If you want to understand the history of the Philippines, there is no better way than visiting the newly renovated National Museum.
Now, you have no reason to skip the invitation because the entrance is free of charge.
Aside from the excitement seeing first-hand paintings and sculptures of Philippines’ renowned National Artists, I learned also to appreciate the richness of the Philippines history. If only every Filipino has the chance to see the real treasures of our country as early as possible, I believe that we will develop a sense of nationalism and patriotism—two elements which are missing in most of us today.
As the saying goes, “You can’t love someone faithfully if you don’t know his/her past.” How can we love and defend our country from ideologies that destroy the very essence of our being Filipino, if we ourselves lack the required degree of comprehension of events and people before us. The history books could teach us, but seeing beyond the books are far different.
Please give me the opportunity to cite just one example, only one, because I don’t want to spoil your own visit after you read this.
The Spolarium by Juan Luna— The painting was entered by Luna to Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884 in Madrid, where it garnered gold medal. Dr. Jose Rizal once said,
“embodied [ in the Spolarium] the essence of our social, moral and political life: humanity in severe ordeal, humanity unredeemed, reason and idealism in open struggle with prejudice, fanaticism and injustice.
If we are keen enough, the Philippines is a living Spolarium.
Filipinos are suffering from poverty.
Many Filipinos are under the influence of illegal drugs.
Many human rights are oppressed.
Instead of Gladiator we drag and kill, innocent Filipinos without due process.
We are praising government idols.
The only difference this time is that—we will not win any gold medal.
If and only if we learn to revisit our history and appreciate its mysticism, we will be able to say that:
I am proud that I am a Filipino.
I will respect my fellow countrymen,
I will help my country because our ancestors did an excellent job to shape this nation.
Visit the National Museum today! I can accompany you if you want. 🙂