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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to see at the Ayala Museum -Famous exhibits of a famous museum

Giving life to history, art, and culture, the Ayala Museum was established in 1973. Since then, it has expanded and grown into one of the must visit attractions in the Philippines.


Indigenous Philippine Textiles

Textiles have always been an integral part of the Philippine lifestyle. Any hotel in Manila, Makati or in the remotest part of the country would invariably have a textile component in their décor, proclaiming its importance. This particular exhibition of indigenous textiles was opened in 2014, in collaboration with Price's School of Traditional Arts. The centrepiece of the collection contains 111 textiles, each representing the indigenous communities of the country and was donated by Mercedes Zobel. It is a good opportunity to learn the intricacies of the art of textiles and observe its evolution through history.


Gold of Ancestors

You would not expect these riches to be exhibited in the middle of the city, in a building that is only twenty minutes away from large shopping malls, restaurants, and landmark hotels like Berjaya Makati Hotel. But Ayala Museum has an astounding collection of a thousand gold objects that glorify the different cultures of Philippines prior to colonisation. These gold objects not only display the riches that the country once held, but their features which draw certain parallels with those of other South-east Asian countries bear testimony to the intercountry trade and influence that must have been rampant back in those days. These gold objects include ornaments such as sashes, as well as an array of jewellery like rings, bracelets, anklets, and necklaces.


Vessels of the sea

Ayala Museum also has a rich collection of models of maritime vessels that narrate history through their mere existence. These vessels are not just those of transport, but those of dwelling as well. the ships include those that were made in Philippines itself as well as foreign ships that used to dock in Philippine harbours. The material used in the making of these vessels are all local, such as apitong wood, laniti, and baticulin. String, cloth, bronze, and bamboo have been used on the ships for decoration purposes. Some of the vessels that can be found here are pre-Hispanic boat, Chinese junk, Arabian baghla, lorcha, galleon, and caravel.


Centuries of Ceramics

Nothing speaks history more than inanimate objects. This holds true for the vast collection of ceramics that is found at Ayala Museum. These ceramics are a testimony to the relationship between the Philippines and other South-east Asian countries as well as China, which have been in the fields of commercial and social. The collection exceeds 500 in number and spans ten centuries – a thousand years.


The Dioramas

One of the oldest experiences to be had at the Ayala Museum, the dioramas that depict Philippine history has been a gradually growing attraction since 1973. They have been created by the expert hands of artists from Laguna and Paete. Thus, not only do they depict important historical events, but they are also perfect examples of the expertise in woodcarving and miniature painting in the country. The events depicted are sixty in number, and span from the prehistoric times to 1946 when the Philippines gained independence.