A Metropolitan Trip

Our trip to the Metropolitan museum was very unique in the sense that it gave us very valuable information with regards to design principles while at the same time catering a very pleasant atmosphere. Our goal for the trip was to enhance our design perspective and at the same time develop a sense of appreciation for the exhibits on display.

We started our tour of the museum with a photo exhibit which showcased the works of different Spanish photographers. The subjects of the photos ranged from still life to everyday moments and were portrayed in either black and white or color. The way that these photos were shown served as a testament to the power that comes when an individual truly masters his art. The pictures, which were all ordinary and everyday moments, projected a spectrum of emotions that even with words will prove to be very hard to describe. It was amazing to see these photographs because they were captured in very ordinary ways and yet oozed a very extraordinary charisma. Ultimately, it’s very nice to know that even the most mundane and ordinary experiences can be immortalized given the right medium, the right moment, and the capacity to act when these events come together.

The second part of our metropolitan museum trip consisted of looking at Hispanic maps and paintings about the province of Ilocos. In essence, most of the maps and paintings were very political, not only because they were commissioned by the government during the time, but also because the influences of the most powerful families during the day even manifested in maps. For example, when high ranking officials knew a certain family, they included the residential address of this particular family in the maps. Something which may seem very unlikely and very biased when critiqued by using modern map making standards. Also, and in my mind more importantly, a series of paintings that were commissioned by the Spanish government were geared towards dominance and imperialism by portraying Filipino rebels being decapitated. Something which may seem very morbid regardless of conventional beliefs and yet it was employed for the purpose of controlling the Filipino people by sending them a message that anyone who stood up against the Spanish is certain to face imminent death. I was horrified at the content of these images since it gave a detailed picture of the miserable plight of Filipinos back then. And yet I found it truly amazing because technically those maps and those paintings showed us very little, but nonetheless it gave us a clear picture of how things were going back then, and it did so with a sense of power and awe.

Our last stop for our metropolitan trip focused on pre Hispanic Filipino artifacts. Most of which consisted of gold. The mere sight of those artifacts is sure to squeeze respect and reverence from anyone who has the capability to use their eyes. Textbooks about Filipinos back then stated that they were almost naked, and for the parts that they were covering instead of using cloth they used gold. That should give anyone a good idea of just how rich the Philippines is when it comes to natural resources. Another thing that is worth mentioning about these golden artifacts is the way in which they were created. The craftsmanship involved with the creation of those artifacts is nothing short of adept. For anyone to create materials with such intricate patterns of almost impossible shapes considering that the technology back then was definitely not that advanced is sure to make any audience amazed. I can boldly say that even if those patterns and designs were not cast in gold, the mere fact that that they were created with such mastery is enough for them to be declared as national treasures.

As our metropolitan trip ended, everyone in our class left with a very light and happy humor. The whole experience was very nostalgic in many ways since it brought us back to our elementary school days wherein we had to fall in line and then stare blankly at paintings and artifacts which held no meaning to our juvenile and shallow minds. Only this time there were no lines and instead of juvenile minds and blank stares, there were only open eyes and hearts full of appreciation.

-Erlan T. Mendoza

A Metropolitan Trip