The Diorama Experience of Philippine History

Our Diorama Experience exhibition has been synonymous with the Ayala Museum since 1974. The sixty dioramas were designed to be a comprehensive visual approach to Philippine history and present the narrative of the story of the Philippine people in a way that compresses extensive research on the events, architecture, costumes, technologies, and topographies of the times they represent. History is thus made more meaningful with the sense of immediacy the presentation provides; the sense of “being there as it happens.”

However, the realities of our nation's present continue to grow from stories of our past beyond the timeline captured in the historical dioramas. Launched in 2022, the Diorama Dialogue challenges audiences to find and trace these multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted connections to bring a new understanding and appreciation for our history and the evolution of our national and local narratives. Watch the multimedia feature, curated and narrated by Manuel L. Quezon III, and participate in the Diorama Dialogue here
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Exhibition Objects

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Diorama 1: Cagayan Valley Life

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Northern Luzon, circa 75,000 years ago

Two flake tools made of stone and the remains of ancient ancestors of the elephant, such as the Paleoloxodon sp. and Elephas namadicus were recovered in the Cagayan Valley, in the northern island of Luzon. These tools and modified fossil remains provide some of the earliest evidence of human activity in the Philippines, and land bridges that connected the archipelago to mainland Southeast Asia. In 2007, human fossils dating back to 65,000 BCE were found in the Callao caves of Penablanca, Cagayan province.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 2: Palawan Tabon Caves

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Circa 50,000-7,000 years ago

The earliest fossilized remains of Homo sapiens sapiens or modern man were discovered in 1962 by archaeologists at the Tabon Cave Complex in Palawan province. In 2007, even older human fossils dating back to 65,000 BCE were found in the Callao caves of Penablanca, Cagayan province. 

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 3: Palawan Burial Caves

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Circa 7000-2500 years ago

Funerary treasures and secondary burial vessels were discovered in the cave complex in Lipuun Point, Palawan. Jar burial is one of many burial practices used by early inhabitants. The Manunggul Jar, featuring the boat of the dead on its lid, illustrates an early belief in the afterlife. A miniature version of this National Cultural Treasure is visible in this diorama.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 4: Pottery Making

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Circa 6000 years ago

Pottery serves as some of the oldest evidence of human activity. Its production indicates that people had the ability to transform raw clay into functional vessels, making use of the paddle and anvil, pottery wheel, and open-flame firing.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 5: Metal Forging

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Circa 2500 years ago

Early metal implements were traded from mainland Southeast Asia as early as 4000 years ago. Later evidence of local metal forging in the form of iron slags, or the refuse from the process of smelting, were found.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 6: Agricultural Terraces

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Ifugao, Circa 1150 AD

The Ifugao people of northern Luzon transformed the steep mountain slopes into arable land, with an ingenious irrigation system. Initially used for farming taro, the terraces were expanded later to grow rice for migrant lowlanders. The Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 7: Trade with the Chinese

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Circa 1000 AD

10th-century Chinese records mention traders from Ma-i (now Mindoro, Philippines) travelling to southern China to sell goods such as rhino horn, ivory, coral, pearls, tortoise shell, and forest products in exchange for silk, porcelain, and precious metals.  By the 12th century, Chinese traders would reach the archipelago on junks.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 8: Introduction of Islam

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Mindanao, circa 1200 AD

Archaeological evidence of Islamic presence dates back to 1175 AD. Through Muslim traders, Islam was introduced in the 14th century.  By 1450, Hashim Abubakar established the Sultanate of Sulu, the first Islamic state in the archipelago’s southernmost tip.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 9: The First Mass

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

1521

One of the most lasting influences of Spanish colonization in the Philippines was the spread of Roman Catholicism. The first mass took place in 1521, celebrated by Father Pedro de Valderrama who arrived with Ferdinand Magellan. In 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legaspi’s expedition solidified Christianization in the Philippines.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 10: The Battle of Mactan

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Mactan, Cebu, 1521

Chieftain Lapu-Lapu never succumbed to invaders. With an advantage in numbers and knowledge of the local topography, the fiercely independent leader and the people of Mactan killed Ferdinand Magellan, defeating the Spanish forces.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 11: Legazpi-Sikatuna Blood Compact

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Bohol, 1565

Seeking to befriend the local populace, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi entered into a blood compact with Rajah Sikatuna from the island of Bohol. This act of brotherhood appeased the locals, who had suffered during previous encounters with Spanish expeditionary forces. It marked the beginning of Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines, named after King Philip II.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 12: Cannon Making

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1571

Local foundries and cast-metal cannons mentioned in accounts by Martin de Goiti, Legazpi's second-in-command, are evidence of advanced knowledge in artillery and warfare. These were used by the Spanish to fortify their colonial settlements.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 13: Salcedo Repels Limahong

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Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1575

Lin Feng, the Chinese pirate popularly known as Limahong, attempted to conquer the Spanish settlements in Manila to secure a base for his seafaring operations. He attacked with 62 junks filled with heavily-armed soldiers. Spain's Martin de Goiti was killed during the first sortie, but Spanish conquistador Juan de Salcedo rallied the combined Spanish and local forces to victory against the pirates.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 14: Brother Juan Clemente's Hospital

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1578

Hospitals symbolized evangelization’s dual role of saving body and soul. Brother Juan Clemente pioneered hospital work in the Philippines with a makeshift facility for lepers, soldiers, sailors, and later, for the poor and the sick. It was renamed the San Juan de Dios Hospital in 1656.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 15: The First Books

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1593

Evangelical publications, Doctrina Christiana en lengua Española y Tagala and the Doctrina Christiana en letra y lengua China, were the first books printed in the Philippines using a woodcut printing process. Eventually, a more efficient moveable-type printing press would be used by the Dominican mission house in Binondo.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 16: Massacre of the Chinese

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1603

The Spanish government saw the rapidly growing Manila-based Chinese community as a threat. Tensions in Manila grew until 1603 when the Chinese rose in an 18-day rebellion over a rumor that the Spaniards were planning to poison their water supply. More than 20,000 Chinese died in this first of several massacres at the hands of Spanish soldiers, Tagalog and Pampango volunteers. The massacres continued until the 19th century.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 17: Construction of the University of Santo Tomas

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1611

In 1611, the Dominican Order established the Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Rosario, a seminary school offering core courses in grammar, theology, and the humanities. The school is now known as the Royal and Pontifical University of Santo Tomas (UST), the oldest university in Asia.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 18: Kudarat's Defense

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Mindanao, 1637

Total evangelization was thwarted in southern Philippines. Sultan Kudarat led a Muslim alliance of Maguindanao, Maranao, and Tausug groups that resisted Spanish colonization through the strength of their social systems and Islamic institutions.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 19: Parian Scene

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1710

The massacres and upheavals of the 17th and 18th centuries led to the expulsion of numerous Chinese inhabitants. Despite this, the Spanish government recognized the need for Chinese goods and services, allowing immigration under stricter conditions. The Chinese were confined within the districts of San Gabriel, Baybay, and Binondo. They sold silk and other goods in markets called parian.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 20: Assassination of Governor General Bustamante

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1719

Governor General Fernando Bustamante was killed by an angry mob of citizens, clergy, and Chinese traders in retaliation for severe measures taken to rectify the mismanagement of royal revenues.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 21: Dagohoy Revolt

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Bohol, 1744 - 1827

Injustices and abuses by the Spanish colonial government incited several acts of rebellion. Francisco Dagohoy ignited a revolt in Bohol island after the Jesuit parish priest, Father Gaspar Morales, refused to give his brother a Christian burial. The revolt lasted 85 years, the longest in Philippine history.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 22: Manila Galleon Scene

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Circa 1750

The Manila-Acapulco maritime route was discovered in 1565 and galleons plied the route until 1815. Goods from Asia like silk, carved ivory, jewelry, and spices were traded for Mexican silver and other products from the Americas, Africa, and Europe. The galleon trade helped run Spain's farthest colony.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 23: British Occupation

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1762-1764

Britain declared war against Spain, an ally of France, during Europe's Seven Years War (1756-1763). British forces sailed from India and invaded Manila in 1762, taking over the port city and other provinces. Although the rest of the Philippines remained under Spanish rule, the loss of a key port drastically diminished colonial resources. The British occupation ended as part of the peace settlement of the Seven Years War.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 24: Santa Ines Mines

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Rizal Province, 1764

The Spanish government reclaimed Manila and other occupied areas after the British left in 1764. Enterprises were crucial in keeping the colony financially sound. The iron mines of Santa Ines in the Sierra Madre range of Rizal Province were founded by the pioneering industrialist Francisco Xavier Salgado.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 25: The First Newspaper

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1811

News from Europe reached Manila by ship. In 1811, these reports were translated and published in the archipelago's first newspaper, Del Superior Govierno. The gazette was later replaced by other publications that circulated liberal ideas from Spain and the rest of Europe. The flow of information and ideas contributed to the growth of a new Philippine intellectual class called the ilustrados.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 26: Damian Domingo's Studio

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Tondo, circa 1821

Damian Domingo opened the first school that taught principles of western art in the country. A few years later, the Real Sociedad Economica de Amigos del Pais founded the Academia de Dibujo y Pintura and invited Domingo to become professor and eventually, the academy's director. The academy was notable for breaking down racial barriers by accepting Spanish, mestizo, and indio students alike.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 27: Sunday Mass at Santa Ana

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, circa 1850s

One of the more evident signs of the success of Christianization and Spanish colonization of the country was the regular attendance of Sunday mass. Residents, even from the most distant barrios, would make every effort to attend in their finest clothes.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 28: Escolta Scene

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, circa 1860

During the 19th century, Escolta was Manila's premiere commercial hub. Located outside Intramuros, it was a street north of the Pasig River that spanned the districts of Binondo, Santa Cruz, and Quiapo.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 29:De La Torre's Malacañan Reception

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1869

Newly appointed Governor-General of the Philippines, Carlos Maria de la Torre, hosted a reception to celebrate the Spanish Revolution of 1868 at Malacañan Palace-- the official residence of the governors-general after the earthquake of 1863. Being a Liberal, he was the first governor general to welcome distinguished locals, such as Father Jose Burgos, Joaquin Pardo de Tavera, Pedro Paterno, and Jacobo Zobel to Malacañan.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 30: Introduction of the Tranvia

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1881

Improving on caretelas and calesas, the tranvias served as the first public mass transport of the fast growing city. They were horse-drawn passenger carriages that ran on tracks in the districts outside Intramuros. This system was constructed and operated by Jacobo Zobel and Adolfo Bayo.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 31: Freemasonry in the Philippines

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Circa 1870s

By the 1870s, wealthy Filipinos were able to travel  abroad for study. In Europe, ilustrados like Jose Rizal and Marcelo H. del Pilar joined Masonic lodges where they were able to engage in propaganda promoting reforms for the Philippines. The first Masonic lodge in the country was established in 1892.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 32: Rizal Completes the Noli Me Tangere

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Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Germany, 1887

Jose Rizal's novels, Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) and  El Filibusterismo (The Reign of Greed), inspired the Philippine Revolution. These novels exposed the abuses of the Spanish colonial system and was banned in the Philippines. He began writing the Noli Me Tangere in 1884 and was completed three years later. 

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 33: Katipunan Initiation Rites

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Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1892

Andres Bonifacio organized a secret society, the Kataastaasang Kagalanggalangang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan (KKK) or Katipunan in 1892. Inspired by liberal writings and European Freemasonry, its main objective was the Philippines' independence from Spain. The Katipunan initiation ritual renounced friar domination and advocated the rebirth of a motherland.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 34: The Revolution Against Spain Begins

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Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1896

At Barrio Pugadlawin, near Balintawak, Caloocan, Andres Bonifacio urged the Katipunan to tear up their cedulas or tax certificates to symbolize determination to take up arms and end servitude to Spain.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 35: The Execution of Jose Rizal

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Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1896

Jose Rizal was incarcerated because he was suspected to be a revolutionary. Rizal predicted: "the day the Spanish inflict martyrdom, farewell pro-friar government, and perhaps, farewell, Spanish government." He was executed by firing squad on December 30, 1896 at Bagumbayan, now known as Rizal Park.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 36: Court Martial of Andres Bonifacio

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Cavite, 1897

Andres Bonifacio's leadership was challenged as the Katipunan expanded to other provinces. During the elections held at the Tejeros Convention, he lost to Emilio Aguinaldo. Refusing to accept the election results, Bonifacio formed his own government for which he was court-martialed, found guilty of sedition, and sentenced to death.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 37: Pact of Biak-na-Bato

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Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Bulacan, 1897

The hardships caused by the revolution convinced Emilio Aguinaldo to arrange a truce with Spanish authorities, called the Pact of Biak-na-Bato. Aguinaldo and his officers agreed to go into exile in Hong Kong and surrender their weapons in exchange for long sought reforms and 800,000 Mexican pesetas. Neither side fulfilled their end of the bargain. The Spanish government did not implement reforms. Aguinaldo and his men purchased weapons with the first 400,000 received, and called themselves the Hong Kong Junta.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 38: Battle of Manila Bay

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

1898

The explosion of the US battleship Maine in Havana Harbor in February 1898 convinced the US to declare war against Spain. While in Hong Kong, Emilio Aguinaldo was approached by the Americans to make an alliance in exchange for Philippine independence from Spain. On May 1, the Battle of Manila Bay between the US and Spain ended with an overwhelming defeat for the Spanish fleet.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 39: Proclamation of Independence from Spain

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Cavite, 1898

Emilio Aguinaldo returned from exile on an American warship to once again lead the Revolution against Spain. On 12 June 1898, the Philippine national flag was unfurled and Philippine independence proclaimed at Aguinaldo's residence in Kawit, Cavite.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 40: Spain Surrenders Manila to the United States

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1898

Refusing to capitulate to the Filipinos, Spanish Governor-General Fermin Jaudenes surrendered Manila to the Americans after staging a mock battle on 13 August 1898. The Americans excluded the Filipinos from the negotiations. On 10 December 1898, the Treaty of Paris was signed through which Spain sold the Philippines to the United States for 20 million dollars.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

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2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 41: The Malolos Congress

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Bulacan, 15 September 1898

When American expansionist intentions became clear, Emilio Aguinaldo established a revolutionary government that aimed to attain the formal, international recognition of Philippine Independence. The revolutionary Congress was convened in Malolos, Bulacan. After drafting a constitution, the Philippine Republic was proclaimed on 23 January 1899 with Aguinaldo as its first president. However, Filipino attempts to secure foreign recognition failed.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 42: The Philippine-American War Begins

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1899

Tension between Filipino and American troops led to the outbreak of hostilities. In the evening of 4 February 1899, an American sentry shot and killed a Filipino who he assumed crossed American lines on San Juan Bridge. Filipino forces retaliated and firing on both sides of the bridge ensued. The next day, General Arthur MacArthur ordered his men to advance against the Filipino positions. Another account cites Sampaloc as location of the first skirmish.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 43: American Occupation of Iloilo City

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Panay, 1898

With the fall of Manila, Iloilo became the new Spanish capital under the leadership of Visayas-Mindanao Governor General Diego de los Rios. Filipino revolutionaries under Martin Delgado formed a revolutionary government. In time, the Spanish surredered to the Filipinos. With the Treaty of Paris in effect, the Americans demanded the Filipinos to surrender, but were ignored. The Americans attacked and in December 1898, Iloilo was captured. Delgado led guerrilla operations until the early months of 1901.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 44: The Battle of Quingua

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Bulacan, 23 April 1899

After occupying Iloilo City, the Americans began a massive offensive in Luzon. Filipino forces led by Generals Antonio Luna and Gregorio del Pilar defended the town of Quingua, now Plaridel, where two bridges served as gateways to the north. The seasoned Colonel John M. Stotsenburg, who led the American regiment was killed by a volley of gunshots. However, Filipino forces were unable to capitalize on this victory due to internal conflicts. This weakened their defenses, allowing the Americans to cross the Rio Grande.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 45: Assassination of General Antonio Luna

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Nueva Ecija, 1899

General Antonio Luna, Supreme Chief of the Republican Army, implemented severe training and disciplinary methods to achieve his goal of organizing a formal military chain of command. He was resented by soldiers from Kawit, Cavite. Eventually, Luna was assassinated by the Kawit Battalion, under the leadership of Pedro Janolino whose loyalty was only to President Emilio Aguinaldo.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 46: Death of General Gregorio del Pilar

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Ilocos Sur, 1899

The 24-year old General Gregorio del Pilar led the defense of Tirad Pass to delay pursuing Americans troops from capturing Aguinaldo. Only seven of the sixty Filipinos defending the pass survived. Found on Del Pilar’s dead body was his diary where he had written, “I am surrounded by terrible odds that will overcome me and my gallant men, but I die gladly, fighting for my beloved country…”

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 47: The Bates Agreement

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Sulu, 1899

Spanish control over the Sulu Sultanate had always been fragile. The Americans were met with similar circumstances. Believing that the Americans would not interfere with the internal affairs of his sultanate, Sulu Sultan Jamal-ul Kiram II entered into negotiations with Brigadier General John Bates. The resulting Bates Treaty established the Sulu Sultanate as an American protectorate rather than a territorial possession. However, the treaty was later abrogated by the US Congress on 2 March 1904.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 48: The Capture of President Emilio Aguinaldo

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Isabela, 23 March 1901

The Americans regarded the capture of Aguinaldo as the key to end the war. Aguinaldo was captured in his hideout after the Americans intercepted his message requesting reinforcements. He pledged allegiance to the United States of America on 1 April 1901. However, resistance persisted throughout the archipelago.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 49: Surprise Attack at Balangiga

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Samar, 27 September 1901

Balangiga Mayor Pedro Ablayan and Police Chief Valeriano Abanador remained loyal to the Philippine government. Despite their oath of allegiance to the United States, they led a surprise attack on the Americans. Guerrillas, some disguised as women, smuggled bolos (bladed weapons) in small coffins, under the pretext of a mass funeral for child victims of a cholera epidemic. The ringing church bells signaled the offensive. Forty out of 74 Americans, and 30 out of 50 Filipinos lost their lives.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 50:American Reprisals in Samar

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Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

1901-1902

Brigadier General Jacob Smith was tasked to “pacify” Samar. Smith ordered that anyone capable of bearing arms, 10 years old and above, was liable to be shot. Over a span of five months, American troops combed through the island, turning it into a “howling wilderness.” Some 50,000 Samareños went missing or were presumably killed.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 51: A Scene from a Sarswela

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 1902

The sarswela, adapted from the Spanish musical comedy zarzuela, rekindled nationalism during the American period. Beyond its romantic plot was an exploration of deep-seated feelings against colonialism. One of the most famous sarswelas is Severino Reyes's Walang Sugat, a love story set during the Philippine Revolution against Spain. 

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 52: The Philippine Independent Church

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Ilocos Norte, 1902

Filipino priests used their mass sermons to rouse support for the republic. Father Gregorio Aglipay, vicar-general of the Philippine republican army, pressed for the Filipinization of the Catholic Church. After his excommunication, Aglipay joined and later became supreme bishop of the Iglesia Filipina Independiente, established by Ilocano writer and labor activist, Isabelo de los Reyes.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 53: The Capture of General Macario Sakay

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Cavite, 1906

General Macario Sakay, commander-in-chief of the remaining revolutionary forces, continued the resistance in the southern Tagalog region after the war officially ended in 1902. To expedite  negotiations for Philippine independence and with  assurance they would not be punished, Sakay and his men were convinced to surrender. However, they were arrested at a dance to which they had been invited by American officers. They were tried for brigandage and hanged.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 54: Inauguration of Quezon

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Manila, 15 November 1935

Persistent independence missions and strong economic pressure made American leadership grant the Philippines sovereignty. The 1934 Tydings-McDuffie Act paved the way for a ten-year transition period to independence. Manuel L. Quezon and Sergio Osmeña, Sr. took their oaths of office as president and vice president, respectively, of the newly established Philippine Commonwealth.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 55: Japanese Forces Occupy Manila

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

1942

Hours after the attack on the US naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Japanese planes bombed key sites in the Philippines. The Philippine Commonwealth was evacuated to Corregidor island. On 26 December 1941, Manila was declared an "Open City," which meant defensive efforts were abandoned expecting that the invading army will not attack. Without the surrender of Filipino troops, the Japanese rained more bombs before marching into the city on 2 January 1942.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 56: Fall of Bataan

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

9 April 1942

Douglas MacArthur, Commanding General of the United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), withdrew all military resources from Manila to the Bataan Peninsula. Filipino and American soldiers put up the fiercest resistance, but dwindling food and military supplies and the failure to receive reinforcement led to the fall of Bataan. MacArthur and the Commonwealth government fled to Australia.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 57: The Death March

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Bataan-Tarlac, 1942 

After the fall of Bataan, more than 60,000 Filipinos and 10,000 American prisoners were forced to walk more than a hundred kilometers from Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga. Many died of exhaustion and hunger, and those who stumbled or tried to drink from springs or creeks were beaten or killed. From Pampanga, more would die of suffocation in the cramped trains that transported them to Capas, Tarlac.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 58: Guerrila Activities Against the Japanese

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

1942 - 1944

Resistance to the Japanese did not end with the fall of Bataan and Corregidor. In various parts of the country, Filipinos organized guerrilla units and underground governments in defiance of the Japanese military and the Japanese-sponsored Philippine Republic.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 59: The Return of General MacArthur

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

20 October 1944

After the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle of World War II, President Sergio Osmeña, Sr. and Resident Commissioner Carlos P. Romulo returned with General Douglas MacArthur, accompanied by 650 ships and four army divisions.  American forces re-occupied Manila in February 1945. 

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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Diorama 60: Recognition of Philippine Independence by the United States

Medium

Mixed media

Collection

Diorama

Description

Luneta, 4 July 1946

After the war ended on 5 July 1945, the Commonwealth of the Philippines was reinstated. The following year, the United States withdrew its sovereignty over the country. American High Commissioner Paul McNutt lowered the Stars and Stripes as President Manuel A. Roxas raised the Philippine flag to inaugurate the Republic of the Philippines.

Acknowledgement

Ayala Museum Collection

Location

2F: The Diorama Experience

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