To get their visitors immersed in the legacies of Emilio Aguinaldo and Andres Bonifacio, the Ayala Museum launched on Monday a virtual reality (VR) treatment of their individual stories of heroism.

Ayala Museum director Mariles Gustilo said the event is an expansion of their efforts to bring immersive technology to museum visitors which they started last year.

“In June 2017, we had like this for the story of Jose Rizal’s execution, that’s the first one. One of the girl visitors who tried the VR got so moved that she said: ‘it’s difficult, painful to be in the shoes of Rizal’. It stirs your emotion so we thought of Aguinaldo’s and Bonifacio’s stories,” she told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Gustilo said they have consulted historian Ambeth Ocampo with regard to the drafting of the stories for the project which included the Cry of Pugad Lawin, the Tejeros Convention, the Trial and Execution of Andres Bonifacio and the Declaration of Philippine Independence.

“He has to check the details, of course. We cannot release anything that is not historically true,” she added.

I AM CARDBOARD general manager Emil Mananquil said it took them almost a year to finish the entire project, starting from story consultations up to coming up with the final product.

“It is like creating a movie in 360 degrees perspective, there is a shooting. The video is saved and the tools of delivery are the goggles and the headphones for an immersive experience,” he said.

I AM CARDBOARD is a provider of high quality 360 degrees content for business in the country.

Ayala Foundation president Ruel Maranan said the project shows that museums need not be stuck in the past as it can go beyond static dioramas.

“Through the VR experience, the museum encourages people to journey back in time, revisit our roots as a country, and learn lessons from the past which are still relevant to the present,” he added.

Virtual Reality is a technology that can be proven to be very helpful to the preservation of cultural heritage. It provides the users with full immersion, which enhances the feeling of presence (a field which is studied by the Thematic Area 4 of the ViMM project, alongside the Storytelling and Gamification fields), making them feel like they really are inside the virtual world and in this specific case, making them feel like they are really travelling in the past.