I’ve always noticed that some locals of some destination I’ve visited haven’t been around much their own place. I must admit, that when we talk of Manila, even if I’m a resident, I haven’t been around that much to explore it. Blame it on the heat or the traffic I guess but there’s more to Manila beyond the crazy traffic. When I was in Laos, I overheard one foreigner voice chatting in Skype that he’ll never go back in Manila. This made me think what could have given him a bad impression or experience.
I hope to feature Manila regularly to paint a some what different picture of it to other tourist. I already have my first feature last week on San Agustin Church and also MV Doulos visit. Now we’ll go on a short walk out of the walls of Intramuros and head to the National Museum. It’s a good thing I had a chance to visit the following museums on my recent photo assignment with Seair Inflight. But I’m hoping to visit more and feature them as well.
There are actually two buildings for the National Museum. The main museum housed at the former Congress Building is now the National Art Gallery where the classic masterpiece, Spolarium by Juan Luna can be viewed. It now focuses on the Arts and Natural Sciences. The adjacent building which used to be the Finance Building is now called the National Museum of the Filipino People, housing the anthropology and archaeology division.
Among the two, the National Museum of the Filipino People is less strict in allowing photography (without flash) inside. It has 4 floors and 4 halls that has a number of sections divided by different timelines in history. From Prehistoric, Stone Age, Pre-hispanic, Hispanic and towards the modern times. It is best toured from the top floor going down to appreciate the chronological history of the Philippines.
Covering the whole floors can be done in an hour or two (even more) depending on how interested you are. But prepare to have information overload as there is so much to discover here. I really enjoyed my stroll on these 4 floors and I learned and discovered some things I never new about the Philippines. Some of my favorite rooms are the Stone Age, Origins and People. Recently I’ve visited a museum out of the country and found our museum to be the better ones, thanks to its recent refurbishing.
A visit on these museums is an enriching cultural experience. The price of which is almost the same as going to the movies but you are using your feet and viewing some interesting artifacts of history.
Both the National Art Gallery and Musuem of the Filipino People are open Wednesday to Sunday (except holidays) from 10am to 4pm. Fee for visit to both museums are Php 150 for adults, Php 50 for students and Php 120 for adults.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.