Museum, Weekend Trip

A Must Visit: Newly-Opened National Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural History Manila

National Museum of Natural History, Manila – Some people in this generation may not see the significance of what they can learn inside the museum. Some of them, especially millennials were certainly attached to the social media that they sometimes forgot to explore the real world. Aside from contemporary arts, the museum is also rich in history and it promotes our cultural heritage.

National Museum of Natural History

I’ve really wanted to visit this museum before but due to my busy schedules, I haven’t got time to do so, but now I had the chance to visit it and I will share to you my experience in National Museum of Natural History through this blog. Actually, Aj and I were both fascinated with museums, especially in arts and crafts. In fact, our first date was at the Pinto Art Museum in AntipoloPinto Art Museum exhibiting a combination of contemporary Filipino Paintings, native arts, and sculptures that come in different forms, sizes and variety. You can check it also.

National Museum of Natural History

The Batang 90’s. When I was a kid, the museum was not introduced to me by my parents, it’s because maybe they were thinking that going to the museum might cost them a lot of money. We pay a visit to the malls and theme parks but I can’t remember that we visit even a simple museum.

MUSEUM IS FOR ELITE

Who said that the museum is not for everyone and it is only for the elite? I think that was a common thinking before that is why Filipino were afraid to visit museums before, they thought that it’s only for educated people, rich, for foreign tourist.

National Museum of Natural History

So since our National Museums are now admission free, visitors can access the museum freely. It’s really important especially to the younger generation to have an access to our common heritage. National Museum of Natural History is one of the three national museums in Luneta Park.

National Museum of Natural History

HIGHLIGHTS

Some of the many fascinating items at the National Museum of Natural History includes:

  • Skeleton of the Indo-pacific Crocodile popularly known as “Lolong”
  • Flora and fauna
  • DNA Tree of Life
  • Replicas of extinct animals and endangered species.
  • Interactive submarine with footage of sea creatures underwater.
  • Botanical paintings and illustrations.
  • Replicas of different lakes in the Philippines.
  • Fossilized bones dating to 700,000 years ago.
  • Interactive projector displaying corals and fishes.
  • Taxidermied specimens of local animals.
  • Replicas of mangrove forest.
  • Marine life exhibits.
  • Replica of dinosaur bones.

INSIDE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

National Museum of Natural History houses botanical, zoological and geological collections and other artifacts dating around Paleolithic period. It has 12 galleries about plants, animals, and fungi that may only be found in the Philippines. Its neoclassical architecture is definitely one of the most interesting parts of this museum.

National Museum of Natural History
The canopy of DNA Tree of Life

DNA TREE OF LIFE – THE GOLDEN RATIO

One of the main attraction here in the newly opened museum is the futuristic canopy inspired dome with glass door elevator and leafy pattern simply dubbed as the DNA Tree of life, sprouting from the ground inspired designed by architect Dominic Galicia. The helix-shaped main support of the structure is surprisingly an elevator that will deliver you to the glass-enclosed footbridge. DNA Tree of life’s geometry and proportions were amazingly generated from the golden ratio that casts a beautiful shadow pattern on a sunny day.

National Museum of Natural History
DNA Tree of Life

The Tree of life is really an eye-catching masterpiece and also one of the centers of attraction here in the National Museum of Natural History. The building was formerly the Department of Tourism before it converted into a museum.

Related article:  A Must Visit: National Museum of Anthropology

FLORA AND FAUNA

The museum is meant to house flora and fauna since the Philippines is one of the megadiverse countries in terms of biodiversity, which means that a great deal of organisms inhabits most areas of the country. You can see interesting species the are uniquely found in the Philippines inside the Natural History Museum.

FOREST AND MANGROVE

The Natural History Museum houses the largest national repository of botanical/plant collection in the country. You can find them mostly on the second floor of the building.

Mangroves

MARINE LIFE

Aside from forest replicas and mangroves that we often see by land, they also have a gallery that exhibits life deep down under water. One of most interesting exhibit item that grabs our attention is the life-size replica of Whale shark and manta ray.

The huge display of Manta Ray and Whale shark

An interactive submarine where you can see footages of different sea creatures living underwater is also one of the highlights in the Marine life section of Natural History Museum.

Inside the interactive submarine

Not only kids but also kids at heart will surely enjoy visiting the National Museum of Natural History.

FLOOR GUIDE

Every floor offers an amazing display of well-organized collections. Here is a simple guide for you.

Lower ground floor

From the lower ground floor, you can see different kinds of trunks and petrified woods that can not only be found in the Philippines but all over the world. Taxidermized Philippine eagle and its illustrations are also displayed at the lower ground.

Ground floor

There is an Audiovisual room that you probably to visit first since it’s located right after the baggage counter that shows marine life and biodiversity in the Philippines. They’ve consolidated collections from different categories where you can find flora and fauna, skeletons, fossils, and extinct animals.

National Museum of natural history Manila

The Dugong calf skeleton is also being exhibited in the first part of the museum. Dugongs are also known as Dagat Baboy, they are herbivorous animals. It’s really amazing to see something like this because it will make them more valuable to us human by knowing how they reproduce and what are the reasons why this kind of animals are endangered.

National Museum of natural history Manila
Spot-billed Pelican. This is the only species of pelican recorded in the Philippines. It is now believed to have become extinct in the Philippines as it has not been documented since 1940’s.
National Museum of natural history Manila

Another exhibit item that captivates my attention was the skeleton of the world’s largest crocodile popularly known as “Lolong”. This giant crocodile skeleton hangs from the museum’s ceiling grabbing the attention of every visitors. Lolong is a male indo-pacific or saltwater crocodile, captured in the wetlands of the Agusan, Bunawan, Agusan Del Sur, Mindanao.

National Museum of natural history Manila
 skeleton of the world’s largest crocodile popularly known as “Lolong”. 

His name is based on the veteran crocodile hunter Ernesto “Lolong” Cañete who captivated him. Together with his skeleton displayed in this museum, the taxidermized remains of Lolong are permanently exhibited at the National Museum of Natural History. Along with his skeleton are the fossils of rhinoceros scientifically dated 709,000 years ago.

A globe in the middle shows how much climate change affects our environment.

NATURALIST EXHIBITS

Aside from the animal bones and fossils, there are also framed dried leaves, endemic plants illustration, endangered flowers and taxidermized insects exhibited on the first part of the museum. You can channel your inner scientist by doing some interactive activities where you could possibly learn new things. You can trace the shape of plants, coloring and get closer with flora and fauna with the magnifying glass provided. 

National Museum of natural history Manila
National Museum of natural history Manila
National Museum of natural history Manila

Second floor

The second floor is more on replicas of forest, beaches, and mangroves as well as animals that we often see in the jungle such as northern Rufus hornbill, locally known as Kalaw, Philippine serpent eagle, Philippine scops owl, Palawan hornbill, snakes, insects, crocodiles, and tamaraws. 

The Northern Rufuos Hornbill, Locally known as Kalaw
IMG_9878
IMG_9919
IMG_9906
IMG_9902

Mangrove forests are found along tidal mudflats and shallow coastal waters that extend inland into rivers and streams in the world’s tropical and subtropical countries.

Animals living in a mossy forest such as Northern Luzon giant cloud rat, Chestnut-faced babbler, flamed-breasted fruit dove, and bats are also exhibited. Honestly, I rarely see these kinds animals in the forest even I often go on a hiking. Maybe some of them were already endangered. I didn’t know. 

Third floor

The third floor is one of the most fun and interesting section for me in the Natural History Museum as it displays rich marine life and huge replicas of animals living underwater. It also includes preserved specimens of starfish, seashells, crabs, and sea turtle.

National Museum of natural history Manila
National Museum of natural history Manila
National Museum of natural history Manila

One thing that really amazed me is the interactive water projected on the floor at the entrance of the marine life section. It displays fishes, stingray, and corals that once you step on the interactive light the water will be interrupted. Sounds cool isn’t?

Have you seen this museum yet?:  A Must Visit: National Museum of Anthropology

The huge display of manta ray and whale shark in the center is one of the main attractions in the marine life section of Natural History Museum as well as the interactive submarine with footages of sea creatures underwater.

 A diorama of different lakes in the Philippines such as Taal lake, Paoay lake, and Lake Sebu can also be seen in the Natural History Museum. 

These are just a few of those exhibited items that we could see inside the National Museum of Natural History in Manila. I hope this blog will give you enough information on what you can see inside and it will also inspire you to visit the museum.

SPECIAL TIPS

  • The museum is open from 10 AM to 5 PM, they only allowed visitors to enter at 4:00 PM, so I suggest visiting the museum as early as possible after the opening.
  • If you arrived early and there are few people around the DNA tree of life, take pictures and selfie while you still have a chance since the area get crowded immediately so you can easily exit after visiting all of the exhibits.
  • It’s much better if you visit the third floor first, then work your way down to another level down to the ground floor.
  • Bring a small bag with only your necessities to skip the line in the baggage counter. 
  • There are pieces of information in each exhibited item, so take time to read.

PROHIBITIONS

Please be reminded about the guidelines and policy that we have to strictly obey guidelines and policies when visiting the national museum. Here is the list of what is not allowed inside the museum:

  • Backpack in all size
  • Caps/Hats/Bonnets
  • Smoking
  • Food and beverages
  • Touching of museum objects
  • Sitting on floors
  • Disrespectful wacky post
  • Flash photography
  • Videography
  • Monopod/tripod
  • Wrapped packages
  • Umbrellas
  • Pens & Art materials

I noticed that there are so many visitors still touching the exhibit items even there’s a signage saying “Do not touch”. Its really disappoint me.

HOW TO GET THERE

Address: Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Ermita, Manila

From around Manila: 

  • Option 1. Ride a jeepney along Rizal Avenue bound for Taft Avenue and asked to be dropped at P.Burgos.
  • Option 2. Take an LRT 1 Yellow Line going to Taft and get down at either United Nations or Central station, walk towards P.Burgos.
  • Option 3. From Lawton/City Hall area, ride a jeepney or walk towards P.Burgos. 
  • Option 4. Along Roxas Boulevard, there are FX that are Sucat-Lawton. You can ride this and asked to be dropped at Luneta/P.Burgos and walk towards Taft Avenue.

From Quezon City and Marikina:

Option 1. Take the LRT2 Purple Line and go down at Recto Station. From here, transfer to Doroteo Jose Station of LRT 1 Yellow Line and ride an LRT bound for Baclaran. Get down at Central Station. Walk along Taft Ave passing by Manila City Hall, until you reach P. Burgos. The building at the corner is the National Museum.

Option 2. From Cubao, you can ride a jeepney/FX that is bound for Quiapo and asked to be dropped at Rizal Avenue. Ride an LRT 1 bound for Baclaran via Doroteo Jose Station.
Get down at Central Station. Walk along Taft Ave passing by Manila City Hall, until you reach P. Burgos. The building at the corner is the National Museum.

From Commonwealth Ave

Ride a bus or FX that bounds to Quiapo/Lawton then dropped off at the crossing going to UN LRT station near National Museum of Fine arts. 

SCHEDULES

National Museum opens daily except Mondays from 10 AM – 5 PM. Admission to the National Museum is permanently free of charge for all visitors, Filipino or foreign.

It’s really important to educate and expose your children to this kind of activities, not only visiting the mall, not only your children can learn the lesson certainly but also yourself. 

National Museum of Natural History
The building itself is already worth a visit.

There are more a lot to see inside this museum not just by only reading my blog, I suggest visiting Natural Museum personally.

You might want to read:

Did this travel blog help you? You can also share your travel tips and tag #wanderhacker. Follow us for more travel guides on:

Don’t forget to share on Facebook, Twitter or other social media so others may benefit as well 

If you have questions or you spot something that needs to update, let us know in the comments section below.

Comments

comments

Tagged

About Benjoe Vidal

Benjoe Vidal is a full-time software engineer, part-time travel blogger, and a Hobbyist Photographer. Aside from writing codes he also loves to share and write his travel experiences. He hates describing himself and writing in third person. He is the guy behind this travel blog.
View all posts by Benjoe Vidal →

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.