The Museo Pambata (Children's Museum or Museum for Children) is a children's museum in the Ermita district of Manila, on Luzon in the Philippines. It is located in the former Manila Elks Club building, built in 1911, along Roxas Boulevard at the corner of Katigbak Drive.
The Museo Pambata is a children's interactive museum. Unlike traditional museums where items are stored behind glass and touching is highly discouraged, Museo Pambata invites visitors to learn with the exhibits by using their total senses. It envisions itself as a discovery museum and resource center promoting Filipino global culture, children's advocacy programs, and creative educational programs with linkages to global communities. The museum also has regular programs and events for various sectors.
Opened in 1994, Museo Pambata is the dream come true of Nina Lim-Yuson, an early childhood educator and mother of four, who once brought her young children to the Boston Children’s Museum in America. They had so much fun with the museum's hands-on exhibits that she wished there was a similar place back home where her kids - and the millions of Filipino children - can learn and have fun at the same time.
In March 1993, Yuson, together with her mother, former Department of Social Welfare and Development secretary Estefania Aldaba-Lim, presented a proposal of their dream museum, to be situated in the historical Elks Club Building in Manila, to then Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim. Much to their joy and surprise, he readily approved it.
The Museo Pambata officers were elected in the first Board of Trustees meeting held in June 1993. Educators, visual artists, architects, museum workers and other professionals met regularly to brainstorm. Concepts were then translated into several theme rooms designed and produced pro bono by architect and stage designer Joselito Tecson.
In December 1993, the City Council of Manila, in a memorandum of agreement (MOA) granted the Museo Pambata a 10-year-free-of-lease-use of the Elks Club Building. The funds raised by the board of trustees were used to start its rehabilitation.
In March 1994, the recognition dinner for Museo's first Ninongs and Ninangs, (sponsors who gave one million pesos each) namely Luis H. Lim Foundation, Juan and Lualhati Cojuangco Foundation, A.Y. Foundation, Petron Corporation, Fe S. Panlilio, Don Emilio T. Yap, Helena Z. Benitez, Security Bank and Trust Company, Landbank and GSIS.
Finally, on December 21, 1994, the dream museum became a living reality!
With a strong leadership, a definite plan of action and imminent success, the list of Ninongs and Ninangs has grown longer: Department of Tourism, PAGCOR, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Health, Sen. Ramon Magsaysay, Jr., Consuelo Alger Foundation, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, Coca-Cola Foundation, Development Bank of the Philippines, PHINMA Group, Splash Foundation, Aldaba-Lim Foundation, WS Family Foundation, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, E. Zobel Foundation, Globe Telecom, Inc., C Com Foundation, and Ford Foundation Philippines.
There are eight theme rooms in Museo Pambata, namely:
- Kalikasan (Environment) and Karagatan (Under the Sea) - Contains a simulated rain forest and seabed where visitors can learn about environmental concerns and ecological conservation.
- Maynila Noon (Old Manila) - Visitors can learn about history by looking at artifacts and simulated exhibits depicting turn-of-the-century Manila.
- Paglaki Ko (Career Options) - Showcases various careers and encourages visitors to visualize themselves doing a particular career. Currently it features writers and illustrators.
- I Love My Planet Earth - Where visitors can learn about climate change and how one can take part in caring for the planet.
- Pamilihang Bayan (Marketplace) - Features a row of play stores and shops. One can pretend to be a store owner and practice their entrepreneurial skills.
- Katawan Ko (My Body Works) - Features the human body, how various organs work, and pointers on healthcare.
- Bata sa Mundo (Children in the Global Village) - Dolls from around the world are displayed in this room.
The museum also has a children's library, changing exhibits hall, gift shop, three venues for various events, playground, and parking space.
thumb|330px|The Museo Pambata, in the 1911 Manila Elks Club bldg.
thumb|left|160px|Marionettes display in the children's museum
- Museo Pambata's Official Website
- "A Fun Museum at the Old Elks Club Building in Manila". TRAVELER ON FOOT: A TRAVEL JOURNAL. Retrieved 13 March 2012.
- Lenzi, Iola (2004). Museums of Southeast Asia. Singapore: Archipelago Press. p. 200 pages. ISBN 981-4068-96-9.
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