Travelogue Manila: National Museum Of Natural History

This goes to both locals and visitors to Manila: If you haven’t been to the National Museum of Natural History at Rizal Park, then you should.

Why? Well, it’s awesome!

20180621_150915

Even from the outside, it already looks pretty darn impressive.

Originally built in a neoclassical style in the 1940s as the Agriculture and Commerce Building, the structure was destroyed during World War II, and subsequently rebuilt to house the Department of Tourism. They eventually moved out in 2015, as per an agreement to convert some of the heritage buildings in the area to form a museum complex, and so here we are.

If you’re in the area, I highly recommend paying a visit to other attractions nearby, namely the National Art Gallery and the National Museum of Anthropology.

Couple photo done k bye

20180621_152001

The hype has been massive since the museum opened in May, and lines are still long, even on a weekday. While waiting, admire the beautiful architecture of the entrance hall, with its neoclassical arches and honeycombed ceiling. Large bags and backpacks have to be deposited at the security counter before entry.

20180621_152721

Emerge into the cavernous main hall, with the DNA Tree Of Life at its epicenter. Towering six storeys-high, the double helix steel structure houses an elevator and spreads out into a distinctive ‘canopy’ of ‘leaves’ and ‘branches’.

20180621_152728

20180621_155603

20180621_155857

Alternatively, visitors can walk up each floor via ramps on one side of the hall.

20180621_155917

The hall is also decorated with giant tapestries of animals endemic to the Philippines, such as the Philippine eagle, the tarsier and the Philippine cattle.

20180621_160120

20180621_153718

Even if you’re not a history/natural history buff, the architecture alone is worth coming for. Explore the spacious hallways lit with warm, yellow light, and marvel at the exquisitely patterned marble flooring, beautiful wainscoting and steel-wrought windows and railings.

20180621_153907

The Ayala Hall is where visitors will find the skeleton of Lolong, certified by the Guinness World Records as the largest crocodile in captivity. Measuring a behemoth 6.17 metres and weighing over a tonne, the croc was estimated to be about 50 years old when it was captured in 2011. It succumbed to pneumonia and cardiac arrest just two years later.

20180621_164521

A replica of Lolong near the main entrance.

20180621_153713

20180621_154157

Divided according to ‘themes’, there are loads of things to see and do in the museum. We explore a hall dedicated to the documentation of botany and entomology, where there were butterfly and insect specimens on display, as well as elaborate scientific drawings hanging from the walls that would not have looked out of place at a fine art gallery!

20180621_154614

Get hands on at this fun section where you can sketch your own tree/plant

20180621_154710

Excuse the sweaty hair/face; the air conditioning wasn’t strong and we just came from commuting lol.

20180621_163541

20180621_154831

20180621_160606

The Dr Jose Rizal foyer, beautiful in its simplicity.

20180621_161448

More attempts at hipster photo fails.

20180621_161725

There was a section dedicated to the Nilad mangrove; recreating the area around Manila and its rich biodiversity pre-Hispanic rule through taxidermied wildlife exhibits.

20180621_161803

20180621_163332

20180621_162447

Moving on, another area showcased the rich biodiversity of the Philippine seas, complete with giant replicas of marine life dangling from the ceiling and a mini submarine.

20180621_162643

20180621_164018

There are a total of six floors in the building; although during our visit only four were open. I strongly suggest coming on a weekday to avoid the crowds, and allocate at least half a day to really immerse yourself into the exhibits, all of which are nicely done and catalogued.

Entrance as of July 2018 is free.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY MANILA

Teodoro F. Valencia Circle, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila, Philippines

Opening hours: 10AM – 5PM, closed Mondays

Advertisements

Author: Luna

Bibliophile/foodie. Drop me a line at erisgoesto@gmail.com

2 thoughts

  1. Wow! The last time I was here, it was still called the National Museum of the Philippines. The transformation is just unbelievable. It wasn’t actually a riff-raffy place, but you knew it was old (that was back in 1994!). When I get the chance, it’s time to re-visit the “new” old Manila.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

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