pauses of possibility / Lopez Museum


Sometime around the last few days of med school, I treated myself to art.


By treat yourself, I meant I took an uber walked a few blocks to the Lopez Museum & Library in Ortigas.

The institute boasts of a collection of over 23000 Filipiniana titles, rare Philippine imprints and maps, and a Rizaliana collection. They even have Rizal’s library cards. This one is a card for Dumas’ Le Comte de Monte Cristo.

The museum, founded in 1960 by Don Eugenio Lopez Sr., also houses paintings by Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, as well as by National Artists like Fernando Amorsolo, Vicente Manansala and Botong Francisco.

I saw Luna’s “España y Filipinas” (1886), in what was perhaps the most ineffectively arranged and lighted room. I remember recreating this photo a few years ago. I just can’t find the photo.

The museum & library is part of an ongoing digitization project, which aims to preserve original and archival material and to enable greater access to these resources. I wasn’t able to stay too long (I was too shy, and the shelves were the roll-out kind).

This is “An Englishwoman in the Philippines”, Campbell Dauncey, which features such quotes as “Like all coloured races and many white ones, once they attempt modern European fashions the Filipino taste is villainous, and they look inexpressibly common and disheartening.” Very PC. 20170512_125308-01

The current exhibit is called “pauses of possibility”, featuring the works of Marina Cruz, Kara De Dios, Elaine Navas and Pam Yan Santos.

I found Pam Yan Santos’ “Space in Between Thoughts” (2017) to be particularly thought-provoking.

I liked Elaine Navas’ expressive floral portraits the best. They were most vibrant. The “Rose Crucifixion” (2015) was especially eye-catching.

Marina Cruz’ “Personal Archive I and II” (2017) also makes use of brilliant colours to portray clothes and everyday scenes. Perhaps I am just more partial to flowers.


Overall, wonderful use of space. I liked the silence. I’d be sure to come again, if time and money permit it. I do wish there was more of a narrative or flow to the arrangement of the art pieces, but I already got more than enough for the cheap entrance fee.

The Lopez Museum & Library
Oldest privately owned and publicly accessible museum and library in the Philippines that embodies the founder’s commitment to advancement of scholarship and learning, search for truth, and in the rendering of the greatest service to the community.
Ground Floor, Benpres Building
Exchange Road cor. Meralco Avenue
Ortigas Center, Pasig City

All information comes from the free pamphlet and brochure.

I just spent the last few days judging for the Philippine Intercollegiate Debating Championship (see post here). It’s really weird being an alum. I literally feel 0 pressure competing, haha! It was nice to hang out with my faves anyway. Looking forward to our trip to Europe next week x

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