National Museum of the Philippines, Manila
29 October 2012

President Benigno S. Aquino III graced the 111th founding anniversary celebration of the National Museum by formally opening the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) Wing and unveiling the restored Old Senate Session Hall’s marker at the third floor of the Old Legislative Building in Padre Burgos Avenue in Manila.

In his keynote speech, the President said that culture and the arts are vital to national advancement and must be treated as part of a strategy for increasing national competitiveness. According to him, it is through education, research, and the arts that the nation can achieve “total human liberation and development” as a democratic society.

He announced the government’s plan to conserve and protect the country’s historical and cultural collections. This includes the significant budget increase given to centers of heritage like the National Archives, National Library, National Historical Institute and the National Museum.

President Aquino also witnessed the turnover of a catalogue showing the GSIS Art Collection by Mr. Daniel Lacson Jr. (GSIS Chairman of the Board of Trustees) and Mr. Robert Vergara (GSIS President and General Manager) to National Museum Board of Trustees Chairman Ramon del Rosario Jr. and Director Jeremy Robert Barns.

The works of art from the GSIS Collection, which was transferred to the custodianship and management of the National Museum, are exhibited on Galleries XIX, XXI, XXII. The displays feature the famous Juan Luna’s “Parisian Life” as well as the notable works of National Artists Fernando Amorsolo, Vicente Manansala, Carlos ‘Botong’ Francisco, Hernando Ocampo, Ang Kiukok, Benedicto ‘Bencab’ Cabrera, and Federico Alcuaz. The list also includes the works of Juvenal Sanso, Jose ‘Pitok’ Blanco, Manuel Rodriguez Sr. and Romulo Galicano.

The President also viewed the famous Juan Luna’s Spolarium and Felix Hidalgos’ La Tragedia de Gobernador Bustamante.

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