While everyone we know is catching up with their postponed travel itineraries on the beach, some far-flung nature retreat, or eating out at a discreet al fresco restaurant, we should not forget our indoorsy friends and loved ones. They who love staying in and find joy in enclosed areas (with proper ventilation, of course!).
We often forget that public spaces are not just open-air plazas, parks, and sports complexes. Libraries are public spaces, too. Thankfully, like other indoor educational and recreational spaces, they are slowly opening up as well.[READ: The Manila City Library is proof that public spaces aren’t gov’t priority]
One of such institutions is Ayala’s Filipinas Heritage Library. The other half of Ayala Foundation’s arts and culture division is a repository of the visual, aural, and printed story of the Filipino.
After temporarily closing for two years for renovation, it is having a soft opening on Dec. 4, Saturday, along with the Ayala Museum itself.
Located on the sixth floor of Ayala Museum, the Filipinas Heritage Library preserves documentary heritage with a focus on the formative period of Philippine nationhood, from the 1930s to the 1950s. It also houses antiquarian books from as early as 1609, maps from 1872, and manuscripts, serials, and rare publications dating back to the 17th century.
Its collection also includes 10,000 Filipiniana volumes dating back to 1946; Presidential papers from Presidents Elpidio R. Quirino’s and Manuel L. Quezon’s archives; photo archives from the 15th century to the late 20th century; over 5,000 digitized Filipino songs from the 1900s to the 1990s; an extensive selection of Jose Rizal’s works; and other resources donated and sourced.
Other than its physical archive, its resources are also accessible online.
If you plan to go soon, new interiors will welcome you, including reading nooks that invite researchers and the curious general public alike. Just take note, that pre-booking at least a day before your visit is required.
When is it open?
11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., from Wednesday to Saturday
Who can go?
Fully vaccinated individuals, regardless of age, with proof of identification and vaccination. Unvaccinated individuals can go, too just present a negative RT-PCR test result taken in the last 7 days prior to your visit.