Photo from Yuchengco Museum Facebook Page

A little over 15 years since it welcomed its first guests, the Yuchengco Museum has remained one of the venues that showcases impressive artwork, while serving as a forum of exchange, debate, and education.

Located in RCBC Plaza in Makati (the headquarters of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation), the museum primarily houses the art collection of Ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco. Its primary goal is to foster a greater public appreciation of art. The place also spotlights Yuchengco’s career as a distinguished businessman, diplomat, collector, philanthropist, and patron of the arts.

The Masters Gallery highlights Filipino masters of the brush whose works celebrate Filipino life, ways, history, and myths with compelling images in their unique styles. 

The centerpiece of the collection revolves around the works of three artists: Juan Luna, whose  academic-classical style represents a high point of Western influence in Philippine visual arts;

Fernando Amorsolo, who represents the mastering of the Filipino genre painting, celebrating key features of high and popular culture; and Carlos “Botong” Francisco, who represents the high point of mural painting in the country.

The Mango Harvest by Fernando Amorsolo (1948). Photo from Yuchengco Museum Facebook Page.

Another thing that makes a visit to the Yuchengco Museum special is the Suspended Garden, a site-specific installation which was meant to resemble a floating Japanese Zen garden, which provides a relaxing, meditative space for museum goers.

The art collection at the Yuchengco Museum highlights Sino-Filipino Legacy in its themes “to bring forward the best of artistic and creative expressions by both Chinese and Filipino artists and artisans. It showcases the “best attributes of a Sino-Filipino twin heritage—where virtues of hard work, skill, and craftsmanship are highly regarded, as well as the highly expressive and adaptive sensibility of these two cultures.”

Interior of the Robert Steel Mill by Juan Luna (1893). Photo from Yuchengco Museum Facebook Page.

While the Yuchengco Museum is a relatively small museum (in size), it does occupy a four floor building annexed to RCBC Plaza, which is a prestigious address along Ayala Avenue in Makati.

As a bonus to museum goers, there’s a magnificent sculpture in the forecourt, right outside the museum’s entrance, which depicts a very powerful scene on Philippine freedom. It’s an intricate sculpture of a military vehicle surrounded by Filipino civilians fighting for freedom, a homage to the People Power Revolution of February 1986 which overthrew Ferdiand Marcos’ dictatorship.

Oh, and for only P100 entrance fee (discounts to students and differently abled people apply), this is such a worthwhile activity, especially for tourists and locals alike, who want to spend an hour of two basking in meaningful Philippine arts.