What was supposed to be a leisurely relaxing weekend trip to Tagaytay mostly turns into carmageddon series of Manila’s next road horror story. Its accessibility to Manila makes it the premier destination for urban folks to: 1) book pre-nuptial shoots and wedding celebrations (c’mon, this no secret at all), 2) eat bulalo, and 3) hotel staycation. Despite this, I was quick to suggest that we visit Museo Orlina when my mother asked me where in Tagaytay can we spend family time. I am not an art critic, but I love art. Forgive my art review, and hope you will enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing and taking these pictures. [NOTE: All pictures are writer’s own. You may use but kindly cite this site as your source. And please do not infringe copyright.]
From Manila, it is accessible via Santa Rosa – Tagaytay Road. You can easily spot the signage approaching Tagaytay – Calamba Road. Just go straight into Hollywood Subdivision to reach the abode of intricate art sculpture and designs by Ramon Orlina. A brief video presentation will be shown to orient the group of his works before proceeding to the first level that showcases his artworks. What you are seeing above is his homage to women, “Child in Woman’s Womb”, and with “Virgin Maria” as the mother of all Roman Catholic faith.
Suffice to say, his favorite element to toy with is glass – strong yet easily breakable. Here, he paid homage to renowned culture and tradition of the country: through his “Rich Harvest in Banaue” and “Pintado” artworks. On the Banaue, the artist gracefully placed the 81 pieces of amber crystal blocks in its proper place that glints yellow gold, signifying rich harvest. Meanwhile, the Pintado reflects women’s torsos. For this, Orlina employed the sand-blasting process, the use of a machine that etches or cleans the glass surface with sand through compressed air or steam.
Museo Orlina also brought to Philippines the works of Czech artist, Jiři Pačinek, located in “basement 1.” If Orlina mostly use sand-blasting process, Pačinek specializes in glass-blowing, a technique first discovered by the Romans between the early and mid-first century BC. His works are also a breath of fresh air.
Apart from glass, the museum also features other types of artworks from different artists. Upon descending to the “basement 2” I found myself elated with my personal favorite: canvases! How I dream of making one for my personal space. What you are seeing are “Hawla” by Max Balatbat, mixed media on canvas (left) and “Red Chair” by Rene Robles, acrylic on canvas (right).
There are actually outdoor, unorthodox artworks placed in the back garden, with the pieces seemingly playing with the “out-of-the-museum” and larger-than-life concept. I am leaving room for your imagination, people, on what these artworks actually look like. *winks*
From the back garden, I ascended to the second level – primarily showcasing Ramon Orlina’s greatest works, and which I finally found common ground with the artist: the miniature version of the QuattroMondial, the colorful blocks, and the alluring giant ring. Except for the first two artworks, the latter is actually located on the first level of museum.
The actual, 10-meter high QuattroMondial is both a gift and a testament of Ramon Orlina to UST’s 400 years of unending grace. It is made from cast bronze and glass. As an alumna of UST, I feel honored to have been reminded that I and the artist have walked on the same grounds.
I also take into liking his homage to Piet Mondrian, the Dutch painter said to have “pioneered a non-representational form characterized by blocks of primary colors.” I love colorful objects. And lastly, that crystal clear blue shade of Swarovski really swept me of my feet. I feel like the artist just proposed to me. Diamonds are forever, but how could I say no to his “Blue Sapphire” artwork?
You can take home a piece of Museo Orlina memento from their souvenir shop. They are open every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., except Monday. Entrance to the museum costs P100. What you are seeing above is my personal favorite paperweight. But alas, I only took home nothing but these pictures.
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