What Might A Children’s Museum Of Philippine Art Look Like?


It has long been CANVAS’s dream to start a children’s museum. This June 19, 2018, the dream will come one step closer to reality as CANVAS makes the Vargas Museum in UP Diliman its testing ground for The Tumba-Tumba Children’s Museum of Philippine Art. “This will be our proof-of-concept show,” says Gigo Alampay, Executive Director of The Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development (CANVAS).

For about a month, the Vargas Museum will be transformed into CANVAS’s vision of a children’s museum, with sections dedicated to its three newest books that will also be launching that day. The sections promise to be interactive, engaging children’s imagination and energy.

Three of the books launching on June 19 include two stories that won CANVAS’s Romeo Forbes Children’s Story Writing Competition: Ipapasyal Namin si Lolo penned by Genaro Gojo Cruz with art by Arvi Fetalvero, and Aklatang Pusa written by Eugene Evasco with art by Jared Yokte. The third book is a special project: Renato Barja’s Children’s Stories, featuring the art and stories of Renato Barja as told by Daniel Tayona and Gigo Alampay.



Ipapasyal Namin si Lolo is a story of a family of three only children – grandfather, son, and grandson drive home to San Rafael, a rare and bittersweet trip. The ride is peppered with grandfather’s stories of his youth and the war.

Aklatang Pusa is a heart-warming story of a retired librarian who, instead of collecting and cataloging books, does so with cats – although not intentionally. But much like books and the love for stories, cats are meant to be shared.


Renato Barja’s Children’s Stories is a catalog of the people painter-sculptor Jojo Barja has encountered on his trips to and from his studio and elsewhere. His notes, rewritten into vignettes, tell the stories of these children he meets whether in the cemetery, marketplace, or in woodworking shops. For some reason, these children end up confiding in him, telling him their personal and sometimes heart-breaking stories.

A special show, Abubot, will also be part of this ambitious proof-of-concept show, in partnership with Resurrection Furniture. Quirky cabinets and shelves repurposed from old wood and materials, which Resurrection Furniture is known for, will showcase an exhibition of found-objects-turned-art. Participating artists include Aze Ong, Sergio Bumatay III, Art Sanchez, Renz Baluyot, Liza Flores, just to name a few.

Special nooks and interactive installations featuring works by Elmer Borlongan, Pam Yan Santos and Daniel dela Cruz, and two murals by 2018 Thirteen Artists Awardee Archie Oclos have also been commissioned for this event.

Architectural firm Arkisens will tie it all up with a rainbow installation that will run throughout the museum, leading visitors through the various exhibitions and culminating with a scale model presentation of the future site of CANVAS’s Children’s Museum of Philippine Art.

Finally, what museum would be complete without a museum shop? Selected CANVAS merchandise that echo their past and present exhibitions will also be available only at this proof-of-concept show.

The Tumba-Tumba Children’s Museum of Philippine Art proof-of-concept show opens on June 19, 4 pm and runs until July 27 at the Vargas Museum in UP Diliman. For more information, email info@canvas.ph or visit its Facebook page: CANVAS – The Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development.