Museums in the Philippines offer fantastic glimpses into our history, culture, and traditions. They remind us of what it truly means to be Filipino.
We’ve compiled a list of must-visit museums in the country to help you feel proud to be Filipino. Here are our eight picks, many of which can be found in and around Metro Manila.
National Museum of Fine Arts
Image via Judgefloro on Wikimedia Commons (CC0)Most people presume the National Museum is one building. However, the National Museum of the Philippines is an entire group of museums across the country. Our first stop is the National Museum of Fine Arts. It is best known for housing the Spoliarium, the breathtaking larger-than-life painting by artist Juan Luna.
The National Museum of Fine Arts is temporarily closed until further notice. The museum is at Padre Burgos Avenue, City of Manila. Entrance is free of charge. For inquiries, call +63 2 8527 7889 or visit nationalmuseum.gov.ph.
National Museum of Anthropology
Nearby is the National Museum of Anthropology. If you enjoy studying cultural artifacts and archaeological finds, this museum is for you. Examine Chinese ceramics, cannons, textiles, and examples of baybayin script. Stories of pre-colonial maritime trade and indigenous peoples abound.
The National Museum of Anthropology is closed until further notice. The museum is housed in the old Department of Finance Building, Finance Road, City of Manila. Entrance is also free of charge. For inquiries, call the National Museum’s Central Museum Visitor Operations Division at +63 2 8527 7889 or visit nationalmuseum.gov.ph.
Museo ni Emilio Aguinaldo
Relive the birth of our nation at Emilio Aguinaldo’s home turned museum. Since his passing in 1964, teachers and students have been visiting this historical landmark. Chief of its attractions is the balcony that is the site of today’s Independence Day commemorations.
COVID-19 visitor guidelines
- Schedule your visit at least two days before.
- On the day of your visit, wear a face mask and shield.
- You will undergo a temperature check and complete a health declaration and contact tracing form.
- Observe physical distancing.
- Guided tours are unavailable at this time, and interactive displays will be operated by museum staff.
- Strictly follow the path and time limit set by the museum team.
- Refrain from touching museum shop merchandise unless you are purchasing it.
- You will be asked to fill out an evaluation sheet at the end of your visit.
The Museo ni Emilio Aguinaldo is at General Tirona Street, Kawit, Cavite. It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museo ng Katipunan
The National Historical Commission of the Philippines looks back on the heroism of the Katipuneros at the Museo ng Katipunan in San Juan. Gaze upon archival documents, scenes from the revolution, amulets, weapons, and more. Learn all about the secret society that fought two colonizers.
The Museo ng Katipunan is at 29 Pinaglabanan Street, San Juan, Metro Manila. Sadly, the museum is closed at the moment due to community quarantine restrictions. For inquiries and appointments, send a message to curator Christian Bernard Melendez at email@example.com.
Museo ni Jose Rizal, Calamba
It comes as no surprise that there are several museums connected to Jose Rizal. In Calamba is the Museo ni Jose Rizal, a reconstruction of the Mercado family home. The museum has a six-room exhibit on the early education, travels, and nationalist undertakings of Rizal.
The Museo ni Jose Rizal, Calamba, is temporarily closed due to community quarantine. The museum is located at J.P. Rizal Street corner F. Mercado Street, Calamba, Laguna. For inquiries, email curator Zarah Escueta through firstname.lastname@example.org.
Museo ni Jose Rizal, Fort Santiago
Another museum devoted entirely to the national hero is the Museo ni Jose Rizal in Fort Santiago. It is a place of reverence and honor where you can learn about Jose Rizal’s life and tragic death. Five different galleries tell the story of his final days. Look inside Rizal’s actual prison cell, watch a presentation on his trial, and walk the path leading to his execution.
The Museo ni Jose Rizal, Fort Santiago, is closed until further notice. The museum is in Fort Santiago, Santa Clara Street, Intramuros, City of Manila. For inquiries, get in touch with curator Jude Roland Ay-Ay through email@example.com.
Bantayog ng mga Bayani
The Bantayog ng mga Bayani (Monument to the Heroes) is a memorial center dedicated to those who lived and died in defiance of tyranny from 1972 to 1986. The center is run by its namesake foundation that aims to honor those who fought the dictator. While the memorial is known mainly for its Inang Bayan (Motherland) monument and Wall of Remembrance, it also hosts a museum, library, and archive.
The Bantayog ng mga Bayani is at Quezon Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Metro Manila. For inquiries, call +63 908 505 4761 or +63 977 622 0828, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martial Law Museum
The Martial Law Museum is an online learning resource spearheaded by the Ateneo de Manila University. Netizens can explore the digital library. Educators can find lesson plans and teaching materials on the decades when democracy died via Filipino hands.
Visit the Martial Law Museum website at martiallawmuseum.ph.
Prepare for your museum visit
Most of the museums on our list are closed as of writing due to community quarantine restrictions. But when these places reopen, plan ahead. Check out the social media pages of your favorite museums for updated hours and appointment requests.
In the meantime, start planning your visit with these exclusive KKday offers:
- Book a Manila museum tour, which stops at the National Museum
- Wear a face mask, whether it’s reusable silicone or medical-grade. Keep it fun with multicolored masks.
- Wear a face shield as well.
*Featured image via Marco Collado on Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)