Museum Tour participants pose in front of Museo Ac-Ac with FSI Director-General Jose Maria A. Cariño (standing ninth from the left)

The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) kicked off the new year with an Art Workshop and Museum Tour for its personnel held on 27-28 January 2021. The tour was a required supplementary activity for the Seminar-Workshop on Cultural Diplomacy Awareness Through Art Expression, which aims to increase awareness of art as a vital agent of cultural diplomacy.

The tour included notable cultural sites, such as Museo Ac-Ac and the Church of Paete in Laguna, and the Pinto Art Museum in Rizal.  Participants learned how various traditional art forms, such as painting and wood sculpture, have shaped and promoted the Filipino’s cultural identity.

The cultural trip also provided a glimpse into the past through rich religious tableaus and showcased artistic expressions as social commentaries in Philippine contemporary art.

While modern-day painting and mixed media continue to thrive and find an audience at the Pinto Art Museum, traditional woodcarving, particularly in Paete, is slowly declining, according to National Artist nominee and Museo Ac-Ac owner Luis Ac-Ac. He emphasized that government and public support are critical in invigorating woodcarving in the country. Timely government assistance is also much needed in preserving Paete Church’s historical religious artworks, which have badly deteriorated over the years.

Through the museum tour, the participants gained an appreciation of the country’s artistic roots and a deeper understanding of art’s importance in promoting Filipino culture at home and abroad.  

National Artist nominee and sculptor extraordinaire Luis Ac-Ac at work.
The Pinto Art Museum provided an enriching artistic experience to the participants with its vast collection of modern-day artworks.
The Weeping Women sculpture at the Pinto Art Museum amphitheater.
Participants take a quick break during the tour.
An idyllic provincial setting frames the Church of Paete.
A display inside the Paete Church, the deteriorating 18th-century painting of Saint Christopher by an unknown artist.