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Things to Do in Manila: A Visit to the National Museum of the Philippines

Updated on December 12, 2019
Connie Rose Acosta profile image

Connie is a student of a graduate course program and does writing and photography as a hobby and as a way to continuously improve and learn.

Here's an idea on how you can spend your time and vacation around Manila all for free!

Visiting Manila and still planning for an itinerary? Or are you just like us who live around the city and want to have that barkada trip but do not want to experience the hassle of long hours drive? Well, let me share to you our trip that saved us a lot of time, money, and gave us fun and educational experience all in one day.

Earlier this year when me and my friends decided to roam around Manila instead of going out of town. It was more likely to happen rather than that trip out of the city we had planned for months, yes, for months! So, rather than having a night out of Manila, we decided we can instead have a tour around the city. It was when we found out that the National Museum of Natural History was already open to the public and the admission is free. It was also a good shot since we can roam around the area as a number of other National Museums are also located there.

Here are the three museums we were able to visit in one day:

National Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of Natural History

Location: Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila

Hours open: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Days open: Tuesday - Sunday

Admission: Free

Tree of Life - Natural Museum of Natural History
Tree of Life - Natural Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural History was our first stop. The museum takes pride with its interior's structural design that will definitely leave you breathless as you roam around the area. An example for that is the Tree of Life that welcomes you as you enter the museum.

The museum showcases the diverse natural history of the country as it features photos and displays of plants and of taxidermied animals. The remains of Lolong, the largest salt water crocodile found in the Philippines, can also be seen here. This is one of the highlights in the museum as visitors are able to see its actual size.

The museum also caters interactive educational activities which is ideal for all ages and will definitely a never boring experience for you and your company.

National Museum of Anthropology

National Museum of Anthropology
National Museum of Anthropology

Location: Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila

Hours open: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Days open: Tuesday - Sunday

Admission: Free

You will be able to reach the National Museum of Anthropology for two to three minute walk from the museum of Natural History. You will never be lost since the building can be seen once you head out from the Natural History museum.

The National Museum of Anthropology hosts a number of historical artifacts and collections dating from precolonial period to the modern times. You will also see here the rich history and culture of our country.

My personal favorite is "The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade" found on the second floor. Retrieved artifacts from a war vessel called San Diego are exhibited here.

National Museum of Fine Arts

National Museum of Fine Arts
National Museum of Fine Arts

Location: Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila

Hours open: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Days open: Tuesday - Sunday

Admission: Free

After visiting the historical exhibit, next stop is the National Museum of Fine Arts. It will only take you a couple of 8 to 10 minutes of walk to rich this gem.

National Museum of Fine Arts is the home for hundreds of artworks and creations of local artists. These masterpiece are the pride of the creative mind of our Filipino artists. Creations of the famous Juan Luna are also displayed here. His "Spolarium" welcomes you as you enter the vicinity.

One of the highlights also in the museum of Fine Arts is the Filipino Struggles Through History by the National Artist Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco. This series of painting is considered as one of his greatest works and among his last as he died shortly after he finished this masterpiece. (see picture below)

Filipino Struggles Through History a.k.a History of Manila by National Artist Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco
Filipino Struggles Through History a.k.a History of Manila by National Artist Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco

Museum Hopping

People of all ages will surely enjoy this trip as it is immersive and of free cost. You can visit a number of museums in a day without experiencing the hassle brought by traffic because all of these are located in one area.

You can also find IG worthy spots in the museum, however, take extra care when taking pictures to prevent accident as artifacts and collections are precious, delicate, and well, costly.

Expect it to be crowded on weekends.

For more information, you can visit their website here: http://www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph/

Other Tourist Spots that you can visit nearby:

  • National Planetarium
  • Rizal Park
  • Intramuros

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Connie

Comments

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    • Connie Rose Acosta profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie 

      3 months ago from Philippines

      Yes! Please do visit the museums if ever you are here in Manila. You'll definitely enjoy. :)

    • mxkamlongera profile image

      Maxwell Kamlongera 

      3 months ago

      I was in Manila this year with a couple of hours to spare but unfortunately I didn't know about the museums and how close they are to each other.

      If I'm ever in the city again, the museums are definitely places I would love to visit and now must add on to my future list.

    • Connie Rose Acosta profile imageAUTHOR

      Connie 

      3 months ago from Philippines

      Thank you, Liz for the appreciation.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      3 months ago from UK

      This is my kind of article. It's well-illustrated, includes useful information and best of all, these attractions are free to enter.

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