The Birth of a New Exhibit in the Old Walled City of Intramuros

After the Intramuros Administration (IA) recreated something old using something new in their iMake History Fortress (where Lego scale models of well-known landmarks in Intramuros were constructed to promote the heritage sites in the walled city), they are back again with a new museum housing old artifacts that date way back to the Spanish colonization.

As part of the celebration of the Intramuros Administration’s 40th anniversary, the institution officially opened the Museo de Intramuros last April 29, 2019, and was opened to the public on May 2, 2019, just in time for the celebration of National Heritage month. What the museum has in store for its guests are IA’s vast collection of religious artwork and other artifacts made by Filipinos during the Spanish period. The whole experience transports guests back in time to where they could see how the indigenous art of Filipinos were slowly shaped into that of ecclesiastical art by the introduction of Catholicism—a museum telling the story of Filipino evangelization.

The museum has a total of six exhibits: (1) The Immaculate Conception, (2) The Religious Order, (3) The Patronato Real and the Establishment of Parishes, (4) Religious Colonial Paintings, (5) The Establishment of a Parish and Sacred Vessels, and (6) The Indio Response (to evangelization).

The museum is three stories high and each floor highlights the numerous artifacts the IA has collected over the years in order to preserve the Intramuros heritage. Some of the exhibits include the sculptures of the saints from the five religious orders in the country, namely, the Franciscans, Augustinians, Dominicans, Jesuits, and the Recollects. There are also paintings from the Cebu school, which distinctly uses diamond patterns in subjects’ clothes, and the Leyte school, which paints men with angular, pointy faces and women with soft, round faces. In The Indio Response exhibit, guests can see how some of the sculptures are made to look like angels, but predominantly looks like a bulul (a statue that serves as a guardian from indigenous beliefs). Their crown jewel, so to speak, is The Immaculate Conception situated on the second floor, which is used during the Grand Marian Procession during Decembers. The third floor, however, exhibits Intramuros in its past, present, and future.

All in all, the Museo de Intramuros is sure to be one of the most must-visit places in Manila as it displays the Filipinos’ Catholic influence in an artistic form. The cherry on top of this exciting exhibit? The Museo is situated inside the San Ignacio Church and the Mission House of the Society of Jesus,which is said to be one of the oldest churches inside Intramuros and was the pride and inspiration of the Society of Jesus, known as the Jesuits’ Sueno Dorado or  “Golden Dream”.

So if you’re in the mood to trace back your Filipino roots or just simply inside the walled city, then make sue to drop by the Museo de Intramuros. Their admission is free for the first six months and they are open Tuesdays to Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (until further notice). – article by Nicole Galleon

References:

Visit the newly opened Museo de Intramuros for free (for the first six months). (2019, May 2). Retrieved             from https://cnnphilippines.com/life/culture/arts/2019/5/2/intramuros-museum.html

Yulo, A. (2018, July 4). Unfinished, award-winning Spanish architecture pavilion, now in Manila. Retrieved            from https://bluprint.onemega.com/unfinished-san-ignacio-2018

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