When I saw the announcement on Facebook that the Van Gogh Alive exhibit is coming to Manila, I knew I had to see it.
The question is, should I go alone, or call a friend?
Someone already hated me for this, said I was “insensitive”. Sure, the ticket is pricey. But, I didn’t really have anything to look forward to this year, well besides El Camino and The Avengers: End Game.
I’ve always been a homebody. Given the fact that I work from home, it became more of an excuse to stay put. All the time.
Luckily, Ma’am Cris, an old friend, and fellow teacher was just as eager as I am to see the Van Gogh Alive exhibit.
The Van Gogh Alive exhibit is at One Bonifacio High Street in BGC. I live in Quezon City. We agreed to meet at the MRT North Avenue Station at 11 AM. She was an hour late. It was funny because she went to Quezon Avenue Station first. Good thing she realized she’s at the wrong station.
For just 23 pesos, we traveled from the North Avenue Station to the Ayala.
We arrived an hour later. We don’t have the tickets yet. She got them online. So, we booked a Grab and asked the driver to meet us there, after having lunch at KFC.
Moments later, with the Van Gogh Alive Tickets on hand, we went to the BGC Bus Terminal and paid 13 pesos using our Beep cards. Turns out there are multiple bus routes; North, East, and West. We didn’t know what route to take. The guard told us to take the one that goes North. Off we go.
Well, turns out we’re not supposed to go North. According to its website, the One Bonifacio High Street Mall is located on 28th Street corner 5th.
The bus driver dropped us on 30th Street. We walked our way back to the 28th. From there, we walked some more to find corner 5th.
FINALLY, we’re at the One Bonifacio High Street Mall.
Unfortunately, we’re 30 minutes late.
The bus travel from Ayala to BGC I think, would normally take about 5 to 8 minutes. But, heavy traffic is the enemy. Good thing the staff from Van Gogh Alive were kind enough to still allow us to enjoy the rest of the exhibit.
After the exhibit, we strolled in front of the One Bonifacio High Street Building to enjoy the scenery. It’s my first time in BGC.
The buildings are beautiful, not like the boring ones in Makati. There’s one that looked like ocean waves, and another shaped like an oblong.
BGC is a business district but doesn’t feel too crowded. I can imagine walking my dogs there.
After resting, we walked on 5th Street to ride a BGC bus to bring us back to the MRT Ayala Station.
Then, we took the MRT up to the North Avenue Station and had dinner in Trinoma.
We had steak from the food court.
And I also get to try Tiger Sugar’s best-seller, the Brown Sugar Boba + Pearl Milk with Cream Mousse. For Php 120, I think it’s a healthier option than getting a Starbucks coffee. But well, the pricepoint is still on the expensive side.
The Van Gogh Alive Experience
Of course, there’s picture taking. Lots of them.
Good thing Ma’am Cris has her handy dandy phone. Mine died a month ago.
When we entered the Van Gogh Alive exhibit, the first thing that caught my eye is the replica of The Bedroom on my left. Since we’re late, Ma’am Cris and I took advantage of taking photos before it gets crowded.
Meanwhile, on my right is a white wall with a brief history of Van Gogh and his journey as a painter, along with his quote that says “I don’t know anything with certainty. But seeing the stars make me dream.”
OF course, there’s a yellow wall with sunflowers, and behind it is the entrance to the actual Van Gogh Alive exhibit.
The program is half-way through. Everyone was asked to sit on the floor. Our eyes feasted on beautiful digital and animated images of Van Gogh’s works. Some of the paintings included in the exhibit are The Starry Night, Sunflowers, his self-portraits, Irises, Poppies, The Bedroom, Blossoming Almond Tree, The Mulberry Tree, The Night Café, and The Potato Eaters, in great detail.
Aside from his paintings, the Van Gogh Alive exhibit shows a brief history of his battle against mental illness and letters to his brother Theo.
The show lasted for an hour and played again so everybody gets to stand and walk around to choose their best spot for picture-taking. Camera phones don’t give justice to how beautifully-crafted everything is. But being there, experiencing Van Gogh with the others is surreal.
Sure, it’s not the same as seeing actual paintings like the ones in museums. But this is the closest I can get to a Van Gogh painting.
There’s a couple who approached us asking if we can take a photo of them.
Ma’am Cris said, “How about an ex-deal?”
So we took turns. Theirs ended up super Instagrammable. Meanwhile, ours look like we were devoured by Van Gogh’s dark mind.
Ma’am Cris and I burst out laughing. Meanwhile, the couple felt bad for us and wanted to take another shot. But Ma’am Cris and I told them not to bother.
The entrance fee of Php 750 (Php 450 for children and students until college) is a bit pricey for me.
As to the venue, do not expect high ceilings like the ones advertised. The exhibit is inside a mall. Therefore, the exhibit has limited space.
And, make sure NOT to lean on the white screen projector. I almost fell on my back because I leaned too close to one of them.
You can still catch the Van Gogh Alive exhibit until Sunday, December 8, 2019. There’s no way you can get tickets online. But you can still purchase them at the venue, on a first-come-first-served basis.
Special thank you to Ma’am Cris for the photos and agreeing to come with me.