Sunday, May 07, 2006


I'm so glad to see that things are moving along quite nicely with the restoration efforts of the National Museum. After months of construction, the museum's halls are finally being opened to the public in phases and the grand Hall of Masters (where our national collection of paintings by Luna and Hidalgo are displayed) will apparently be done before Christmas this year. BRAVO.

But even then. They still need more cash to finish off the job. So please contribute your time and money to go see this:

This will be the inaugural opera to be performed at the National Museum and it will pay tribute to the patriot and painter, Juan Luna, the first Filipino to receive international acclaim for art. It was his painting, The Spoliarium – a depiction of defeated Gladiators being dragged off the coliseum arena - which won the country a gold medal at the Exposicion Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884. This painting, which measures 4.6 meters in height and 7.72 meters in length is currently housed in the National Museum. If you go, you will be treated to an intimate experience of Luna’s personal - and turbulent - life through an opera about this intriguing work.

Composed by Maestro Ryan Cayabyab of the San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra with a libretto by Fides Cuyugan Asensio. Rising star, soprano Anna Feleo plays the tragic role of Luna’s murdered wife, Paz Pardo de Tavera. This opera in concert will be performed in English.

The whole shebang is brought to you courtesy of the Museum Foundation of the Philippines, a volunteer organization which seeks to draw attention to the restoration work being done on the paintings of Juan Luna and Felix Resureccion Hidalgo as well as the refurbishment of the FCCP-Ablaza Halls (below) and other galleries. It's a pretty noble effort which simultaneously preserves our architectural patrimony while providing Manila with another classy venue for the hosting of activities such as fashion shows, fund-raisers, receptions, and corporate events.

Where: The National Museum’s new FCCP-Ablaza Hall

When: Saturday, June 3, 2006.
Cocktails begin at
Performance starts promptly at
7:30 pm

Tickets to SPOLIARIVM: JUAN LVNA are at PhP5,000 and PhP2,500. For more information or ticket purchases, please call Andrie BaƱaga at 813-0771 or Elvie Magpayo/Dindin Araneta at 404-2685.

I know. It's pricey. But really - it's for a good cause. Besides, Glenda Baretto of Via Mare will be catering. So at least you won't go home hungry.

Attire: Casual Chic Filipiniana (whatever that means.) And not that it matters to anyone, but I'll also be hosting the durned thing that night too.