October 25 marks the International Artist Day celebrating all forms of art – paintings, sculpture, photography, architecture, music, theater, digital art, etc.  

Any creative endeavor many would say is “art.”  What however qualifies as something stringent within the confines of culture and tradition may be in contrast to expressing basic human emotions.  Abstract is also a form of art regardless of its form, color or similarities.  As generations evolve, the vision of art becomes rather difficult to contain into a single category.  Art cannot be defined.  It can be a process for some or a product for others, often derived from various elements with the ultimate goal of appealing to the senses or emotions and encompasses diversity of human activities.

For us Filipinos, art has been a component of culture and has reflected the evolution of our being as individuals, oftentimes as a community and more popular artworks depict that of a nation.  Thus, even in the local setting, it has been debatable, with the myriad of interpretations and subjectivities.

As we commemorate International Artist’s Day, which by the way also happens to be the birthday of well-renowned cubist Spanish painter, Pablo Picasso, let us try to check some of the famous places in Manila that have reopened for us to visit and appreciate Filipino art.

Topping our list is the San Agustin Museum which has a vast collection of religious artifacts, and probably the oldest items in Philippine history dating back during the Spanish era, where friars have ruled the old Intramuros.  The museum is located along General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila.

Next is the Ayala Museum, the home of contemporary Philippine art, fitting with the museum’s modern Filipino architecture.  It also houses special exhibitions, and state of the art interactive displays.  It is located in Makati Ave. Cor dela Rosa St., Greenbelt Park, Makati City.

National Museum of Fine Arts is definitely a worthy trip for art lovers as it houses the works of the greatest Filipino artists such as Juan Luna’s immense Spoliarium, paintings of Felix Resurreccion-Hidalgo, sculptures of National Hero, Jose Rizal, paintings of rural Filipino life painter, Fernando Amorsolo, murals by Carlos “Botong” Francisco, and the list goes on.  It is formerly known as the National Art Gallery and located along Padre Burgos Avenue.

These museums are just some recos for you to check out.  There are also many galleries across the country exhibiting unique Filipino art.  Art appreciation however should not be limited to celebrations like the International Artist Day or World Art Day, as we should continue to savor the beauty of the things around us amidst the mundane affairs of our daily lives.  And yes, as we approach the beginning of the end of this pandemic, perhaps it is time for us to go out and try something new.  After all its never too late to start appreciating art.