks to Jerrold Tarog, my thoughts were already polluted with Antonio Luna’s death instead of marveling such work of art. Grand is an understatement. For someone who once dreamt of becoming an artist, such gigantic piece is huge reminder why pursuing ones passion is no easy feat – it takes a brave heart to finish what has been started, it takes a great amount of courage to present something for others to critique than to appreciate. Art is not for the faint of heart. It brings out the crazy in you, and not everyone’s capable of handling that. In today’s world, it’s easy to call oneself an artist, but certainly, it would always takes one to know one.
I’d be lying if I tell you I’m a fan of museums. That I’m not. But as you go on traveling and setting forth on adventures, you’ll begin to realize that to be able to understand the culture and behavior of people of a certain place, you have to learn its past; and what better place to do that than in a museum. It gives us a glimpse of the past, a comparative point of the present, and an idea of how the future would look like.
The National Museum was made up of several floors all divided into galleries – each one presenting works of renowned artists and various mediums. While the rest of the group went roaming around, I was stuck in Fernando Amorsolo’s exhibit. It presented his evolution as an artist – from menial sketches to his intricate paintings showing the Filipino’s every day way of living. It brought back all the ‘what-ifs’ and ‘could-have-beens’. What if I pursued Fine Arts? What if I pushed with UP? What if my parents supported such idea? What if we have an established art industry in the country? What if there’s actually a future in pursuing ones passion? That it’s not only for the selected few? What if not?
We were already on our way to the second floor of National Museum of Fine Arts to look for answers, or more questions when our phones rang.
Time’s up! Back on the bus now.
God, I hate following an itinerary.
I wish I had more time.
I’d be back, National Museum. See you soon… and yeah, cheers to all our frustrations in life. HAHA.