It’s a date… at the museum!

The Jorge B. Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman hosted a fundraising event on Valentine’s Day, February 14.

Guests experienced a night of art, food, cocktails, and music at the second installment of the “Vargas After-Hours.” They were serenaded with jazz performances by Struggail and the Elileon Jazz Trio.

In an interview on “DZUP Balita,” UP Vargas Museum Curator Tessa Maria Guazon said that the event was inspired by the social events that UP alumnus Jorge Vargas used to organize at his residence in Mandaluyong.

“We are interested in the archival photos of Jorge Vargas and his family. He has many photos of gatherings at his house in Mandaluyong. And he hosted these social events which were themed. One of them, we found a photograph of a Mardi Gras ball in December 1953,” Guazon said in a mix of Filipino and English.

The Curator explained that the gatherings serve other purposes beyond throwing parties. “The goal of the ‘After-Hours’ is to open the museum to the public beyond the usual museum hours. It’s also a fundraiser for us to fund our self-initiated projects here in the museum,” she said.

“This allows us to introduce our permanent exhibition to a wider public. This is not just a party. We will start the event with a tour of our permanent exhibition on the second floor,” she added.

“Our public program series is intended to open the museum to more publics. It is geared towards making young people realize that art is important in our lives. It’s integral in our lives.”

Guazon noted that the event had pop-up booths where guests got photo souvenirs, tattoos, and tarot readings.

The Vargas Museum is one of nine museums and galleries on campus. Since 1987, it has been housing collections of art, books, and other memorabilia from Vargas, who was a significant political figure in 20th century Philippines.

“The museum has galleries for permanent exhibitions as well as temporary exhibitions. The galleries are also spaces for educational events such as workshops, lectures, symposia, and walkthroughs and talks by artists and curators. The library accommodates researchers, scholars, students, and artists,” it said on its website.

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