Town & Country (Philippines) - - OUT & ABOUT -

Full ac­cess to Mala­cañan Palace is un­der­stand­ably granted only to a se­lect few, but with just a com­puter and a de­cent in­ter­net con­nec­tion, any­one can ex­plore one of the most sig­nif­i­cant sec­tions of the com­plex, the Pres­i­den­tial Mu­seum and Li­brary. Through PML’s re­cent part­ner­ship with Google Arts & Cul­ture, you now have more than 120 years of Philip­pine his­tory at your fin­ger­tips. Cur­rently, there are two vir­tual ex­hibits: “Mala­cañang as Prize, Pul­pit, and Stage” and “Relics of Power: Remembering the Philip­pine Pres­i­dents.” What is most in­ter­est­ing about the ex­hibits is that you can “walk” through the gal­leries, di­rect­ing the “Mu­seum View” func­tion with your mouse. If some­thing catches your at­ten­tion, you can zoom in, and read more about the ob­ject or work of art. The tech­nol­ogy used is the same as the one re­spon­si­ble for cre­at­ing Google Maps’ Street View. A spe­cial trol­ley camera col­lected 360-de­gree views of the two-storey mu­seum, lo­cated in­side Kalayaan Hall, the old­est part of the palace. In “Mala­cañang as Prize, Pul­pit, and Stage,” view­ers re­ceive a les­son in the his­tory of the build­ing, its grace­ful ar­chi­tec­ture, and its im­por­tance to the Filipino peo­ple. We also learn about the steps—and some­times dirty tricks—peo­ple took to get to the high­est po­si­tion in the land, through the in­ter­est­ing pam­phlets and other pro­pa­ganda ma­te­rial from past elec­tions that have been pre­served. “Relics of Power” is an­other mini-his­tory les­son, as we learn more about our lead­ers from Emilio Aguinaldo to Benigno S. Aquino through ob­jects and me­men­tos as­so­ci­ated with them. Th­ese range from the full­body sculp­tures of se­lect pres­i­dents by Anasta­cio Caedo and a copy of the dec­la­ra­tion of in­de­pen­dence signed by Aguinaldo to the dig­ni­fied oil por­traits of early pres­i­dents and the in­fa­mous wrist­band worn by a re­cent one. To ex­plore the Pres­i­den­tial Mu­seum and Li­brary, log on to g.co/pml­mala­canang.

RELICS OF POwER Clock­wise: Elec­tion pro­pa­ganda from the 1950s; Co­ra­zon Aquino’s yel­low grand pi­ano, a gift from yamaha; Las Nerei­das, by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida.

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