POWER TO THE PEOPLE
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.