National Museum of the Philippines

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National Museum of the Philippines
Pambansang Museo ng Pilipinas
Façade of the National Art Gallery
National Museum of the Philippines is located in Metro Manila
National Museum of the Philippines
Location Within Metro Manila
Established 1901
Location Padre Burgos Avenue, Rizal Park, Ermita, Manila
Coordinates 14°35′13″N 120°58′52″E / 14.5869°N 120.9811°E / 14.5869; 120.9811
Type Art Museum
Director Director Jeremy R. Barns
Owner Government of Manila
Public transit access Light Rail Transit Yellow Line via United Nations Station

The National Museum of the Philippines (Filipino: Pambansang Museo ng Pilipinas) is the official repository established in 1901 as a natural history and ethnography museum of the Philippines. The museum complex is located next to Rizal Park and near Intramuros in Manila. It houses the Spoliarium, a famous painting of Juan Luna. The National Museum Complex is composed of four different establishments concentrating on four different fields of arts and science, namely, Philippine Arts, Anthropology & Archaeology, Natural History, and Planetary & Space Science.


National Art Gallery[edit]

The National Art Gallery is housed in the old congress building. The building was originally intended as a Public Library as proposed in Daniel Burnham's 1905 Plan for Manila. Designed by Ralph Harrington Doane, the American consulting architect of the Bureau of Public Works, and his assistant Antonio Toledo. Construction of the building began in 1918 and completed in 1921.

The facade of the building had classical features using stylized Corinthian columns, ornamentation and Renaissance inspired sculptural forms.[1] Upon the establishment of the Commonwealth government, it was decided that the building would also house the Legislature and revisions were made by Juan Arellano, supervising architect of the Bureau of Public Works.

On July 16, 1926, the building was formally inaugurated. During the World War II, the building was heavily damaged, though built to be earthquake resistant.[1] After the war, it was rebuilt albeit less ornate and less detailed. During the Martial Law era, the Legislative Building was closed down. Today, the building holds the country's National Art Gallery, natural sciences and other support divisions.

Close up of the facade of the National Art Gallery. 
Senate Session Hall of the National Art Gallery 
Façade of the National Art Gallery in 2012. 
Chandelier inside the National Art Gallery. 

Museum of the Filipino People[edit]

Museum of the Filipino People is a component museum of the National Museum of the Philippines that houses the anthropology and archaeology divisions. It is located in the Agrifina Circle, Rizal Park, Manila adjacent to the main National Museum building which houses the National Art Gallery. The building was formerly housed by the Department of Finance.

Facade of the Museum of the Filipino People. 
Model of an Ifugao House. 

National Museum of Natural History[edit]

It was recently announced that the third building of this museum complex — the one presently occupied by the Department of Tourism, shall be developed into the Museum of Natural History, once the Department moves out and transfers to its permanent location in Makati. The National Museum of Natural History will have a hexagonal DNA tower structure in its center which will be the base for the ventilating roof-dome of the whole building. Living trees will also be planted within the interior of the building. It is expected to be finished in the last quarter of 2015.[2]

National Planetarium[edit]

The Planetarium was planned in 1970’s when former National Museum Director Godofredo Alcasid Sr. with the assistance of Mr. Maximo P. Sacro, Jr. of the Philippine Weather bureau and one of the founders of the Philippine Astronomical Society.

The building started on construction on 1974 and completed 9 months after. It was formally inaugurated on October 8, 1975. The Presidential Decree No. 804-A, issued on September 30, 1975, affirmed the Planetarium’s status. The Planetarium is located between the Japanese Garden and the Chinese Garden at the Rizal Park.[3]


  1. ^ a b Alarcon, Norma (2008). The Imperial Tapestry, American Colonial Architecture in the Philippines. University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. p. 133. ISBN 9789715064743. 
  2. ^ DOT building to be transformed into Museum of Natural History. Lifestyle Inquirer
  3. ^ Branches of the National Museum. National Museum of the Philippines

Further Reading[edit]

  • Lenzi, Iola (2004). Museums of Southeast Asia. Singapore: Archipelago Press. p. 200 pages. ISBN 981-4068-96-9. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]