Going Solo: My Philippine National Museum Trip

“The man who goes alone can start today, but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau.

I really don’t mind travelling alone. I know that I have an image of being outgoing but travelling alone somehow gives me that certain peace of mind. It gives me time to meditate, focus, feeling of freedom, independence, it overcomes my fears , helps me gain confidence (do I really need this? ahahaha) and the most important is yes, save money as well.

Since I’m really into history stuff and I’ve been really itching  to visit the largest museum in the Philippines for the longest time. I went solo and visit The Philippine National Museum last September 14, 2014. Yes everybody, this blog has been long over due for almost a year now but I still don’t mind to share it to you my experience there.

Philippine National Museum is an educational, scientific and cultural institution that acquires, documents, preserves, exhibits, and fosters scholarly study and public appreciation of works of art, specimens, and cultural and historical artifacts representative of our unique to the cultural heritage of the Filipino people and the natural history of the Philippines. It is located in Padre Burgos Drive,Taft Avenue, Ermita Manila.

Inside the Museum you’ll see variety of collections that includes;

  1. Visual art collection
  2. Archaeological collection
  3. Ethnographic Collection
  4. Natural History Collections

My Philippine National Museum journey starts at the 2nd floor of the building at the Museum of the Filipino People building, wherein you’ll find mostly about the Treasures of San Diego Exhibit.  I really don’t know much about Treasures of San Diego but according to the exhibit short narrative description Treasures of San Diego is a 16th  century galleon.




The  exhibit is composed mainly of artifacts from the 16th century Galleon, mostly are plates, bowls, cups and bottles decorated with birds, cocks, geese & deer designs which were believed to be popular during the 16th century. There are also full sized cannons and helmets used by the Spanish soldiers about 400 years ago.







Mostly I was not able to take good quality of pictures since I was really in awe seeing all the exhibits. I prefer to focus on the appreciation of all the things that was inside than taking pictures.

A lantaka is a small swivel gun or cannon made of brass.

There is also a current exhibit about Lantaka when I went there, which is also known as Kanyon in Tagalog (Philippines official language) which is a type of bronze cannon mounted on merchant vessels travelling the waterways of Malay Archipelago long ago. Its use was greatest in precolonial South East Asia especially in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Indonesia. The guns were used to defend against pirates demanding tribute for the local chief, or potentate.




Visiting the museum by my self gives me flexibility in my time since I was too busy to study and see closely the exhibits and read the descriptions of each.  I admire almost everything inside of it. I was really satisfied with all that I saw.



I really love the old architecture design of the building.
I really love the old architecture design of the building.

I really admire the vintage architectural design of the building. The Philippine National Museum was once the Old Legislative building in Manila or is also known as the Congress Building. It was originally designed by the American Ralph Harrington Doane and Filipino Antonio Toledo in 1918 to be the future National Library as intended for the Burnham Plan of Manila. On September 30, 2010, the National Historical Commission of the Philippines declared the building as a “National Historical Landmark”.

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Backstrap loom
Backstrap loom



This stunning sculpture in Plaster of Paris was made by no less than National Artist for Sculpture Guillermo Tolentino in 1951.
This stunning sculpture in Plaster of Paris was made by no less than Philippine  National Artist for Sculpture Guillermo Tolentino in 1951.


I love arts, like paintings and stuff like that. So since I was already there I did not miss the chance to see one of the worlds famous painting. The Spoliarium. It is the masterpiece painting by a Filipino painter, sculptor and a political activist Juan Luna. One of the first recognize Philippine artist.  Spoliarium is a Latin word referring to the basement of the Roman Colosseum where the fallen and dying gladiators are dumped and devoid of their worldly possessions.

The first thing you'll notice about the painting is it's size.
The first thing you’ll notice about the painting is it’s size.

My jaw dropped open when I entered the room and saw this gigantic painting.  I never expected that the actual painting is so huge! Whew! Juan Luna is really talented to create such masterpiece.

Selfie with the Spoliarium.


Selfie with the Spoliarium.
I asked one of the staff there to take a picture of me with the Spolarium.

The National Museum is open Tuesdays to Sundays, from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Free admission on Sundays.

For more information about the Philippine National Museum you can visit their website at http://www.nationalmuseum.gov.ph.


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