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Visit the National Museum of Anthropology in Manila

Updated on July 17, 2018

The husband and I were recently in Manila, a haven of “touristy” spots and we were done with our "to-do's" a little early than expected so we figured, why not go on a date and be a local tourist for a few hours? Just to deviate from our usual movie then dinner dates, we checked the map for some museums near our location. We had a couple of museums in mind and finally decided to visit the National Museum of Anthropology.

The National Museum of Anthropology in Manila, Philippines

A
National Museum of Anthropology Manila:
Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila, Philippines

get directions

How to get there

The National Museum of Anthropology is located at Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita in Metro Manila. It is situated a little less than half a kilometer from the Rizal Park, the most popular park and landmark in Manila. Thousands of “jeepneys”, buses and taxi cabs pass through Taft Avenue daily, a major thoroughfare just a few steps away from the museum. You can also get here through the nearest train station, the United Nation’s LRT station, which is also a little less than half a kilometer away.

Schedules and Fees

The museum is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10 AM to 5 PM. No need to worry about admission fees, you can explore this museum during their open hours for free.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Upon Entry

Getting through the main entrance, we were asked to place our belongings through a security x-ray machine then proceed to the reception section to log our names and other information. We were then instructed to take our valuables and leave the rest at one of their lockers. The receptionist also reminded us that only photos are allowed on the exhibits but no flash, and also no taking of videos.

The Museum

The National Museum of Anthropology is a component museum of the National Museum of the Philippines exhibiting the anthropology and archaeology divisions. The ground floor houses the various offices of the museum. The showrooms and exhibits start from the second floor up to the fifth floor. During our visit, we were able to explore the second up to the fourth floor as the fifth floor was, at that time, closed to the public.

The Galleries and Exhibits

There were three to five galleries per floor. Below are the galleries we explored.

Garing: The Philippines at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade

The first gallery we got into was Garing: The Philippines at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade. It showed some ancient and fossilized sources of ivory. It also illustrated the history, timeline and development of ivory trade in the Philippines.

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Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory TradeAn item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory TradeAn item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory TradeAn item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory TradeAn item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory TradeAn item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade
Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade
Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade
An item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade
An item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade
An item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade
An item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade
An item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade
An item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade
An item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade
An item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade
An item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade
An item displayed at Garing: The Philippine at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade

The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade

A few turns from the first exhibit was a showroom all about a war vessel called San Diego. It featured pieces from the demised Spanish vessel from the hundreds of ancient jars where the soldiers stored their water and food supply, everyday items like lamps, plates and bowls, personal belongings of the passengers like golden belts and jewelry to various weapons ranging from knives to swords, small pistols to canyons.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime TradeThe San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime TradePieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime TradePieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime TradePieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime TradePieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime TradePieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade
Pieces displayed at The San Diego: 500 Years of Maritime Trade

Of War and Peace

This exhibit featured weapons mostly canons situated along the museum corridors.

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Me walking along the corridors with the items displayed at Lantaka of War and PeaceLantaka of War and PeaceItems displayed at Lantaka of War and Peace
Me walking along the corridors with the items displayed at Lantaka of War and Peace
Me walking along the corridors with the items displayed at Lantaka of War and Peace
Lantaka of War and Peace
Lantaka of War and Peace
Items displayed at Lantaka of War and Peace
Items displayed at Lantaka of War and Peace

Manlilikha ng Bayan Hall (National Living Treasure)

This gallery on the third floor highlighted Filipino artists in most recent years. It featured the likes of Darhata Sawabi, Uwang Ahadas, Alonzo Saclag and Lang Dulay. It included musicians, storytellers, dancers, painters, seamstresses, textile weavers and other artists in different fields.

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Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection

This exhibit presented how creative and artistic the Bangsamoro art is. It showed a sample of their colorful every day clothing and hats, shields and “bolos”, and their unique baskets and other containers made of native materials. It also showcased how good they are at carving woods.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A piece displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic CollectionFaith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic CollectionPieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic CollectionPieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic CollectionPieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic CollectionPieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic CollectionPieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic CollectionPieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic CollectionPieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic CollectionPieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
A piece displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
A piece displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection
Pieces displayed at the Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art from the National Ethnographic Collection

"Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)

On the third floor is a gallery displaying ancient burial pieces mostly prehistoric anthropomorphic jars sculpted to represent humans. The artifacts were located in Saranggani Province.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A piece displayed at the "Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)"Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)Pieces displayed at the "Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)Pieces displayed at the "Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)Pieces displayed at the "Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)
A piece displayed at the "Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)
A piece displayed at the "Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)
"Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)
"Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)
Pieces displayed at the "Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)
Pieces displayed at the "Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)
Pieces displayed at the "Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)
Pieces displayed at the "Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)
Pieces displayed at the "Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)
Pieces displayed at the "Kaban ng Lahi" (Archaeological Treasures)

Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change

This was one of the last galleries we visited. It featured various species of rice, jars, rakes and other tools used in rice farming. It also included ancient statues used to scare birds and numerous species of snails and birds detrimental to rice farming.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate ChangeBiodiversity and Rice: Climate ChangePieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate ChangePieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate ChangePieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate ChangePieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change
Pieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change
Pieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change
Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change
Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change
Pieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change
Pieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change
Pieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change
Pieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change
Pieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change
Pieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change
Pieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change
Pieces displayed at the Biodiversity and Rice: Climate Change

"Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles

This gallery featured a variety of textiles and wooden weaving machines. It also presented the evolution of textile in the country and the creativity of woven cloths with different designs.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles"Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine TextilesPieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine TextilesPieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine TextilesPieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine TextilesPieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine TextilesPieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
"Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
"Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles
Pieces displayed at the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino:" The Artistry of Philippine Textiles

"Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines

One of the galleries where the hubby and I stayed the longest is about the Filipinos’ ancient script, Baybayin. The room was filled with objects with the Baybayin from an engraved stone and a copper plate, to old transcripts to a modern t-shirt, to photos of script tattoos and a blown-up copy of a one hundred peso bill where the script was featured.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Hubby and I taking a break from our "Baybayin" discussion...Pieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines"Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the PhilippinesPieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the PhilippinesPieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the PhilippinesPieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the PhilippinesPieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines
Hubby and I taking a break from our "Baybayin" discussion...
Hubby and I taking a break from our "Baybayin" discussion...
Pieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines
Pieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines
"Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines
"Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines
Pieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines
Pieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines
Pieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines
Pieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines
Pieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines
Pieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines
Pieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines
Pieces displayed at the "Baybayin:" Traditional Scripts of the Philippines

Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors

This room was filled with various pieces made of baskets and woven mat in different sizes and materials.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Pieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and ConveyorsEntwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and ConveyorsPieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and ConveyorsPieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and ConveyorsMe with the pieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and ConveyorsPieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and ConveyorsEntwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Pieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Pieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Pieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Pieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Pieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Pieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Me with the pieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Me with the pieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Pieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Pieces displayed at the Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors
Entwined Spheres: Mats and Baskets as Containers, Costumes and Conveyors

My Rating

4 stars for National Museum of Anthropology in Manila
Back section of the Anthropology Museum
Back section of the Anthropology Museum

© 2018 Sheila Navio-Pornan

Comments

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    • SheilaPornan profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Navio-Pornan 

      4 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Thanks, Liz! Appreciate your time dropping by. Have a good one!

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      4 months ago from UK

      This is an extremely well-illustrated article.

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