The Philippines has quite the rich history. Having been colonized by the Spaniards for over 300 years and Americans and the Japanese soon thereafter, discovering the country’s past is nothing short of interesting. This is one of the reasons why in Metro Manila, there are a handful of museums one can visit. These must-see museums are a great way to spend your free days, whether alone, with your SO or friends and families. Being able to discover and learn more about the earth or the history of the Philippines is always a worthwhile trip.
As earlier mentioned, there are a bunch of must-see museums in the Philippines. These places are great places to check out on the weekends or when you need a little injection of history or creativity. Check out these 5 must-see museums you need to schedule a visit to!
1. National Museum of the Philippines
Address: NHCP Building, T.M. Kalaw Street, Ermita, Manila
Entrance Fee: FREE!
The National Museum of Natural History was just recently opened and inaugurated. Quite frankly, there is no other perfect time to visit than now. It houses replicas of the Philippines’ greatest natural treasures, some of which weren’t even displayed before it was renovated. Check out Lolong’s skin and skeleton display, the record-breaking crocodile that recently passed. You can also see taxidermized skeletons of animals that can only be seen in the country. This includes the Philippine Fauna, a spot-billed pelican which has since been found extinct. Bringing your kids or nephews and nieces would be awesome too! The Natural History has a mini-mangrove forest, beach replicas and marine life exhibit they can explore.
You can also visit the National Museum: Museums of the Filipino People and National Art Gallery for some noteworthy paintings. Get awe-struck by the world famous Spolarium, painted by the great Juan Luna. Artworks of National Hero Dr. Jose Rizal and National Artist Fernando Amorsolo can be seen here as well.
2. The Mind Museum
Address: J.Y. Campos Park, 3rd Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig
Entrance Fees: All day pass: Php 750
For a 3-hour stay:
Adults: Php 625
Children and Private School Students: Php 475
Public School Students (up to College students): Php 190
Teachers: Php 190
Science geeks, this is one of the must-see museums you have to check out. The Mind Museum is such an enjoyable discovery because of its interactivity. In this museum, exploration is never boring because of all the fun things you can learn!
The museum is broken into 5 major parts – atom, Earth, life, Universe and technology. Learn from the smallest of living things to the largest natural resources known to mankind and everything else in between. There are 250 exhibits to enjoy in this place!
Outside, there is also a Science in the Park which consists water, music, math and living. You can also venture into the JY Campos Park, where you can see interesting plant species in a peaceful, meditative garden.
3. UST’s Museum of Arts and Sciences
Address: Main Gallery, Mezzanine Level, Main Building, University of Santo Tomas, España Boulevard, Manila
Adult: Php 50
Students: Php 30
Housed in the oldest Catholic University in the country, University of Santo Tomas’ Museums of Arts and Sciences is home to a wide range of collections. From specimens and fossils to religious images, it is one of the must-see museums in Metro Manila. An additional fun fact: the museum has a hall filled with Philippines religious images including the Papal thrones both used by Pope John Paul II and Pope Paul VI during their previous visits.
4. Ayala Museum
Address: Makati Avenue corner De La Rosa Street, Greenbelt Park, Makati City
Entrance Fee: Php 125
If you are looking for a museum that houses a wide variety of artefacts or a clearer picture of the Philippines’ history, the Ayala Museum is the perfect place to head to. This museum boasts of historical archaeological artefacts, indigenous textiles, china from all over Southeast Asia and the Philippine Diorama Experience – 60 handcrafted dioramas depicting the milestones the country has experienced.
In 2013, the museum has also become the home of the Filipinas Heritage Library. It is a modern library that is home to books, photographs and data that is uncommon to other libraries. Recently, the Ayala Museum also launched the OpenSpace, an external exhibition area.
5. Ateneo Art Gallery
Address: Level 2, Rizal Library Special Collections Building, Ateneo de Manila University, Katipunan, Quezon City
Ateneo students, faculty, staff and individual visitors: FREE!
Tour groups larger than 20 pax: Php 30
For those looking for an artsy-fartsy kind of museum experience, the Ateneo Art Gallery should be on top of your list. As the first museum of Philippine modern art, it was established in 1960 by Spanish-Filipino art collector and painter Fernando Zobel.
Certifiably one of the must-see museums in the country, the Ateneo Art Gallery is home to contemporary art and innovative exhibitions that cannot be seen elsewhere. Thematic shows are also held here, an event that garners philanthropists, artists and art enthusiasts come for.
As a champion for young artists venturing into contemporary art, the gallery has an annual awards event called the Ateneo Art Awards. Getting recognition from this awarding body is one of the most prestigious prizes for any starting artist.