In every university, often, one may find a mesh between either work or study, or even the occasional visit of the old stomping grounds. What lies within, however, is a hidden treasure that most overlook: their beautifully curated museums that lay inside, an entire landscape of history, humanities, and culture weaved together waiting to be unraveled by the curious visitor. The visitor may be unsure where to start, but it’s always the ones we least know that are worth the exploration.
Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG)
This clean, minimalistic space lends focus to the artifacts that dot the Ateneo Art Gallery (AAG) in the Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU). With a collection that boasts post-war artwork brought in by Fernando Zobel De Ayala within its premises, this makes their namesake, “First Museum of Post-modern Art,” even more legitimate. The gallery also holds the Ateneo Art Awards to help foster the growth of emerging Filipino artists and give them the chance to showcase their art both locally and internationally through their grants.
Admission into the gallery is free, and it is open Mondays to Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 pm, and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Address: Ground Floor, Rizal Library, University Road, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila.
Jose B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center
Referred to simply as “Vargas Museum,” this gallery houses not only a vast collection of Filipino artworks but countless archives, manuscripts, and books that document the rich history of Vargas’ intriguing library and Philippine records. While the Vargas Permanent Art Collection is definitely a go-to staple for any visitor, the real point of interest is the massive archive of loose documents and memorabilia spanning 300 linear ft. The various items and letters of every kind are on display where anyone can peruse and catch a glimpse into the lives and interactions of the Filipino greats who came before us.
Admission in the gallery is Php 30 for the general public and Php 20 for students, alumni, faculty, and employees (free on Wednesdays) and is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Address: Roxas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila.
Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD)
Located right in the heart of the College of Saint Benilde’s School of Design and Art, MCAD is a snazzy space that brings together various forms of media (including film, music, animation, and fashion) to encapsulate the essence of contemporary art through collaborating with many professional artists and curators, both international and local. MCAD is an experience, one of which many art students under its wing would appreciate.
MCAD is open on Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is for free as long as visitors bring a valid I.D.
Address: Ground Floor, Benilde School of Design and Arts Campus, Dominga, Malate, Manila, 1004 Metro Manila
Whether it’s for a solo cultural experience or an alternative hang out with friends, feel free to take a dip in the museum pool and discover the intricacies of our history and the depth of humanity.