something to see: francisco v. coching at ayala museum

Manila, 19 November—Todd Henry says it’s always good to go on a “stimulus dive” on weekends as a means of recharging one’s creativity, so that’s what we did for the weekend.

We know Makati has always been associated with the hustle and bustle of everyday work + traffic, but on weekends we do suggest dropping by Ayala Museum, which is right smack in the middle of the business district.

Apart from its permanent displays (the Gold of Ancestors exhibit, which showcases over a thousand gold objects dating back to pre-colonial Philippines, is a must-see), Ayala Museum hosts several changing exhibitions throughout the year as well.

We were lucky to catch the current exhibit, Images of a Nation: F.V. Coching, Komiks at Kultura, which features works by National Artist Francisco V. Coching, dean of Philippine illustration and komiks legend.

This was such a delight. On display are hundreds of Coching’s illustrations, Liwayway front pages, comic book covers, movie posters, and first drafts. Many of the works came out in the 50’s and 60’s, and were pretty indicative of what being a ‘hero’ meant at the time—a gun-slinging, horseback-riding Filipino macho man.

As for the depiction of women, they were ‘Amorsolo-like’—dreamy and mestiza. Again, products of their time. There were a lot of illustrated women on display, many of them beautiful, but one stood out for me:

Gabriela Silang. It was refreshing to see a woman on horseback, especially here in the Coching exhibit, where men were usually the ones larger than life.

I mean:

They also built an installation that is a sari-sari store that once sold komiks sa kanto, and it was irresistible.

Bonus rainbow cover! Lovely :)

Images of a Nation: F.V. Coching, Komiks at Kultura, is on the 3rd floor of the Ayala Museum. Opened on Oct. 30, it will run until Feb. 3, 2019.

The Ayala Museum is open, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays to Sundays. Entrance for all exhibits is at P225 per head for Pinoys :)