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National Museum of the Filipino People

Take a fascinating walk through the history of the Philippines and discover thousands of years of culture.

The National Museum of the Filipino People showcases a range of fascinating collections, from the first-known inhabitants of the Philippines right up to modern-day exhibitions of art and culture. Explore the various exhibitions on display around the museum and learn about the Spanish conquest of the Philippines, the role the country played during World War II and much more.

There are five main collections of art, history and anthropology, spread across several floors. The San Diego exhibit features a collection of treasure from the shipwreck of a Spanish galleon which sank in 1600. Gold coins, tableware, jewellery and more are all on display, offering visitors a glimpse into life on a 17th-century vessel.

More artefacts from merchant shipwrecks await visitors in the next exhibit, “Five Centuries of Maritime Trade Before the Arrival of the West”. As the name suggests, the exhibit features salvaged items from various merchant ships which were prominent during the early days of sea-trade in the Philippines.

The “Origin” collection features ancient pottery and stone artefacts belonging to the earliest-known inhabitants of the Philippines. The collection includes part of the skull of the Tabon Man, believed to date from as early as 24,000 BC.

The “Kaban ng Lahi” exhibit provides a captivating insight into ancient burial customs in the Philippines. One of the most famous artefacts from the collection is the Manunggul jar – an ancient secondary burial jar considered to be one of the finest examples of pre-colonial art in the Philippines. It dates from 890-710 BC and features two figures on the handles at the top, supposedly representing the afterlife.

Make your way to the last exhibit, “The Filipinos and Their Rich Cultural Heritage”, to learn about the diversity of the country and its people. Learn about how economic, geographical and cultural trends have helped to shape the Philippines into the country it is today. The museum’s courtyard contains the beautiful Ifugao house, where visitors can find lots of domestic items from the Mayoyao province.

The National Museum of the Filipino People is near the Walled City, within Rizal Park. It is open every day except Mondays and the best way to get here is by taxi or light rail.


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