For so long, the arts have been the driving force for the city of the Bonifacio Global City (BGC). Larger-than-life pieces from some of the country’s top artistic names make up BGC’s Art Walk. With the opening of The Mind Museum at Taguig, it’s safe to say that the Arts and Sciences finally have a place all their own.
The Mind Museum was made possible through private donations from corporate sponsors, family and individual donors who believe in giving the Philippines a center for the public understanding of science, in particular science at its most basic.
“Science is all about understanding how things work,” said The Mind Museum’s managing director Manny Blas. “People need to understand the basic science. What is a cell or a DNA? What makes up the universe? How do telescopes or MRI work? If you understand the principles of science, you know how to apply it. If students can come in here and then go out and consider becoming a scientist or an engineer, then we would have done our job.”
The country’s first world-class science museum is a P1 billion project that had inputs in its planning stage from international experts like Jack Rouse and Associates and the Science Centre Singapore. Its futuristic yet organic design, however, is by a team of architects from Lor Calma & Partners headed by architect Ed Calma.
Taking into mind sustainable design, the building is given a curved roof for more efficient rain collection, slanted exterior walls to minimize the entry of sunlight, and strategic orientation to utilize the shadows of adjacent buildings.
Calma expressed his belief that The Mind Museum’s location-in a 12,500-sq-m prime lot in the JY Campos Park, 3rd Avenue—and form have an interesting place in “a sea of box buildings and it celebrates the terminus of the Bonifacio High Street Axis.”
Calma hopes that through the museum, people would see the connection between science and the Arts.
The Mind Museum, curated by Maribel Garcia, has five interactive galleries that tell a story of the different aspects of science.
The Atom Gallery has exhibit pieces that show the strange world of the very small in terms of forces and particles.
The Earth Gallery narrates the planet’s story and the changing archipelago throughout time. It includes a 3D animated film by an all-Filipino crew that features 4.6 billion years of the planet’s natural history and evolution in 12 minutes.
The Life Galley dives deep in the understanding of how life surrounds and inhabits us.
The Universe Gallery features the mysterious vastness of the universe and has a unique planetarium for a simulated star-gazing experience, all of which holds clues to where we came from and where we are going.
The Technology Gallery shows how humans, with the tools we invent and innovate, are able to express our evolutionary phases.
The Mind Museum also has an outdoor Science-in-the Park where visitors can experience playful science through four-themed pockets: Music, Math, Living and Water.
Other educational facilities include an auditorium, laboratory and classrooms, and educational workshops.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, delivering a speech by President Aquino, expressed confidence in The Mind Museum’s ability to engage more young Filipinos in taking an interest in the fields of science and technology.
“Learning is always beneficial, but it becomes especially rewarding when it has something to do with the things going on around us,” Binay said. “Learning about the world around us and appreciating its complexities teaches us, whether we are young or old, that we cannot possibly understand everything about our world, but that it is valuable to keep on and to keep widening our knowledge and understanding. The more we learn, the more we want to learn, the more we feel an attraction to the answers and further questions that lie ahead, ultimately leading us toward a brighter future. That is the promise of The Mind Museum.”
In his welcome remarks, Bonifacio Art Foundation Inc. chair Joselito Campos said the soul of Bonifacio Global City has been forever shaped by one of the greatest traditions in history-that of science.
“We built this city founded on the principle that it takes more than commerce to make a place worth the hours that we spend here,” Campos said. “Aside from giving people the pleasures of looking at artistic expressions of the human condition in our public art pieces, we wanted to recognize that people needed to also experience the priceless pleasures that come with discovery and exploration. We knew that the city would be complete and dynamic if we had both the arts and sciences make up the soul of BGC.”
The Mind Museum will formally open its doors to the public on March 1, 2012. Tickets will be priced at P600. Students will get a special price of P450 while teachers and students from public schools can avail of tickets at only P150 upon presentation of ID.
Senior citizens get a 20-percent discount while kids below three feet get in free.
Visit www.themindmuseum.org. Visits are divided by three-hour guided tour schedules: 9 a.m.-12 nn, 12 nn-3 p.m., 3 -6 p.m., and 6-9 p.m.