The Art Museum at the GSIS Financial Center

October happens to be “Museum and Galleries Month.” In commemoration of this occasion, the Urban Roamer decided to pay a visit to one of the city’s more overlooked museums. And that says something considering the situation here currently that museums here aren’t placed high in the must-visit list among locals.

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Today, we visit the GSIS Financial Center in the reclaimed area that is part of the CCP Complex in Pasay City, headquarters of the Government Service Insurance System, (GSIS) the social insurance institution catering to government employees. The building is actually a Marcos-era structure that was completed in 1985, but it was not fully utilized until 9 years later, when the GSIS finally moved in to the building to be its new headquarters.

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The building itself is a massive structure that also served as the current home of the Philippine Senate on the other side of the building. It also boasts of having its own theater and museum called the GSIS Museo ng Sining (GSIS Art Museum), which is the object of this visit.

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Not many people know that GSIS owns a fairly impressive art collection which were formerly housed in this museum. However, many of which are now housed in the National Museum, so you won’t find much here now the classical artworks like Juan Luna’s “Parisian Life.” (which caused quite a stir back in 2002, when GSIS bought at a Hong Kong auction)

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There are still a couple of classical artworks that can still be seen here. And these artworks have an interesting history themselves too. If you remember the previous entry here about the Metropolitan Theater, I wrote about a couple of paintings done by Fernando Amorsolo that used to hang there. These paintings can now be seen here in this museum. Well, technically there is only one original Amorsolo work seen here, the painting entitled “History of Philippine Music” completed in 1931. The other Amorsolo work entitled “History of Dance” was unfortunately stolen back in the 1970s so what we see today is an Amorsolo-inspired painting done by Roger San Miguel entitled “Ritual Dance” that replaced the stolen one at the Met until they were transferred here for safekeeping.

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Amorsolo’s “History of Philippine Music”

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San Miguel’s “Ritual Dance”

Apart from old maps and documents from the Spanish colonial era, the museum is currently home to artworks by contemporary artists, with some dedicated galleries that are specially devoted to special exhibits.

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And being a GSIS museum, there is also a dedicated section here for GSIS-related memorabilia ranging from documents to old uniforms, even the old equipment that were used in its offices over the years.

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If you are into some museum-hopping, the GSIS Museo ng Sining is one museum that one should check out with some gems worth seeing. It is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays with no entrance fees. Do check their website as well here.

my acknowledgements to the people at the GSIS Museo ng Sining for their accommodation

© The Urban Roamer

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  1. Pingback: Future Hall of Justice? The Uncertain Future of the GSIS Building in Manila | The Urban Roamer

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