Museo Orlina- A Testament to the Glass Sculptor’s Success in his Element

Who would’ve thought that after years of honing his craft and being shifted by changing times (or should I say difficult times- that is Martial Law during the late Marcos’ regime) from being an architect to a world-renowned sculptor, Mr. Ramon Orlina would be known as the Father of Philippine Glass Sculpture.

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T’was a gloomy (weather) Saturday afternoon but Mr. Orlina was all smiles when he welcomed us at his famed museum- which was a product of years of hardwork and passion for his craft.

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Museo Orlina is located at Tagaytay City just behind the Tagaytay Econo Hotel which is about 45 minutes drive from Manila. Since the area is slopy, it’s a perfect place to not just enjoy the one-of-a-kind and superb creations of the Master glass sculptor but also be amazed by the majestic view of Taal Lake and Volcano.

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The museum has four levels (all of which were named after Mr. Orlina’s Children namely Naesa, Ningning, Anna and Michael). It also has a sculpture garden and an amphitheater which is used as a venue for different musical, dance and theatrical presentations.

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Of the four levels of artworks, the only pieces that are for sale are the ones that are at the first level. All other pieces are just for exhibit and are part of the sculptor’s personal collections.

Famed collections on exhibit include Piolo’s Head, Corazon Aquino’s Bust, Rich Harvest in Banaue and Pilita II.

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Aside from glass and bronze sculptures and different paintings of both Orlina and other well known artists, the museum also showcases Orlina’s works both here and abroad (specifically at the third level). The maquettes and photographs of his works are testaments of his success of over three decades.

One famous and for sure most of us are familiar with (but didn’t know that it was a work of a famous artist), is the altar and the cross at the koi pond at the Sto. Nino de Paz Chapel or more popularly known as the Greenbelt Chapel (don’t worry I am also guilty with this).

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And the Quattromondial Monument which represents UST’s four centuries of Excellence, Tradition, Spirituality and Erudition.

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Artists also like to collaborate with one another. And one famous collaboration made by Orlina was with the Baguio-based Philippine National Artist Ben Cabrera more popularly known as BenCab. Together they worked on a Volkswagen Beetle (part of Orlina’s personal collection) which is showcased at the Carport below the Ampitheater.

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We were so lucky to not just see the entirety of the galleries but also Orlina’s personal office. Inside, you’ll be amazed by his collection of Beetle memorabilias. Yes! he’s addicted to it that even his wall clock and tissue holder are all Volkswagen Beetle inspired!

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And also his secret bed! lol

By the way guys, Mr. Orlina’s office is not really part of the tour so don’t expect to get a peek when you visit..hehe

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And to our surprise, Mr. Orlina also gave us a sample of his piano-playing skills, which I personally didn’t know that he was really good at.

Overall, it was an afternoon full of fun and inspiration. I wouldn’t forget Mr. Orlina’s wit and a cool sense of humor. And of course, the works of art are all superb.

The group which was led by the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Marketing Dept. was so fortunate to spend time at the museum and have a guided tour by the Father of Philippine Glass Sculpture- Mr. Orlina himself.

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One important lesson I got from this activity is that do whatever you enjoy doing. Mr. Orlina might have had encountered difficulties in the past but still he managed to be the person that he is now because he pursued his passion. He is definitely in his Element.

For operating hours of the museum and admission fee, check this photo:

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Thanks for spending time to read my post guys!

For comments and suggestions, you can email me at mikeyongque@gmail.com.

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Twitter: @budgetdwanderer
Instagram: @budgetedwanderer

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