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Where To Bring Your Creative Kids: A New Children’s Museum of Philippine Art

As a child, I recall dreaming of being allowed to visit those sprawling and elegant art museums that posh grown-ups always went to. Now, I’ve learned that it’s definitely a good idea to get your kids started on art and cultural appreciation at an early age.

With this idea firmly planted in mind, The Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development (CANVAS) has put up a proof-of-concept exhibit for children in the Vargas Museum, UP Diliman, called The Tumba-Tumba Children’s Museum of Philippine Art.

This children’s museum, which opened yesterday, June 19, will be on its test run until July 27. It features plenty of kid-friendly pieces made of found objects by local artists.

A cityscape made out of staple wires that sit atop carved out old books

An old alarm clock is given a second chance at life with intricate sculptures fitted inside


However, the show isn’t just limited to paintings, drawings, and sculpture. Three new book titles are also showcased in the event, two of which have won CANVAS’ Romeo Forbes Children’s Story Writing Competition: Ipapasyal Namin si Lolo, a coming-of-age war recollection written by Genaro Gojo Cruz with art by Arvi Fetalvero, and Ang Aklatang Pusa, a story for book and cat lovers, written by Eugene Evasco with art by Jared Yokte.

Installation and paintings from Ipapasyal Namin si Lolo exhibit


In an enclosed drawer sits the first proofing of Ang Aklatang Pusa


The third title to grace the shelves is a special project: Renato Barja’s Children’s Stories, with artist-sculptor Jojo Barja’s vignettes about the children he’s met on his trips, as retold by Daniel Tayona and Gigo Alampay.  


After browsing through the storybooks, young hands can play with interactive installations by Elmer Borlongan, Pam Yan Santos, and Daniel dela Cruz, while you feast your eyes on two murals by 2018 Thirteen Artists Awardee Archie Oclos.

Elmer Borlongan’s Lampara, charcoal on paper


To add to the fun factor, a colorful rainbow installation runs through the entire exhibit proper, punctuated by a scale model presentation of CANVAS’ upcoming Children’s Museum of Philippine Art by the Arkisens architect firm. Children will enjoy following the rainbow all around the place as they check out all of the artworks.




The event also holds something interesting for adults. 

If you’re into quirky furniture, stick around for Abubot, a special show featuring cabinets and shelves repurposed from old wood and found objects. Resurrection Furniture partnered with artists like Aze Ong, Sergio Bumatay III, Art Sanchez, Renz Baluyot, and Liza Flores to produce this segment. 

And when you’re done exploring the entire museum, head over to its shop to get special goodies and souvenirs that you and your kids can take home. All of the available CANVAS merchandise is inspired from current and previous art shows, but will only be available at this particular store.



The Tumba-Tumba Children’s Museum of Philippine Art proof-of-concept show is one of the initiatives by CANVAS to help expand awareness and appreciation for Philippine art and culture in audiences of varying demographics. It inspires creativity in newer audiences by showcasing artworks from some of the best young contemporary artists, as well as books, sculpture, prints, and other merchandise that will appeal to a much broader spectrum of creative tastes.

For more information, you can contact Vargas Museum at (+632) 981-8500 loc. 4024 (UP trunkline), (+632) 928-1925 (fax) or send an email to You may also visit, Facebook via and Twitter via @UPVargasMuseum for updates.


Photos by Chris Clemente