CANVAS Imagines a Fun-Filled Art Museum Made for Kids and Kids-at-Heart

Tumba-Tumba: Children's Museum of Philippine Art runs until July 27.

( Imagine an art museum dedicated to children. How would it look? What kind of art would be on display? Would you be able to touch them? On June 19, The Center for Art, New Ventures, and Sustainable Development launched an exhibit titled Tumba-Tumba: Children's Museum of Philippine Art at the University of the Philippines’ Vargas Museum, and the show, which runs until July 27, encourages the public to rethink what makes a children’s museum.


Some of the works take inspiration from CANVAS-published children's books like Ang Aklatang Pusa.



"Cats and Ladders" is one of the interactive works at the museum.


The exhibit is a prototype for a larger, more permanent children’s museum that The Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development (CANVAS) hopes to establish one day. Executive Director Gigo Alampay explains, “When we think of a museum, it’s not [about] the building nor the artwork. You want to create the experience.” The cultural organization sees that this is instrumental in the formation of our nation’s children.


Recommended Videos

"Memory Game" by Pam Yan-Santos



Sculpture by Daniel Dela Cruz


Many of the works of art in this show are interactive. Take for example Pam Yan-Santos’ “Memory Game,” which allows you to find pairs of flowers under several panels. Another interactive piece is Daniel Dela Cruz’s sculpture of a man riding a bike. It includes a rotary type clockwork machine that lets you dictate the pace of the movement by rotating the handle.


Ipapasyal Namin si Lolo follows the story of a bittersweet family trip filled with nostalgia on a grandfather’s years as a young man and the war he lived through.



Arvi Fetalvero’s illustrations are on display in one of the halls.


The exhibit also features installations based on stories of the three children’s books that CANVAS launched along with the show. Two of the titles are from the Romeo Forbes Children’s Story Writing Competition: Ipapasyal Namin si Lolo by Genaro Gojo Cruz with art by Arvi Fetalvero, and Aklatang Pusa by Eugene Evasco with art by Jared Yokte. The third book, Renato Barja’s Children’s Stories, is a special project that features the art and stories of Barja as told by Daniel Tayona and Gigo Alampay.


Birds made from paper hang above a tumba-tumba, the Filipino word for a rocking chair. 



Barja takes inspiration from personal stories told to him by kids he meet in his travels. 


In Barja's exhibition, large portraits portray the stories told by children that the artist met during his trips. The hall echoes the reality that majority of children living in marginalized areas experience, creating a gloomy atmosphere that’s something you would not expect in a children’s museum.


Along with Tumba-Tumba, CANVAS hopes to gain more support for their campaign to bring one million books to children in public schools with limited or no access to libraries. The group hopes that this project would not only promote literacy but also develop a sense of national identity and an appreciation for culture and the arts in future generations.


Tumba-Tumba: Children’s Museum of Philippine Art runs until July 27 at the Jorge B. Vargas Museum, University of the Philippines – Diliman, Quezon City. For more information, follow CANVAS on Facebook.


More stories from

Tell us your #feels!

Total votes
View more stories tagged

Help us make better!
Take the short survey

Read more stories about

Latest Stories

Load More Stories