National Museum of Natural History Philippines – Travel Guide
Four months after the Philippine National Museum of Natural History opened to the public, we, albeit unexpected, were able to visit the new treasure of the city of Maynila! Alas!
We were supposed to join a martial arts class in Pasay but failed to find a decent parking space so we gave up the plan. Instead of going home disappointed, we decided to just look for a place to enjoy. We found ourselves marvelling through the impressive neoclassical architecture of National Museum of Natural History and the intricate details of its building.
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WHAT TO SEE IN THE PHILIPPINES NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
The building itself; the DNA Tree of Life in particular which is the definitive architectural feature of the museum. It is an enormous copy of deoxyribonucleic acid that rises and extends into a distinctive pattern of leaves and branches. It leads up to the canopy-inspired ceiling with skylight that allows tons of natural light to come in. The DNA Tree of Life is situated at the center of the entrance hallway, and it houses the elevator that brings visitors to various floor levels.
Galleries and Exhibits
When going to National Museum of Natural History Philippines, it’s best to start the tour from the top floor down to the bottom as the exhibits on the upper floors focus on high altitude environments such as mountains and forests, while the ones on the lower floors focus on shore-level and underwater environments. In the absence of handouts, you can rely on informative plaques and labels beside each exhibit. Computers are also available!
Aside from preserved specimens of Philippines flora and fauna and fascinating fossils from millions of years ago (surprising, yeah?), there are also beautiful artworks, photos, paintings, and illustrations available everywhere! Some print reproductions hang at the entrances of the male and female restrooms which are available on each floor. Biographies of pioneering botanists significant to Philippine natural history are also readily available.
The recreations of forest, beach, and Nilad Mangrove are incredible; while the interactive exhibits such as the trippy globe, and the submarine are very fascinating! There are also stations that allow visitors to work on their own botanical illustrations. Super cool!
Overall, the place is impressive, very well-thought-of displays are indeed educational and informative. We were not provided with any written handouts and location maps when we entered the vicinity. For some reasons, we also had a hard time looking for a museum guide (maybe because it’s Sunday?) so we did what we know best to help ourselves – wander around! Even without a museum guide, we definitely learned a lot, and had so much fun!
Did you know pelicans were a common sight in certain localities of Luzon at the turn of the 20th century? I was so amazed by this, really. John Grisham’s Pelican Brief came to my mind while I was intently looking at the a jaw-dropping stuffed spot-billed pelican in the avian gallery. Go, check it! We lost the species to extinction sometime in the 1940s. Sad.
Admission Fee: FREE! Walang bayad!
Hours of Operation: Tuesday – Sunday (10AM to 5PM)
Parking: This can pose as a challenge. Although there are street parking spaces available, it is difficult to find an empty slot, especially during weekends. We suggest that you look for those guys offering parking assistance. They charge PhP20 for their service; additional PhP50 parking fee.
HOW TO GET TO NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
Address: Kalaw St., Rizal Park, Manila City, Philippines
1.) Ride the MRT to EDSA Taft.
2.) Switch to LRT Line 1.
3.) Drop off at United Nations Avenue station. The Museum is within walking distance from the station.
- Since you are already in the area, might as well take advantage of the moment and go to Luneta / Rizal Park, Intramuros, and Manila Bay! Make the travel and traffic worth it!
- The ideal way to wander through the wonders of National Museum of Natural History is to take the elevator straight up to the top floor, and work your way down through the levels via the ramps.
- There is a separate entry for senior citizens and visitors with kids in tow located at back entry. It’s quicker and has no long queue.
The Philippine National Museum of Natural History offers extensive collection, it has so much to see that it demands a return visit!
Thank you for dropping by!
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