This month of July is buzzing with new developments in the world of Filipino culture, and why wouldn’t it? There’s the chance to see the Spoliarium up close for free, an invitation to learn from a master scriptwriter, and a charitable initiative to spread the love for books to Filipinos everywhere. Read on and see just why you should be excited, too!
1.Free entrance to the National Museum forever
What better way to celebrate Pinoy pride than by taking a trip to the National Museum? Cultural treasures and priceless artwork abound as visitors can now enjoy universal access to the National Museum of the Philippines for free beginning this July 1, 2016.
Previously free only during certain events, the general admission used to be Php150 for adults, Php120 for senior citizens, and Php50 for students. Visitors used to be able to enjoy waived entrance fees (and subsequently causing spikes in visitors) during occasions such as International Museum Day, National Arts Month, Independence Day, National Heritage Month, National Women’s Month, and National Museums and Galleries Month. Now, in order to encourage more visitors, as well as pique the interest of more young Filipinos, the Museum’s Board of Trustees decided to permanently forego the admission fee to widen the reach of the Museum towards a broader audience. This is possible because of a “solid institutional budget drawn ultimately from all Filipino taxpayers through the national budget.”
The Board has always believed that in their efforts to foster this kind of universal access, they can proudly boast of national patrimony and exhibit a deeper sense of love for our local heritage, not only in the metro but throughout the whole archipelago. Visitors can also drop by these institutions for free: the National Art Gallery, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Planetarium, and the National Museum of Anthropology.
Excited to soak in Filipino culture like you’ve never done so before? The National Museum of the Philippines is open for everyone Tuesdays to Sundays from 10am to 5pm at Padre Burgos Drive, Manila. It’s been around since forever, and this is your chance to marvel at the jaw-dropping collection of 1,032 pieces of art from the 18th to the 21st century. You can also get awestruck by the archeological pieces that include the 3,000-year-old Manunggul Burial Jar, as well as 300,000 specimens of natural history. Best of all, you can see the largest painting in the Philippines up close, and that is the grand Spoliarium by Juan Luna made in Rome during 1884. Depicting a heartbreaking scene from the Roman Colosseum’s exit room “Spoliarium”, the painting focuses on where injured gladiators are taken or the brutal and horrific area where the ones who have perished are dragged after their performance.
- Free scriptwriting workshops from screenwriter extraordinaire Ricky Lee
Ever dreamed of seeing your work on the big screen? After nine years (the last one being back in 2003), Ricky Lee is finally continuing his free scriptwriting workshop that will last for three months. To be led by acclaimed screenwriter Ricky Lee himself with the help of some ABS-CBN and Star Cinema writers, the workshop hopes to inspire young writers and aspirants even for those who have no prior experience in writing. It’s open to everyone, and if you’re a fan of the Filipino classics such as Himala, Brutal, Salome, and Moral, playwright and novelist Ricky Lee should be your mentor at all costs.
Ready to reach your full potential? You can submit your application form, resume, and written work sample at the drop box at ABS-CBN’s ELJ building or at the Star Cinema website at www.starcinema.com.ph on or before the 6th of July. Lee emphasizes that young writers today need to be patient as building a career in writing does not happen overnight. There is no easy formula for instant success in the industry, so a young aspirant must be willing to take his time. He also stresses how important it is to focus on proper research when writing your piece, as works of art need to be as believable as possible. Fantastic elements must not come at the expense of verisimilitude, after all. Finally, there is nothing more crucial than being humble, even when you reach the height of fame and triumph. It’s the proper attitude towards success that keeps you successful, and if you’re ready to be all these, then go on and submit! After all, what’s there to lose for the fulfillment of your dream?
- The Book Stop Project
Speaking of fulfilling dreams, books have always been the advocacy of William Ti, Jr.. As Principal Architect of WTA Architecture and Design Studio, he reimagined the classic library for the modern society and thus came up with the pop-up library The Book Stop Project. Now located at Intramuros, the travelling book stop aims to foster the love for books as well as encourage sharing and learning among individuals. It also provides a space for human interaction, as the project goes by a “give a book, get a book” initiative. The bite-sized library was launched during International Book Day when Instituto Cervantes’ Dia Del Libro 2016 celebrations kicked off on April 23rd at the Ayala Triangle Park in Makati. What’s even more impressive other than the honesty system of the project is how simple yet magnificent it looks, made from wire mesh and steel bars that create a futuristic and modern portal, as books line the shelves inside where people can share their stories with each other. And since reading a book truly does allow readers to enter a portal, or a different dimension, the design of the book stop cannot be more appropriate.
With a plan to move the pop-up library around the metro, The Book Stop Project hopes to become a platform in encouraging and pushing for more permanent public libraries. In order to be a part of this wonderful project, you can opt for a funding pledge to help with operations, fabrication, and maintenance costs. You can also be a venue partner by giving your permission to let the Project install one unit of The Book Stop in your community for two months so that your location can benefit from this public library. Finally, you can donate your pre-loved books at the venue itself, or drop by the office at 224 Ortigas Avenue, Greenhills. Is there any other reason to delay?
*Photos from official Facebook pages.