An Art and History fix at the Ayala Museum in Makati

I've been to Makati several times, either to attend meetings or to hang out with friends at the mall. And Ayala Museum is just one of the many established places in the area that I frequently pass-by, but never took the time to visit. To me, I saw the gallery as another boring repository with pricey entrance fees. But I was wrong, as it got me completely hooked with its well-curated materials. And I'm glad that I finally made the time to explore the institution during my staycation at Alcoves two months ago.

Ayala Museum is said to be the "heart of art and culture in the Makati central business district"; and it has 4 floors worth of artifacts, galleries, tours, workshops and lectures (amongst other programs) that cover the art and history of the Philippines. 

"The artist and philanthropist Fernando Zobel (1924-1984) dreamed of a museum of Philippine history and iconography, and in April of 1967, the Ayala Museum began to take shape as the principal project of the Filipinas Foundation, Inc. The original museum building was inaugurated in June 1974. With a growing need for expansion, the museum moved to its current home in September 2004.


TIP: The best way to see the entire museum is to start on the top floor (elevators are available if you don't feel like climbing the stairs). The museum staff will recommend the same thing. But you can always go at your own pace.


Taking of photos and videos are not allowed on this floor, which is a good thing actually, as it kept me focused on all of the important artifacts that were displayed on this level. 

A special gallery, the Crossroads of Civilizations, is what you can expect to see on this area. Here, you will find three exhibitions that showcase the "sophisticated cultures that existed in the Philippines" which were evidenced by pre-colonial Philippine gold (10th to 13th century), Chinese and Southeast Asian tradewares (early 9th century, and 18th-20th century Christianized), and Philippine Indigenous Textiles.

Photo courtesy of Ayala Museum booklet


This floor also curates an interesting line-up, as it showcased several artworks by our very own National Artists -- some of which were created by Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo and Fernando Zobel (amongst other talented Filipino masters/artisans from the 19th to 21st century). A museum shop can also be found on the same level.

Photo courtesy of Ayala Museum booklet


The second floor is where you will find The Diorama Experience -- a visual narration of the Philippines' history (from ancient to contemporary times). It was Carlos Quirino (National Artist for Historical Literature) who led the creation of these historical scenes. But it was the intricate handiwork of Paete's craftsmen who made these installations come to life.

Taking of photos (no flash) and videos can finally be done on this floor. I actually took a lot of pictures here, while I gazed and relished the exquisite details and worthy captions on each of the 60 comprehensive dioramas.

You'll also get to see a "collection of finely crafted models of maritime vessels that plied the waters of the archipelago", as well as an audio video presentation about Martial Law at the end of the tour.


This level showcases different and changing exhibitions, all displaying contemporary art to historical content from local and international partners.


The entrance fees may vary per person. But you can show your ID/s to get discounted rates at the admission counter (i.e. senior, student, local resident).

The museum is located at Makati Avenue corner De la Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City (beside Greenbelt 4 and 5). Operating hours are from Tuesday-Sunday, 9am to 6pm. 

Explore & Be Free!



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