Yuchengco Museum

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Things to do


Date of travel

February, 2018

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Reasons for trip

We had a half-day to pass in Manila before flying home and decided to head for the “Yuchengco Museum”:https://yuchengcomuseum.org/ which had a good review in our guide book. However, what really sold it was the walk from our “hotel”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation/183341-review-hotel-celeste to the Museum, which we anticipated was around 25 minutes and was mostly via the Dela Rosa elevated, covered walkway, thus keeping us out of the heat and away from busy traffic.

Dela Rosa was lined with closed eating places as it was a Saturday and it’s the business area. It was easy to negotiate until we neared the end when it stopped abruptly due to building works which meant a diversion through horrendous traffic, so we knew what we had avoided.

Eventually we found the Museum with its reasonable entrance fee (100 Peso/£1.60) and firstly enjoyed the air conditioning.

We were advised to take the lift to the 4th floor and follow the route and stairs down. The top floor had artefacts dedicated to Jose Rizal, their national hero. I liked the way his original letters had been transcribed with the corners of the original imprinted on the paper. As usual it was all in English and boards told of the debate about whether the ‘marriage’ to Josephine Bracken just before his execution was legal. There was also a love story about letters he’d written to his childhood sweetheart, Leonora Rivera, and how her disapproving mother began holding letters back, to make her think she had been abandoned by Rizal. After marrying someone her mother approved of, the letters were given to her. She cremated them and kept the ashes in a silver box which was buried with her when she died in childbirth.

An area dedicated to the Museum’s founder, Mr Yuchengco, who obviously enjoying having his photo taken with most heads of state. There was a sculpture of what looked like potatoes dangling on ropes from the ceiling in the central area and then other exhibits and paintings, a display of paper calendar pages which had won some kind of award for paper craft, and paintings by their National Artists and the letters conveying they had been granted that status. A couple of paintings were by a noted Filipino artist Benedicto Cabrera known as BenCab whose gallery we’d visited on our trip.

Paintings on the ground floor were by an artist called Amorsolo and we spotted two virtually identical paintings: one entitled ‘Fruit pickers harvesting under the mango tree’ painted in 1939 and another with a similar title painted two years later. We eventually managed to spot the difference – the way the mangoes in the basket were arranged. Unfortunately, no prize was on offer for our observation.

There was a small shop on the ground floor near the entrance but no café and so we headed out in the humidity once again.

Helen Jackson

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