The Presidential Museum and Library (PML) is now made readily accessible to anyone who has an internet connection. This is made possible through two new exhibits that are now up on Google Arts & Culture—“Malacañang as Prize, Pulpit, and Stage” and “”Relics of Power: Remembering the Philippine Presidents.”
Just like in all other online exhibits posted on the special Google site, a 360-degree view of the interior is facilitated through the Street View ‘trolley.’ Thus, the interiors of the gallery can also be explored anytime directly from within the Street View feature of Google Maps.
A wing of Malacañang
Through the site, online viewers can read the history of the Palace as well as look through curated exhibits comprising of old furniture, artworks, memorabilia, and other interesting items that are part of the PML collection. Those also include objects from private institutions and individuals that willingly share the valuables to make the museum more insightful.
Online visitors can also virtually walk through the Presidential Museum’s two floors, within the Kalayaan Hall, an architecture masterpiece built in 1921 originally as the Executive Building during the American colonial era. It is the oldest part of the entire Malacañang Palace, which has been serving as the official seat and resident of the Republic’s President since 1898, when General Emilio Aguinaldo rose to become the first Philippine President.
Opening the palace’s doors to people
This effort is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s mandate to make the Presidential Palace open to all Filipinos. Aside from the virtual tour, ordinary citizens can also schedule an actual tour of the museum for free just by sending an email reservation to the address specified on the website.
“It has been a wonderful experience working with Google and all the passionate people we have encountered in fulfilling this project,” said Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar. “These online exhibits on Google Arts & Culture just show the world that the private and public sector can create meaningful work together.”
Andanar added that this project is in line with President Duterte’s hope that “by opening our doors not only to Filipinos but to citizens of the world, we are able to encourage people to understand the Philippines better in the context of its political, social, and economic history.”
Google Arts & Culture
The exhibits can be viewed online on desktop through Google Arts & Culture’s site, with specific URL address g.co/pmlmalacanang. The site is also available for free download as a mobile app (iOS and Android). Just search for ‘Malacañang Presidential Museum Library’ to open the exhibits.
Google Arts & Culture keeps a collection of over 6 million photos, manuscripts, videos, and important documents of art, culture, and history from various countries worldwide. In the Philippines, it has already collaborated with the Ayala Museum, Filipinas Heritage Library, Intramuros Administration, the Filipino Street Art Project, and New Ventures & Sustainable Development (CANVAS), among others.