Limited-edition Spoliarium beep card sparks nostalgia among older Pinoys. Here’s why

May 22, 2024 - 3:44 PM
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beep card
Limited-edition beep card featuring Juan Luan's Spoliarium painting as posted by National Commission for Culture and the Arts member Roel Hoang Manipon on Facebook on May 20, 2024 (roelhoangmanipon/Facebook)

The limited-edition beep card featuring Juan Luna‘s famous “Spoliarium” painting sparked nostalgia among some Pinoys who remembered the masterpiece used in prepaid cards design before.

The National Museum of the Philippines on Monday released a limited-edition beep card to commemorate the 140th anniversary of the artwork’s winning the gold medal at Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid, Spain, in 1884.

The museum has produced souvenir items to commemorate the event, which includes the iconic masterpiece.

The limited-edition Spoliarium beep card is available for P500.

Other items are mugs, coasters, magnets, stickers and t-shirts to celebrate Luna’s milestone.

National Commission for Culture and the Arts member Roel Hoang Manipon said that a pop-up store has been set up at the National Museum of Fine Arts, where the painting is currently displayed.

The “Spoliarium” is considered the largest painting in the country.

Luna is said to have worked on the award-winning masterpiece for eight months, which bested other Spanish artworks.

The piece features gladiators being dragged by Romans into the spoliarium, a Latin word referring to the the basement of the Roman Colosseum where fallen and dying gladiators were thrown after combat.

It is said that the depiction of Roman cruelty in the painting has been interpreted as an allegory for the state of the Philippines under Spanish rule.

Meanwhile, its feature in the beep card made some Pinoys recall another period when the masterpiece appeared in what used to be an everyday item.

“Naalala ko bigla ‘yung Fonkard ng PLDT. I’m old,” a Facebook user wrote in the comments.

“Naalala ko nung elementary, may Spoliarium rin na phonecard ang PLDT,” another user wrote.

“Sa PLDT Fonekard meron nito dati eh, haha,” commented a different Pinoy.

“Back in the day, we had theeese,” another user wrote, sharing a picture of an old PLDT Fonkard.

The PLDT Fonkard was a prepaid payphone card that allowed users to make direct-dial national and international long-distance calls on payphones using prepaid magnetic telephone cards instead of coins.