What To See in Ayala Museum

Ayala Museum
Ayala Museum

The Ayala Museum in Makati may look like a modern establishment on the outside, but it’s one of the best museums in the Philippines. It houses an extensive collection of Filipino artworks and artifacts, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in the history, art, and culture. If you plan to drop by any time soon, below are the exhibitions you can expect to see.

Top 5 Things to See in Ayala Museum

The Ayala Museum in Makati is one of the most culturally significant museums in the Philippines. Opened in 1967, the establishment was a passion project of the late artist Fernando Zóbel de Ayala y Montojo. It currently houses an extensive collection of Filipino artifacts that gives you a glimpse of Philippine history. If you’re planning to visit soon, here are the top 5 things you can see: 

The Diorama Experience

The Diorama Experience is one of Ayala Museum‘s most awaited highlights. It features sixty dioramas visually narrating Philippine history from ancient to modern times. Renowned biographer and National Artist for Historical Literature awardee Carlos Quirino led this project, but it was the intricate handiwork of craftsmen from Paete, Laguna, that brought the exhibit to life.

The Diorama Experience is on the second floor of the museum. The first thing you’ll see when you walk in is the visual depiction of the early cavemen in the Philippines. If you’re into maritime history, you’ll also spot a miniature collection of traditionally crafted ships on display. From there, you’ll see the evolution of Filipino culture, and the tour will end with a video presentation of the period of Philippine Martial Law. If you want to get a deeper experience of the exhibit, it is highly recommended that you do the audio tour.

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Artworks by National Artists

The third floor of the Ayala Museum Makati houses the artworks and photography of our prominent National Artists, such as:

  • Fernando Amorsolo
  • Juan Luna
  • Fernando Zobel
  • Jose Joya
  • Armado dela Rosa
  • Reynaldo Reyes
  • Jose Honorato Lozano
  • Luis Yap

The artworks display diverse artistic styles, mediums, and themes that notable Filipino artists used at the time. For example, Fernando Amorsolo’s “Planting Rice” depicts Philippine rural life, while Jose Joya’s “Space Transfiguration” showcases his innovative take on art.

The paintings and photographs are displayed in a well-curated and informative way, allowing visitors to admire their creativity and technique. On this floor, you’ll also find a souvenir shop where you can purchase a small trinket to commemorate your visit to the museum. Art books, home decor, and other gift items are also available, so you can get a few things for your friends and family.

Pre-Hispanic Artifacts

On the fourth floor of the Ayala Museum, you’ll see three spectacular exhibitions of the Philippines’ pre-colonial period. They feature pre-Hispanic treasures, including gold jewelry, costumes, tapestries, and potteries crafted by early Filipinos, Chinese, and Southeast Asian ancestors. The artifacts give you a glimpse into the ancient communities’ daily life, technology, and artistic skills.

Note that taking photographs or videos is prohibited on this floor to preserve the artifacts. But the silver lining is it will give you the opportunity to give the displays better focus and attention. Additionally, it allows you to bask and live in the moment of these prized artworks. 

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Temporary Exhibitions

In addition to the permanent galleries, the Ayala Museum features temporary exhibitions of contemporary and cultural works from local and international artists. They also offer workshops and events to cultivate people’s interest and love for cultural art.

Note that the exhibits and workshops change according to the schedule, so check out their official website to stay updated.

Museum Cafe

After a few hours of admiring the museum’s artworks and galleries, you’ll probably be hungry and parched. To satisfy your cravings, you can grab a bite at the museum’s cafe, Museya Kafé. Located on the establishment’s first floor, you can enjoy a cup of coffee or two at their breezy outdoor seating. Snacks, sandwiches, desserts, and smoothies are also available on their menu, so you can pick depending on what your taste buds are longing for that day.

The cafe is open daily from 10 am to 9 pm, so you don’t have to rush through your museum experience just to get a seat at the cafe.

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Closing Thoughts

The Ayala Museum in Makati is a treasure trove of Philippine history, art, and culture. From the captivating diorama experience to the exquisite collection of pre-colonial treasures, the museum offers an enriching experience through the nation’s heritage. Whether you’re a history buff, an art lover, or simply curious about the Philippines, drop by for a deeper appreciation of the country’s past and present.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you haven’t had the chance to visit the museum yet, you probably have questions about the admission fee and etiquette. So you’ll know what to expect, here are answers to frequently asked questions:  

What is the Ayala Museum famous for?

The Ayala Museum is famous for its extensive collection of exhibits on Filipino culture, history, and art. It also features changing exhibits of artworks from Filipino and overseas artists.

How much is the entrance fee for the Ayala Museum?

The Ayala Museum charges adults an admission fee of 650 pesos, but note that the price can change at any time. This fee gives you full access to four floors of galleries and exhibitions. If you don’t need to tour the entire museum, you can also purchase a pass to view the first floor’s temporary exhibitions.

Can you take pictures in the Ayala Museum?

To help preserve the artifacts, you can only take flashless pictures and videos on certain floors of the museum. It’s best to ask the museum staff and guides when you can do so.

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