National Museum of the Philippines

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Tags : Museum

Timings : Tuesday - Sunday: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Entry Fee : Adult - PHP 150,
Student - PHP 50,
Sunday: Free entry

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National Museum, Manila Overview

The National Museum of the Philippines successfully documents the ethnographic, anthropological, archaeological, natural history, and visual arts of the Philippines. It showcases local Filipino artists from the 17th and 20th centuries.

The museum is an umbrella organization that oversees several other departments- the National Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Anthropology, the National Museum of Natural History, and the National Planetarium, all of which are housed within the same complex in Manila. Known to be one of the most popular attractions in town, the museum has an impressive fine arts section sprawling over two floors.  The museum also conducts regular exhibitions and workshops that are especially popular among students and history buffs.

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Museums/ Branches at the National Museum

  1. National Museum of Fine Arts

    National Museum of Fine Arts was originally called the National Art Gallery and was housed within the old Legislative Building. Designed by the American consulting architect of the Bureau of Public Works in close collaboration with his assistant Antonio Toledo, the construction for the same began in 1918 and was completed by 1921. It was originally planned to be the public library. But when it was inaugurated in 1926, it also housed the Legislature. Unfortunately, the section was demolished and wasted during World War II. Post the war, it was reconstructed and during the Martial Law era, the legislature was taken off. Currently, it holds the country’s National Art Gallery.
  2. National Museum of Anthropology

    National Museum of Anthropology was initially known as the Museum of the Filipino People. It currently houses the Archaeology Division, Ethnology Division, Exhibition, Editorial and Media Production Services Division (EEMPSD), Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage Division (MUCHD), and Museum Services Division (MSD) and is situated across the building of the Museum of Fine Arts.
  3. National Museum of Natural History

    National Museum of Natural History was opened to the public in 2017. It has been opened in the building which was initially occupied by the Department of Tourism. The highlight of the museum is its iconic Tree of Life structure.
  4. National Planetarium

    Conceptualized by the former director of the National Museum- Godofredo Alcasid Sr. in tandem with Mr. Maximo P. Sacro, Jr. of the Philippine Weather Bureau and one of the founders of the Philippine Astronomical Society, the Planetarium was planned in the 1970s. It was inaugurated in 1975.

History of the National Museum

The history of the National Museum can be traced back to 1901 when it was established as the Insular Museum of Ethnology, Natural History, and Commerce under the Department of Public Instruction by the Philippine Commission. In 1903, however, this museum was handed over to the Department of Interior and was renamed as the Bureau of Ethnological Survey. Again in 1933, the museum was dissected and different sections were transferred to different departments. Some of these were even relocated to different parts of the city. Finally, during World War II, when the Japanese were in possession of the Philippine, the museums were all brought together again under the umbrella organization that was called the National Museum of the Philippines.

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