Roaming the Yuchengco Museum

RCBC Plaza is one of the most known landmarks in the Makati Central Business District, partly because of its strategic location at the intersection of the city’s two main thoroughfares: Ayala Avenue and Sen. Gil Puyat (also known before as Buendia) Avenue. There is also the presence of some diplomatic missions in the country, as well as it being the home base of one of the country’s prestigious conglomerates, the Yuchengco Group of Companies who owns various businesses such as the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation or RCBC, (after which the building as named) Malayan Insurance, and the Mapua Institute of Technology.

But aside from being a center of commerce and diplomatic missions, RCBC Plaza is also a hub for culture and arts with the presence of the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium where plays, concerts, and other performances are held and the subject of this post today on the occasion of the National Heritage Month and International Museum Day, the Yuchengco Museum.

The Yuchengco Museum first opened its doors in September 2005, a four storey structure of contemporary architecture designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill and W.V. Coscolluela & Associates, the same folks behind the architecture of RCBC Plaza.

The museum originally serving as the home of the art collection of businessman and former ambassador Alfonso T. Yuchengco, who is also the chair of the Yuchengco Group of Companies. As such, the museum is home to some works of notable Filipino artists such as Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo, Ang Kiukok, Victorio Edades, Vicente Manansala, and Botong Francisco.

one of the centerpieces of the museum is this portrait done by Botong Francisco of Enrique and Maria Yuchengco, the parents of Alfonso Yuchengco

Contemporary art is also showcased in the museum with the ones on permanent display in the museum as well as the ones featured in one of the special exhibits being held there.

One interesting section of this museum that is worth checking out is its Rizaliana collection called the “Buhay Rizal.” Inaugurated in time for Jose Rizal’s 150th birth anniversary in 2011, One can see some Rizal memorabilia, his works and letters, not to mention a gallery of the women in Rizal’s life. One may find it perhaps peculiar but considering that one of the Yuchengco businesses is  named after the National Hero after all, that should come as no surprise.

And of course, there is also a section of the museum dedicated to the life and achievements of Alfonso T. Yuchengco, as well as that of his forebears.

Corporate stuff aside, the Yuchengco Museum is itself an interesting museum worth visiting, thanks to an impressive collection of art and Rizaliana that can be found in the middle of a busy business district. If you find yourself around RCBC Plaza, this is one landmark to check out to see for yourself what it has to offer.

The museum is open Mondays to Saturdays (unlike other museums which are usually open from Tuesdays to Sundays) with an admission fee of P100 for the regular rate. For more information, you can check out the museum website at yuchengcomuseum.org.

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