Uncovering Melbourne’s History @ The Old Treasury Building

 ‘Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.’ – Winston Churchill

Melburnians are a blessed lot. Not only do they have a vibrant culinary arts scene (one of Australia’s best – plus great coffee!), there are also no shortage of things to do within the city, with a festival of some sort every other week, beautiful parks and nature, seaside and beaches perfect for surfing, as well as museums and art galleries at every corner.

But how did it all come to be?

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A great place to learn about Melbourne’s history and its roots is at the Old Treasury Building along Spring Street. Constructed in the mid-19th century, the Victorian-era structure was once home to the Treasury Department of the Government of Victoria, and now houses a museum chronicling the city’s history.

Melbourne as a city grew exponentially during the Victorian Gold Rush, when settlers flocked to the area in search of gold. As such, the building was originally built not only to act as treasury offices, but also to house the state’s gold vaults.

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The building’s interior exudes an austere Victorian charm, with thick wooden doors, dimly lit corridors and antique chandeliers. The museum’s permanent exhibition, “Melbourne: Foundations of a City” takes visitors through the city’s early days as a settlement by the Yarra River, its heydays in the Gold Rush, and later on during the World War. Most of the exhibits relate to the socio, economic and political development of Melbourne, told through important documents, letters or even decrees preserved to this day.

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Bust of Sir Edward Macarthur, Commander-in-Chief of British forces in Australia from 1855.

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An interesting exhibit on criminals, including female felons. There was a display of their mugshots along with their names, and their respective offences recorded in a book. These ranged from petty crime and disorderly conduct, to more serious offences such as murder.

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During World War I, Australians were faced with a choice – on whether their men should be conscripted to fight overseas. A Nation Divided: The Great War and Conscription tells the story of this time in Australian history. Some historians have described the debates resulting from the issue as being the most bitter, divisive and violent to ever consume the nation, splitting up families, communities and political parties.

 

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The exhibition covers material both for and against, showcasing impassioned posters, comics, poetry, speeches and many more. In the end, despite a huge government campaign, Australians voted against conscription – although many Australian soldiers still volunteered to participate in the war.

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What was it like living in 1920s Melbourne? Venture downstairs for an insight into the lives of the Maynard family, who lived in the basement of the Old Treasury Building.

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Mr Maynard was the superintendent of the building, in charge of security, maintenance and the cleaning staff, while Mrs Maynard took care of their eight children, whilst also preparing morning and afternoon tea for the Governor’s meetings upstairs. The family squeezed into five rooms, and you can see items and furniture perfectly preserved as they were in the old days. There’s even one of those old metal bathtubs on display!

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The basement is also where you will find the gold vaults, with real (?) gold bars encased behind glass, and this replica of a real-life giant gold nugget found in the area during the Gold Rush.

The museum is not very large, but it’s great for an hour or two of delving deeper into Melbourne’s history. Entrance is free.

OLD TREASURY BUILDING 

20 Spring St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Open : 10 AM – 4PM (closed Saturdays)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Travelogue Yogyakarta: Ullen Sewatu Museum + Lunch at Beukenhof Restaurant

Yogyakarta is a haven for culture and art enthusiasts. Beyond its two major attractions – the ancient Buddhist and Hindu temples of Bodobudur and Prambanan, respectively, there are many museums where one can visit to get a better understanding of more recent Javanese culture.

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One of these is the Ullen Sewatu Museum, tucked in the Kaliurang Highlands of Yogyakarta. It is located close to the Mount Merapi National Park.

The museum has various relics and artifacts from the royal houses and kratons (palaces) of Java, such as the kingdoms of Yogyakarta, Pakualam, Surakarta and Mangkunegaran. The museum grounds sit within a lush area of nicely landscaped gardens, making for a pleasant walk as you move from building to building. The reception is a chic, minimalist space with several stone statues.

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Photos are not allowed in the museum except in selected areas. Visitors will be taken on a guided tour of the exhibits, which include, among others, portraits of royals, batik fabric and patterns unique to the region, court musical instruments, as well as costumes and regalia. Tbh, it was difficult to absorb all the information of the various princes and kings in such a short time.

One of the more interesting sections (for me, at least) was a room with poetry encased in glass. These were written by members of the royal family to cheer up a beautiful, love struck princess, who fell in love with a commoner and became sad and depressed because she could not marry him. It was many years before they finally received blessings and were united.

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The only place we were allowed to photograph: a replica of a Borobudur temple relief in an outdoor area.

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You’ll be hungry after the tour, so head to Beukenhof Restaurant within the museum grounds for some European fare. The colonial-inspired interior features patterned, tiled floors, Ionic columns and quaint wooden chairs paired with spotless white dining cloths. There is also a veranda overlooking the gardens, transporting visitors to a quaint countryside manor somewhere in Europe. 🙂

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We chose to dine outdoors in the fresh air.

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Nothing like a hot, foamy cup of caramel latte to brighten up the day and give you a boost!

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Meal for three + candle for ambience

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I forgot to take a picture of the menu, but I had fried fish in pesto sauce on a bed of mushrooms, served with baby potatoes. Fish was nice and fresh, flavours came together well, no complaints. The establishment is rather pricey, so be prepared to shell out a bit for your mains.

Ullen Sewatu is a nice, educational museum that is a little off the beaten path, but well worth the trip. Tickets are priced at IDR100,000 for foreigners.

ULLEN SEWATU MUSEUM 

Jalan Boyong KM 25, Kaliurang Barat, Sleman, Yogyakarta

Phone: +62 274 895161

Opening hours: 830AM – 4PM (Tues-Fri), 830AM – 5.30PM (Sat-Sun). Closed Mondays

Museum Of Illusions @ Ansa Hotel Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur

At the Museum of Illusions, what you see is not always what you get.

Tucked within Ansa Hotel at the bustling Bukit Bintang area in Kuala Lumpur, this small but interesting family-friendly attraction is dedicated to all things illusion, priding itself in deceiving your senses.

I had tix from a media event so while the Boy and I were in town recently, we paid it a quick visit.

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The space itself is not very large, but there are dozens of tricks, puzzles and exhibits to keep visitors entertained for an hour or two. It’s a super educational place for both adults and children, and is sure to get the brain cogs turning!

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A Penrose triangle aka ‘impossible’ triangle – an optical illusion where the object appears to have no beginning or end point.

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Various optical illusions. People always say “You have to see to believe”, but a visit to the museum proves just how easy it is to trick our eyes and the brain.

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Believe it or not, the lines are all straight!

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There were several wooden block puzzles which visitors can try their hand at putting together. I didn’t manage even one but the Boy proved to have a higher IQ, successfully completing the above puzzle. Kudos! 

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A fun part of the museum were the ‘rooms’ which play with angles and perspectives to create optical illusions when photographed from a certain point. Using distance, we were able to capture a pic that looked as if the other person was many times bigger.

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Another room which was slanted. It was extremely difficult to keep my balance when walking inside – it was as if my brain was refusing to listen to my commands!

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Kaleidoscope mirror tunnel. No need for Insta filter here lol

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An ‘upside down’ house.

On second thought, should have directed the Boy to make a pose on the stairs that would make him seem like he’s coming down them backwards like Linda Blair in the Exorcist lolol

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We had fun solving puzzles on site, like the Tower of Hanoi, and stacking dices while making sure each side totaled up to 10.

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The museum also has a second floor, although it’s much smaller. Check out this colourful rotating tunnel! The Boy went through it like 5 – 6 times lol such an excited kid

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Had a great hour or so exploring the museum. It’s a bit pricey imo if you’re bringing the whole fam but if you have the budget, I think it’s a great family-friend place to visit. Definitely beats just walking around at a mall.

Entry is RM35 (adults – MYKAD) and RM25 (children). Foreigners pay RM10 extra for each category.

MUSEUM OF ILLUSIONS KL

Ansa Hotel 1st&2nd floor
101 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Phone: 603-21102654

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Bonus pic: Taking a shot of our “Lego” selves at the Petronas Twin Towers !

 

Travelogue Manila: National Museum Of Natural History

This goes to both locals and visitors to Manila: If you haven’t been to the National Museum of Natural History at Rizal Park, then you should.

Why? Well, it’s awesome!

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Originally built in a neoclassical style in the 1940s as the Agriculture and Commerce Building, the structure was destroyed during World War II, and subsequently rebuilt to house the Department of Tourism. They eventually moved out in 2015, as per an agreement to convert some of the heritage buildings in the area to form a museum complex, and so here we are. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend paying a visit to other attractions nearby, namely the National Art Gallery and the National Museum of Anthropology.

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The hype has been massive since the museum opened in May, and lines are still long, even on a weekday. While waiting, admire the beautiful architecture of the entrance hall, with its neoclassical arches and honeycombed ceiling. Large bags and backpacks have to be deposited at the security counter before entry.

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Emerge into the cavernous main hall, with the DNA Tree Of Life at its epicenter. Towering six storeys high, the double helix steel structure houses an elevator and spreads out into a distinctive ‘canopy’ of ‘leaves’ and ‘branches’.

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Alternatively, visitors can walk up each floor via ramps on one side of the hall.

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The hall is also decorated with giant tapestries of animals endemic to the Philippines, such as the Philippine eagle, the tarsier and the Philippine cattle.

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Even if you’re not a history/natural history buff, the architecture alone is worth coming for. Explore the spacious hallways lit with warm, yellow light, and marvel at the exquisitely patterned marble flooring, beautiful wainscoting and steel-wrought windows and railings.

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The Ayala Hall is where visitors will find the skeleton of Lolong, certified by the Guinness World Records as the largest crocodile in captivity. Measuring a behemoth 6.17 metres and weighing over a tonne, the croc was estimated to be about 50 years old when it was captured in 2011. It succumbed to pneumonia and cardiac arrest just two years later.

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A replica of Lolong near the main entrance.

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Divided according to ‘themes’, there are loads of things to see and do in the museum. We explored a hall dedicated to the documentation of botany and entomology, where there were butterfly and insect specimens on display, as well as elaborate scientific drawings hanging from the walls that would not have looked out of place at a fine art gallery!

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Get hands on at this fun section where you can sketch your own tree/plant

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Excuse the sweaty hair/face; the air conditioning wasn’t strong and we just came from commuting lol.

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The Dr Jose Rizal foyer, beautiful in its simplicity.

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More attempts at hipster photo fails.

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There was a section dedicated to the Nilad mangrove; recreating the area around Manila and its rich biodiversity pre-Hispanic rule through taxidermied wildlife exhibits.

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Moving on, another area showcased the rich biodiversity of the Philippine seas, complete with giant replicas of marine life dangling from the ceiling and a mini submarine.

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There are a total of six floors in the building; although during our visit only four were open. I strongly suggest coming on a weekday to avoid the crowds, and allocate at least half a day to really immerse yourself into the exhibits, all of which are nicely done and catalogued.

Entrance as of July 2018 is free.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY MANILA

Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila, Philippines

Opening hours: 10AM – 5PM, closed Mondays

Travelogue Manila: Philippine Art @ The Metropolitan Museum of Manila, Malate

**Wowowow and why has it been a couple of days since my last post? Well, life happened. lel 

Hey guys! I’m back with another edition of ErisGoesTo Manila ! This time we explore the Metropolitan Museum, located within the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Complex along Roxas Boulevard in Malate. Founded in the 1970s, the building is home to various modern and contemporary visual art pieces by both local and international artists.

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We were there on a weekday so the place was empty. MORE FOR ME 

Photos were only allowed on the ground floor.

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There are currently two ongoing exhibitions on display. The first, FASCINATION WITH FILIPINIANA: THE VARGAS COLLECTION (running until July 27 2018) features works collected by lawyer and diplomat Jorge Vargas, including art, books, coins, memorabilia and stamps gathered before, during and after the Pacific War. Also running concurrently is IN THE WAKE OF WAR AND THE MODERN: MANILA, 1941 TO 1961, which focuses on the relationship between Vargas and the city of Manila, in particular during and after the Japanese period.

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Scenes depicting simple village life

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Pulubing Nagbibilang ng Kanyang Kita (Beggar Counting His Earnings) by Demetrio Diego, pen and ink on paper, undated

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Pabasa (reading of scriptures), by the same artist

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Portrait of Manuel E Roxas by Pedro Coniconde, pen and ink on Bristol Board.

This was one of my favourite pieces. If you zoom into the piece, you’ll see that he made the portrait by overlapping the pen strokes over and over again to form coherent lines and an overall picture. Amazing work! I also liked the juxtaposition of different images in the background.

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Kubo sa tabi ng Puno ng Duhat (Nipa Hut Beside a Duhat Tree) by Jorge Pineda, 1929, oil on canvas depicts a very traditional village scene. The colours were subdued and muted, which is something I noticed with Philippine art from the era; perhaps influenced art deco palettes.

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A poster for the Philippine National Bank, done during the Japanese occupation, urging citizens to exchange their currency at the bank for legal money. This propaganda poster has disturbing parallels to the ones produced in Malaya during the same period; and we all know how that turned out. I think we still have the ‘banana money’ handed down by my grandmother – ie money that was virtually worthless during the war because inflation skyrocketed to crazy heights.

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One of the more vibrant pieces imo: Dragon Procession by Diosdado Lorenzo, oil on wood board, undated – showing a scene from Binondo aka Manila’s Chinatown.

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Pictures were not allowed on the second floor, which houses The Philippine Contemporary: To Scale the Past and the Possible permanent exhibition highlighting modern and contemporary art.

Let’s just say that we enjoyed the first floor better. Some of the pieces were good, but there were also some which made no sense – but I guess that’s what art is? Open to interpretation? 😀

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Entry is PHP100 per pax, which isn’t too expensive imo so if you’re ever in the area and looking to appreciate some Filipino art, the Metropolitan Museum of Manila is a good place to go.

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF MANILA 

 BSP Complex, Roxas Blvd, Malate, Manila, Metro Manila, Philippines

Opening hours: 10AM – 530PM, closed Sundays

Phone: +63 63 250 5271 

Travelogue Manila: Explore Filipino History At Ayala Museum, Makati

As someone who loves history and culture, there’s one thing I really like about Manila – the museums! Not only are they full of interesting exhibits, they’re also pretty well maintained (well, at least the ones I’ve been to).  On my most recent visit, N and I visited Ayala Museum, located close to the Greenbelt shopping area in Makati.

Photo: ayalamuseum.org

Established in 1967, the museum is privately run by the Ayala Foundation, under the Ayala Group which is the oldest conglomerate in the Philippines. The museum was moved from a heritage building to its current location in the early 2000s. The impressive six-storey structure is made from glass, granite and steel and boasts a modern look.

There are four floors of galleries to explore. Photos are only allowed on the 2nd floor (dioramas), so please excuse the lack of pix.

Image: KINNARI. Surigao. Ca. 10th-13th century. 7.4 x 4.6 x 12.1 cm. 179 grams. Cat. No. 81.5189. Ayala Museum Collection, Photo by Neal Oshima, for Ayala Museum. 

We began our visit on the fourth floor, as advised. This level houses a permanent exhibition called Gold of Ancestors, which has over 1,000 gold objects from the pre-colonial Spanish era, on display.

Spanish influence plays a big part in Filipino history – and we can see that in the form of churches, religious artefacts and artworks – but I think that many people, Filipinos included, have not really delved into the rich indigenous culture that existed before the Spaniards came.

The GoA is a good place to start, as it not only highlights the advanced technology local cultures used in gold smithing, but also the sophisticated social systems they adopted.  The exhibition features precious objects recovered from the 10th to 13th centuries, from sashes and necklaces to bracelets and earrings. These were worn by the elite, and the more complicated the pieces, the more elite the person wearing it was in social standing. There is also a collection of funerary gold masks.

Also on the same floor is A Millennium Of Contact, home to an extensive collection of 500+ Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics found in the Philippines  – proving that trade and social ties existed in the past between these nations.

Image details: BLUE AND WHITE TWIN BIRD WATER DROPPER. Ca. 14th to 15th century. Ming Dynasty. Roberto T. Villanueva Collection. 

Moving on, we made our way to the Fernando Zobel gallery, where a collection of his artwork in the 1960s are on display. A member of the prominent Zobel de Ayala family (of which the museum is named after), the works were done in his mid-thirties after Zobel decided to retire from the family business. Visitors can observe the change in his artistic style through the years, most of which were done in abstract form.

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Aside from the Gold of Ancestors exhibit, my favourite part of the museum was the Dioramas section, which chronicled important events throughout Philippine history, from the stone age right up til modern times. Photos are allowed here, so enjoy!

(Above) A group of stone age men hunting a predecessor of the modern elephant.

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Building rice terraces on the hill slopes.

I was really impressed by the effort put into constructing the dioramas. Even though the exhibits were static, it was fun picking out small details. Each set was arranged in chronological order around the hall (60 in total).

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Arrival of Arab traders, which propagated the spread of Islam in the Philippines.

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Construction of the University of Santo Tomas, the oldest university in the Philippines / Asia.

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The Spanish invasion of the Muslim-dominated southern region.

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Town scenes of early Manila

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Malacanang Palace, which was built by the Spanish to house the Governor General of the Philippines as a summer home. Lavish balls ala Europe would be held here.

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The Katipunan (also known as the KKK) was a group of revolutionaries opposed against Spanish rule. They have little in common with the American racist organisation KKK, although in this diorama the face masks look eerily similar.

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The revolution spread through towns, hamlets and small villages.

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The execution of Jose Rizal.

I’ve always felt that Rizal was a man beyond his time; a gifted polyglot who could speak 22 (!) languages and who excelled both in arts, math and the sciences. His death was a dark moment in history, but his is a story that proves that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword. Although he was never part of the violent revolution, his ideas and work ignited a fire in the hearts of the Filipino people that could not be subdued.

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There were loads of other sets depicting the American occupation, Philippine independence, Japanese invasion and more. You can view the full set of dioramas here.

Ayala Museum is a definite must visit for fans of arts, culture and history. Entry is PHP425 (USD8 / RM32) for adults. PS: Teachers enter for free!

AYALA MUSEUM 

Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati, Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines

Operating hours: 9AM – 6PM (closed Mondays)

Historical Treasures @ National Palace Museum, Taipei

I think one of my biggest regrets on my Taiwan trip was not being able to spend more time at the National Palace Museum. We spent too much time at Tamsui, and by the time we got back to the city it was already 4-5pm. Granted, the museum closes at 9pm on weekends, but the group I was travelling with (a bunch of Aunties and a group of young students) weren’t too keen on looking at a bunch of artefacts and we had to leave early.

D:<

This is why I don’t want to go in a group. Even if a group trip is in order, one should always travel with like-minded friends/family.

Anyway, the National Palace Museum has one of the largest collections of ancient Chinese artefacts (close to 700,000!) in the world. Most of these were saved from China during the Japanese occupation, and were safely in Taiwan by the time of the Cultural Revolution.

Spanning across several floors and multiple halls, I’d suggest spending at least half a day here if you’re a culture/history buff like me. The items on display are sensitive to light so they don’t allow flash photography; and no photography after 6pm.

Hall with antique furniture. On the right is a Chinese ‘couch’. No cushions – people were used to sitting/lying down on wooden platforms back then. In the middle is a small portable table for tea, or playing chess. Can also be converted into a bed – how cool is that?

Another exhibition hall had a collection of Buddhist deities from various regions and different eras. Each had a unique ‘style’ reflecting the artistic/cultural sentiments of the time period.

An interesting piece: a golden lotus flower (the lotus flower is a prominent symbol in Buddhism) holding tiny Buddha figurines.

Seals. In ancient days, for a royal edict to be passed, it had to have the stamp of approval. Literally.

Painting and calligraphy. The characters were so painstakingly aligned they looked almost printed.

Ming vases, characterised by their trademark blue and white colours.

Coloured inks. To get the ink, one usually had to whet the ink stone to get the desired liquid and consistency.

Secret kungfu journals.. I mean, Imperial books.

That’s one giant paintbrush!

Intricate golden cups/trophies studded with precious jewels.

Block of jade.

Decorative items fashioned from white/green jade: Perfume and snuff bottles, vases, rings, bangles.. etc

Mini jade abacus

Decorative plaque

Unpolished jade block.

A special exhibition with a mini ‘cabbage jade’. The original jade block wasn’t a high grade one, but the artist skillfully turned it into a ‘cabbage’ shape to hide its flaws.

Beautiful lapiz lazuli plates and pendants. Great colour. 🙂

‘Go’ set made from semi precious stones.

Had to leave early, but we managed to catch a performance downstairs where a group of elderly personnel sang and played traditional instruments.

Back at our hotel, we had MOS Burger for dinner! Always wanted to try it coz we don’t have it in Malaysia.

The beef with bacon and egg was amazingly good !

Fort Santiago & Rizal Shrine Museum, Intramuros Manila

If you’re in Manila, one of the best places to learn about the city’s rich history is at Intramuros, the old walled city which was once the seat of the Spanish empire in the Philippines. Dating back to the late 1500s, the fortified complex is home to many historical landmarks, such as the San Agustin Church (blog post here) and the Manila Cathedral. On my last visit, I missed an important place – Fort Santiago – so it was good that I got to stop by this time around.

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Fort Santiago is located at the mouth of the Pasig River and was built by the Spanish as a defensive bulwark against invaders. It was named after Saint James the Great (Santiago in Spanish), the patron saint of Spain. The fort also acted as an important port for spice trade to the Americas and Europe for over three centuries.

Perhaps the most notable event in the fort’s history is it’s role as a prison for Philippine national hero Jose Rizal, who was housed here before his execution in 1896. Visitors to the fort will see a pair of bronze footprints embedded in the ground, leading from the interior out to the gate — said to retrace Rizal’s last footsteps.

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Just before the fort is a park area with decorative pieces such as cannons and statues.

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An abandoned building, the insides hollow and dark, stares mournfully at passers-by.

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“Hey bud, gimme a hand?”

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Panoramic shot of Fort Santiago, surrounded by a moat filled with water lilies.

The fort has a perimeter of 620m in a triangular form, while its walls are 6.7m high and 2.4m deep. Its most prominent structure, the gate, is 12m high on the south wall, facing the city. Inside are storehouses, a chapel, sentry towers and prison cells.  In spite of its defenses, the fort was captured numerous times – by the British, Americans and the Japanese.  During World War II, the Japanese used it as a dungeon for hundreds of prisoners, while 600 American POWs died from suffocation or hunger.

War is always a terrible thing, and yet people are bound to repeat the mistakes of history.

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The front gate was partially destroyed during bombardment in WWII, but it has since been restored.

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Original Spanish coat of arms.

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Inside is a well kept lawn with smooth green grass and a figure of Jose Rizal in stone, holding a book.

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Next to the lawn is the Rizal Shrine Museum, a replica of his ancestral home in Laguna. This was also the spot where the Spanish held him before his execution.

Jose Rizal is known the world over as a Filipino nationalist and hero. We even learn about him in Malaysian history books (in my day, not sure how it is now!). If there was a person who embodied the phrase ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’, it would be Rizal.

Born to a wealthy family, he showed a precocious intellect from a young age, going on to study medicine in Spain and becoming an ophthalmologist. He was a polymath, one who is skilled in both arts and sciences. As a writer and poet, his work under the Filipino Propaganda Movement, which advocated political reforms for the colony under Spain, inspired an anti-colonial revolution. Although he had no part in the rebellion directly, his words lit a fire in the hearts of Filipinos to rise against their colonial masters and gain independence.

Sadly, as with many writers and activists today who dare to speak the truth, this led to his execution at the young age of just 35.

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Within the museum, visitors will find Rizal’s memorabilia, including poetry pieces, letters he wrote family and friends, replicas of sculptures, paintings and more. (Above) Rizal’s last letter to his family, written in Spanish (the lingua franca of the Philippines at that time)

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Letter in German to Rizal’s friend whom he befriended while studying in the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Rizal was well-versed in (it is claimed) a whopping 22 languages, including German, English, Spanish and Tagalog.

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Rizal’s attire

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A painting depicting his execution.

This is personal opinion, but I think Jose Rizal is like a blazing star that comes only once in a century, the likes of Leonardo Da Vinci or Archimedes. Although he was defined by his political writings, it can’t be denied that Rizal was a genius – skilled in math, science and languages. Who knows what he could have achieved, had his light not been extinguished so soon?

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Skilled in the arts – sketches by Jose Rizal on a variety of subject matter, from portraits to landscapes.   20161202_132113-tile

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Shells collected by Rizal during his self-imposed exile in Dapitan.

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If you’re doing a round around Intramuros, be sure to pay Fort Santiago a visit! Entrance fee is about PHP75.