Take advantage of the National Museum’s early Christmas gift and brush up on some history and culture for free before the offer ends this Friday, October 31. Get inside any of the National Museum’s 14 branches as well as the flagship museums in Manila: the National Art Gallery (former Old Legislative Building), Museum of the Filipino People (former Old Finance Building), and National Planetarium. The month-long free admission is in conjunction with the celebration of Museums and Galleries month.
In his speech during the 2014 Heritage Conservation Summit in Iloilo City, National Museum Director Jeremy Barns underlined the need “for us and all our colleagues to treat our heritage with greater humility… because it is so gragile that it needs utmost care from those of us, in whichever sector, national or local, public or private, who are responsible for its stewardship on behalf of future generations.”
The lifting of admission fees to the said museums aims “to encourage public interest in Filipino art and heritage,” the Museum’s education division told Yahoo! Southeast Asia in a phone interview.
Visitors can marvel at exhibits at the National Art Gallery, which include paintings by famous Filipino artists such as Fernando Amorsolo, Vicente Manansala and Juan Luna. A sculpture gallery also features works by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino, Graciano Nepomuceno and Isabelo Tampinco, among others.
Meanwhile, the Museum of the Filipino people showcases galleries on Filipino history, starting from an exhibit dubbed Pinagmulan (The Origin), which displays keepsakes dating back to the country’s pre-history.
Kaban ng Lahi, which is a gallery of archeological treasures, also highlights burial practices through excavated artifacts.
Everyone is also encouraged to visit the new exhibition Faith, Tradition and Place, where “you will experience the treasure trove of Bangsamoro Art from our National Ethnographic Collection.”
Other galleries shed light on the diverse cultural practices of Filipinos, maritime trade prior to the arrival of colonizers, as well as wreckage of the war galleon San Diego.
“The National Museum, a Trust of Government, is an educational, scientific and cultural institution that acquires, documents, preserves, exhibits and fosters scholarly study and public appreciation of works of art, specimens and cultural and historical artifacts representative of our unique to the cultural heritage of the Filipino people and the natural history of the Philippines,” it says on the Official Gazette. It was established on October 29, 1901. It is now housed in the Old Legislative Building by virtue of Republic Act No. 8492.
Located at P. Burgos Drive in Manila, the National Museum regularly charges Php30 for students, P100 for adults and Php80 for senior citizens and is free of charge only on Sundays.
*Photo courtesy of the National Museum’s official Facebook page.