Unforgettable ITP! (Yohana Frias, ITP 2018, Philippines)

Written by Ma. Yohana Rosales Frias, Museum Researcher: Ethnology Department, National Museum of the Philippines

They say time passes by quickly when you are enjoying yourself. This is precisely what I felt during our last day on the ITP. I felt like it ended all so quickly! And if someone asked me now what my favorite part of the ITP was, I would say – everything! The lectures, hands-on activities, day and evening trips… every aspect of this programme complements the others to create a holistic and inclusive programme.

This multi-faceted approach to museum work is more than I expected. There are so many things I have learned, most of which have been shared in detail by my co-fellows in the previous blog posts. The ITP will become one of the most important foundations of my museum learning.

The ITP experience gave me new ideas when it comes to interpretation and object display. As we visited different museums, I was presented with different writing styles, exhibition layouts and designs. In the museums we have visited during the programme – especially in my UK partner placement with Norfolk Museums Service – I observed that they are always thinking of enhancing visitor experience and providing access to diverse groups. After all, museums are made for the people, and this should be our number one priority when we create programmes and design exhibitions in my home institution, the National Museum of the Philippines. Step by step, I hope to make our institution friendlier to different kinds of audiences.

5 National Museum of the Philippines

The highlight of the ITP was our Object in Focus presentation day. With my partner for the project, Sarah Elsheekh (National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums, Sudan), we did our best to make our exhibition panels, label and posters presentable and appealing without losing substantial content. I was quite nervous about presenting to the visitors, as I felt that I am not very adept at speaking with large groups of people. But again, what happened exceeded my expectations. People started coming into the exhibition area with curious looks and smiling faces. They were so friendly and engaging, and my inhibitions melted away almost instantly. I found myself talking a lot; it was perhaps the longest time I have spoken in English continuously with different people.

6 Sarah and I with the ITP team during our Object in Focus presentation

Sarah and I with the ITP team after the reception

But then I thought, it’s not at all surprising. Everyone here – the ITP team most especially – was so encouraging, patient, sensitive and understanding. They are all skillful and passionate about their work, which has made their institution a model for all of us. My co-fellows are all knowledgeable individuals in their line of work, and I am happy to become a part of this global network.

Socrates, the Greek philosopher, once said:
‘To be at a loss – to know what one does not know – is not an end in itself. But a precondition for discovery.’
After coming here on the ITP, my small and familiar world became much bigger with so many unknowns – therefore I must discover and learn more. Moving forward, I am hoping to find a university which offers a Masters in Museum Studies or Museology, as this will greatly benefit me and my institution.

Places I’ll remember:

I will never forget this experience, and the people I have met and worked with. I felt very welcome here, and in turn, I am so grateful to have been here. Thank you so much to the British Museum, the ITP team, and colleagues!