I haven’t been to marikina for the longest time, until now.
The last time that I’ve been to marikina is when I went to the Marikina Sports Center for the school org’s annual school olympics. I had fun alright, but before that I’ve been hearing good (and sometimes bad) about Marikina and its places.
While Marikina is known for its shoes, flood-prone areas and being hazardous to earthquakes, they are also known for its fantastic museums that are a must-see when you’re in the area.
I was invited to the Riverbanks Center to take a tour on their museums located at the E-com center. I’m actually surprised that they had so much to offer, and theirs is very unique from the other museums that I’ve been to. Definitely a must-see for everyone!
The Riverbanks – E-Com center
While the Riverbanks Center is known for being a shopping center, the Riverbanks Center-E-Com center houses the museums and some of the cafes adjacent to the Marikina river itself. the second floor of the E-com center has a great view of the Marikina River, and Im amazed that it’s all clean and less polluted, very different from Manila’s Pasig River. It was the former Mayor Bayani Fernando (I think? pls correct me if i’m wrong) who started the rehabilitation of the city that made it look pristine until today.
Here’s what we did to the Marikina Center tour:
Joey Velasco Gallery
The Joey Velasco Gallery houses the Late artist Joey Velasco’s prized paintings and sculptures, based on the life and times of Jesus Christ in a modern setting. His most famous work, the “Hapag ng Pagasa” (Table of Hope) indeed powerful yet moving, indeed a masterpiece worth seeing.
Joey Velasco is an entrepreneur, until he learned that he has a life-threatening kidney disease. it is said that he uses his paintings as his way to relieve depression bought by his sickness. since then, he has created over a hundred paintings in five years.
We were also given a chance to watch Joey Velasco’s video about the story of the “Hapag ng Pagasa”. No words can express how this story moves me. it inspires me to be better, and to share the things that I can do for other people, just like what Joey Velasco did.
He uses oil painting as his medium for all of his paintings, also displayed in the gallery.
Joey Velasco is also a sculptor as well. his sculptures also depicts of the life and times of Jesus Christ, being with us at this modern times.
Sadly, Joey Velasco succumbed to the kidney disease at the age of 43. but despite that, his legacy lives on, and thus the Joey Velasco Foundation is born, where its priority is to give support to the Hapag kids and their families in Amparo, Caloocan City. The JVF also creates livelihood projects for them, gives training to enhance their skills and other activities for the value formation of the community.
For those who love religious art, this place is for you.
The Spirit of Bethlehem Museum
The Spirit of Bethlehem museum private collection from Gigi Abaya-Carlos houses over 500 belens, nativity sets, posters, paintings and sculptures from all over the world.
Her decades of devotion to the infant Jesus started her collection. Among those displayed is her first belen set that is bought at the Catholic Trade School in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, Manila in 1952.
The depiction of Baby Jesus, along with Mama Mary and Joseph are to be seen here on different versions. Elaborate paintings, intricate sculptures, and replicas in various forms are being shown in the museum, along with the serenades of the christmas carols as a background music while checking on each of them.
From the indigenous versions of the nativity from different provinces in the Philippines to the elaborate nativity sets from different countries around the world. Each of them is unique, and is made of different materials.
Definitely a must-see collection for those who wants to celebrate holiday season.
Museum of Miniatures
The museum itself amazes me with the real-life replicas of the things being seen in all rooms of a European mansion. the design in all areas of a European house looks intricate and very detailed, for the replicas being used looks very real.
The collection from the late artist Aleli Vengua handcrafted most of the items that is included in the museum. scrap items like plastic, glass, wood, aluminum and fabric are mostly used to create such masterpieces that is now being seen in the museum.
looking at the miniature replicas makes me feel like a child again. it makes me remember the days where I played with my paper dolls and imagine having them with this room setting.
I was informed that the miniature room design changes every now and then, depending on the season and occasion. this attraction is a must-see for everyone, perfect for the young and the young at heart.
Philippine Science Centrum
I haven’t been to the science museum for the longest time, until now. Glad that I got a chance again after we all went to the Philippine Science Centrum (PSC), out last stop to the Riverbanks Center tour.
the open-air museum is recognized by the Department of Education, Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Tourism, because of its hands-on demonstrations and interactive exhibits being displayed inside.
The PSC houses over hundred hands-on exhibits in eleven (11) exciting galleries: Lights, Bodyworks, Mathematics, Electricity & Magnetism, Water, Vision and Perception, Infectious Diseases, Earth Science, Space, Kids’ World and Mechanics.
Looking at the places and other attractions made me feel like a child again who’s hungry for adventure and thirsty for knowledge. all of us wants to come back to play, explore and to learn. not bad for grownups eh?
Because of its interactive and specious venue, it’s a must-see destination for field trips and other educational activities. It’s also a great place for school/corporate events, birthday parties, trainings/seminars and science-related events.
We all had fun exploring what the Riverbanks Center has to offer! Definitely a a place to learn and play for the young and old! 🙂
The Riverbanks Center
The Spirit of Bethlehem & Miniature Museum
Joey Velasco Gallery
Philippine Science Centrum