By MARIA BERNADETTE R. ROMERO
HISTORY buffs and art geeks, rejoice!
We no longer need a time machine for time travelling just to revisit the past. We just need a good internet connection.
Malacañang Palace collaborated with Google Arts and Culture to exhibit virtual tours at the Presidential Museum and Library (PML) located at the historic Kalayaan Hall at the Palace.
In line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s mandate to make Malacañang accessible to ordinary citizens, viewers can now have an online encounter with the historically significant furniture, memorabilia, and artworks from PML’s collections right at their fingertips.
According to Malacañang, “anyone with internet access can view exhibits on their computers or on their mobile devices.” They just need to search for Malacañang PML that would redirect them to a virtual walk-through of the museum’s two floors.
The online museum features 70 different artifacts and two virtual 360° exhibits – one with history of Philippine presidents, another showcasing the history of the palace.
Google used the designed Street View ‘trolley’ to collect 360-degree views of the place’s interior.
In a statement by Google Arts and Culture Program Manager Pierre Caessa, he said that it took them six months to complete the street view mapping, data collection, digitization, and curatorial work.
Meanwhile, PML Director Edgar Ryan Faustino assured that the online museum does not discourage people to go to actual museums but rather serves as preparation for future visits.
In the Philippines, Google has also partnered with Ayala Museum, Center for Art, New Ventures, and Sustainable Development (CANVAS), Filipinas Heritage Library, the Filipino Street Art Project, Intramuros Administration, and the University of the Philippines Visayas – Center for West Visayan Studies.
The tour can also be accessed via Google Arts and Culture mobile app on iOS and Android.