SEE: Must-Visit Museums to Learn Facts from Philippine History

Philippine History Museums
These museums provide an insight into the Philippines’ rich and tumultuous past to allow Filipinos to move forward as a nation. Photos from museums’ official online sites.

Check out these museums that you can now visit onsite or virtually experience from the comfort of your own home to learn more about the rich cultural heritage and history of the Philippines.

There are plenty of reasons to visit museums, both in-person and online. They offer useful knowledge to Filipinos seeking reliable sources of information and facts about the nation. The collections also showcase precious artworks and artifacts from various eras and give a peek into the lifestyle and culture of the country’s past.

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Exploring museums and galleries onsite or in the virtual space is also a great way to learn more about the nation’s history and appreciate the local culture and arts. These repositories of arts and culture preserve history while also providing access to credible learning resources to educate Filipinos, whether young or old.

Museums not only keep history alive for future generations – but they also teach us valuable lessons and ensure that we do not overlook or repeat mistakes made in the past so we can be better equipped to move forward to a better future.

Here’s a list of Philippine museums that you can visit virtually or in-person to learn more about the country’s rich cultural heritage and history:

Ateneo Art Gallery

The Ateneo Art Gallery is widely recognized as the first museum of Philippine modern art and is located inside the Areté building of the Ateneo de Manila University.

The university museum regularly showcases works from its permanent collection and hosts innovative exhibitions, such as “Fear of Freedom Makes Us See Ghosts,” a major solo exhibition by Filipino-British mural artist Pio Abad.

The exhibition makes use of a wide variety of media and “examines the conjugal dictatorship of Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos (1965 – 1986) by excavating silenced histories, devising actions, and remaking an inventory of objects tainted by the regime’s corruption.”

The “Fear of Freedom Makes Us See Ghosts” exhibit is available for public viewing until July 30, 2022. Book visits to the Ateneo Art Gallery through this link.

Ayala Museum

The Ayala Museum in Makati offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the country’s rich culture and history through its prized collections of Philippine arts and historical artifacts.

The country’s premier museum for art and history houses permanent exhibits such as “Ayala Museum: In Microcosm” and its Digital Gallery which is made up of eight sprawling screens that enable visitors to digitally explore objects from the museum and library collections.

Visitors can also drop by the museum’s Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL) which provides an access to a repository of Filipiniana materials and other references on Philippine arts, history, and culture.

The FHL is currently hosting the “Liberation: War and Hope” exhibit, a free offering of the library that focuses on the life and stories of everyday Filipinos before, during, and post-war until September 25, 2022.

The Ayala Museum, which late last year reopened to the public after two years of renovation, earlier celebrated National Heritage Month by giving the public free access for one day only to celebrate International Museum Day.

Book visits to the Ayala Museum through its website here.

Intramuros

Find out more about the Philippines under Spanish rule by visiting the many historic landmarks and museums in the famous Walled City of Intramuros.

Among the most popular attractions of the former Spanish colonial fortress are heritage sites such as Fort Santiago and Baluarte de San Diego, as well as museums such as Casa Manila and the Museo de Intramuros, among others.

Casa Manila is a lifestyle museum in Intramuros depicting the domestic life of the upper class during the Spanish colonization of the Philippines. It also displays the unique and valuable artifacts of the Intramuros Administration Museum Collection.

Museo de Intramuros houses the ecclesiastical collection of the Intramuros Administration.

Martial Law Museums

Two Martial Law Museums in the country provide facts and figures about the period of military rule in the Philippines imposed 50 years ago in 1972 until 1981.

MartialLawMuseum.ph is a comprehensive online learning resource on Martial Law in the Philippines created by the Ateneo de Manila University. Netizens can access the digital educational resource to find out more about the different aspects of Martial Law under the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos through various exhibits on its website.

An onsite martial law museum is also set to rise within the University of the Philippines Diliman campus to honor the memory of the victims of state violence and oppression during the dark period in Philippine history.

Named the “Freedom Memorial Museum”, the flagship project of the Human Rights Violations Victims’ Memorial Commission (HRVVMC) will house “relevant memorabilia, artifacts, educational materials and audiovisual content” which will soon be open to the public. Check out the museum website here.

National Museum of the Philippines

The National Museum of the Philippines (NMP) houses four buildings in Manila that preserve vast collections of art and the natural and cultural history of Filipinos.

Manila’s national museum started to extend its visiting hours in May to give more Filipinos a chance to learn about the nation’s rich artistic, historical, and cultural heritage.

The National Museum of Fine Arts, National Museum of Anthropology, and National Museum of Natural History in Rizal Park in Manila are open to visitors with longer hours from Tuesday to Sunday, except on public holidays.

Visitors no longer need to book reservations to enter the museums but are required to present their vaccination cards upon entry.

The museums are open from Tuesday to Sunday (except holidays), from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The National Museum opened its doors to the general public for free beginning in 2016.

CHECK OUT this list of 4 Must-Read Books About Philippine History by Filipino authors.

TELL US in the comments below, which museum from this list will you be visiting soon?

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Margo is a voracious reader - some might even say she reads too much for her own good. She majored in BS Psychology and hopes to become a forensic psychologist one day. She’s also an aspiring writer, mental health advocate, and a staunch believer of equality.