While foreign, economic and trade ministers are into their elbows dealing with economic agendas at the APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM), their spouses are basking in the cultural glory of the Philippines.
On Tuesday, Ayala Museum hosted a special AMM Spouses Program that included a tour of the museum, a showcase of Philippine traditional fashion, and a cultural performance, among others.
Two AMM spouses and 11 DTI representatives’ wives initially attended the program, which is open to the visiting spouses at any time during their stay.
According to Spike Acosta of Ayala Museum’s Communications and Marketing Department, the special guided tour for the spouses included a visit to the Fourth Floor Galleries and the Painting Galleries. They viewed Gold of Ancestors, an exhibition of more than one thousand gold objects such as golden sashes, necklaces, pectorals, diadems, earrings and finger rings, bracelets, and anklets that existed in the Philippines before colonization in the 16th century; Art and the Order of Nature in Indigenous Philippine Textiles, a major ethnographic exhibition whose centerpiece are 111 textiles representing indigenous communities in the Philippines from the Cordilleras in northern Philippines and from Mindanao in the south, including the Muslim regions in Western Mindanao and the Sulu archipelago; and A Millennium of Contact, an exhibit of more than 500 Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics.
As for the Painting Galleries, Acosta said that the wives were treated to Fernando Zobel in the 1960s, an exhibit featuring the works of one of Spain’s most important painters of the 20th century, at a time he had evolved to non-objectivism with the introduction of the Saeta series; and From Citadel to City, a showcase of Juan Luna paintings and 19th-century prints that chronicle the history of Manila from palisaded fort to port city.
Lastly, the wives were taken to see The Diorama Experience, a prominent attraction of Ayala Museum since its completion in 1973 that depict 60 major events and themes in history and carved by artisans from Paete.
Acosta noted that among the exhibits, the AMM wives were most impressed with Gold of Ancestors.
Following the tour, the wives were ushered to a luncheon set up at the museum’s ground floor, hosted by Gretchen de Venecia del Rosario, wife of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario and Maria Aurea Rowena Domingo, wife of Philippine Secretary of Trade and Industry Gregory Domingo, in partnership with Filipiniana boutique Kultura. They were served a Duet of Lumpias, consisting of fresh heart of palm and fried Bonoan bangus spring roll served with young green papaya vinaigrette for appetizer; Chicken Binakol Soup with toasted coconut chips and served on a half buco shell for soup; Buco Pandan Jelly Salad, Sampaguita Ice Cream, Leche Flan and native rice cake platter for dessert. The main course for the luncheon was Dill-crusted baked Chilean Sea Bass.
A fashion show depicting traditional barongs and Filipinianas was also held over lunch, as well as a performance by cultural group Triple Threat.
The Ayala Museum will continue to host tours for the APEC spouses until Thursday, November 19. During these dates, Ayala Museum will be closed to the public.
Regular museum operations resume on November 20.