This Rizal Exhibit Lets You Experience History With Virtual Reality

Who says history is not fun?


( If you were in Bagumbayan on December 30, 1896 during the execution of Jose Rizal, what would you have done? Ayala Museum dwells in this possibility by introducing the first fully immersive virtual reality experience of Philippine history on Monday, June 19—coincidentally, the Philippine hero's 156th birthday.




The permanent exhibit allows museum guests to "experience the last moments of Rizal's life firsthand by getting immersed in our rendition of history itself," German filmmaker Marco Biemann explains. You just put on the Google Cardboard VR headset (provided by I AM Cardboard) and you're immediately transported to a three-dimensional environment where you can turn your head and feel as if you're looking at Rizal, the firing squad, the mourning crowd, and even the former backdrop of what we now know as Rizal Park. The visual treat comes with sounds and dialogue for a full-on immersive experience.


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"As prime National Hero of the Philippines he can be considered Father of the Nation, a lolo to all of us. His martyrdom is also iconic to all who learned about it in school," says Prof. Ambeth Ocampo about this milestone. The historian was invited on board as the project's main consultant. The execution of Rizal is just the first of many augmented reality scenarios they're working on.





This, however, is more than having a state-of-the-art facility. "[Virtual reality] lets us create experiences that let the audience explore these (often overlooked) facets of history and at the same time make them search their own, most private thoughts and emotions in regards to the portrayed events," Biemann continues. If you were actually there, would you turn your attention to the dying hero or would you have pulled the trigger yourself? The people behind it hopes to spark critical thinking, something we could all really use right now.


The Ayala Museum is at Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City. For more information, visit Ayala Museum's website.

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