Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Museum of the Filipino People

Boring. Nerdy. Ignorant. Call me any or all of these and I will agree with you. Boring because I'd rather go to museums than malls. Nerdy because I like learning (but have no patience to read the lengthy descriptions in an exhibit). Ignorant because I didn't know until early this year that we have the Museum of the Filipino People.

The Museum of the Filipino People is part of the National Museum. It is in the old Finance building located behind the National Art Gallery.

P Burgos Drive, Rizal Park, Manila
Tuesdays to Sundays 10AM-5PM

Entrance Fee:
Adults Php 150
Senior Citizens Php 120
Students Php 50
Free admission on Sundays

The entrance fee gives access to the following:
Museum of the Filipino People
National Planetarium

Note: Taking photos is allowed but no flash photography,
commercial photography, videography, and tripods.

The Museum of the Filipino People has the following on exhibit:

San Diego
The San Diego was a galleon built in Cebu in 1590 by Spanish, Chinese, and Filipino shipbuilders. It sunk near the province of Batangas in 1600. The wreck was discovered in the early 1990s with more than 30,000 artifacts recovered. The exhibit toured around the world before becoming a permanent exhibit in the Museum of the Filipino People.

Kaban ng Lahi (Archaeological Treasures)
This gallery contains a collection of burial jars and vessels unearthed from various caves around the Philippines. Here, you will see jars and pots of different designs (there were burial jars shaped like heads) and learn how our ancestors buried their dead.
Clockwise from top left: a diorama of the discovery of burial jars in a cave; Manunggul jar, a burial jar discovered in Tabon Cave in Palawan; and Masuso pots (look closely it's got breasts!)

Kinahinatnan (The Filipinos and their Rich Cultural Heritage)
An exhibit about the different ethnolinguistic groups in the Philippines. My favorite gallery!

This gallery was just opened in February 2013. It's a small exhibit about Baybayin, the ancient Philippine script. What caught my eye in this exhibit was the Laguna Copper plate, the earliest known written document in the Philippines. It was discovered in Laguna in 1986. (The Laguna Copper plate is not the only thing on exhibit in the gallery but it's the only thing I took a photo of. :-)
 The Laguna Copper plate and its translation (click to enlarge).

There is also a zoological collection where you will find preserved insects and animals (what else!). I was too mesmerized by the creepy stuffed birds that I forgot to take some photos of the gallery. And here are exhibits that I forgot which gallery they belonged to:
Clockwise from top: Butuan Boat (evidence of an ancient maritime culture in the Philippines, one of the Butuan boats have been dated 320AD); a diorama of how archaeologists conduct underwater research; and a diorama of Rakuh-a-idi, a pre-Hispanic settlement in Batan Island (Batanes)

I am truly glad we have the Museum of the Filipino People and the National Art Gallery (can't say anything about the National Planetarium because I have not been there). Great job curators!

When in Manila, I encourage you to spend a few hours at the Museum of the Filipino People and the National Art Gallery.

This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

The National Museum:
National Art Gallery
Museum of the Filipino People (you're here!)


  1. Hey hey hey! You are never boring. I can attest to that.

    Laagholic Buyog

  2. All of the descriptions about yourself make you a mysterious person. I don't think you are boring. C'mon!

    The Exaggerated Zeal

  3. Strange enough, I am like the Museum of the Filipino People more than the National Art Gallery. I had a nerd-high at the Baybayin gallery and at the Archaeological Treasures.

    And yes, you are never boring and never ignorant. :)

    1. It's not strange, you probably like history more than art ;-) Na proud gyud ko naa ta ani na aning National Art Gallery and Museum of the Filipino People. I wish more people would visit the National Museum. And thanks Brennan, friends gyud ta :-D

  4. Thank you for your suggestion Mark. Will keep that in mind next time I'm in Manila.