National Museum of the Philippines Summer 2015 Visits

Last May, the National Museum of the Philippines offered everyone free admission in celebration of May as the National Heritage Month. As a self-proclaimed art enthusiast and frustrated artist, I made the decision of visiting the museum, and (to think that) as far as I can remember, I haven't actually visited the museum ever since I was born. I became very excited and made plans immediately, and I thought it would be easy since classes won't start until June.

No, it was not easy, This is because of me being lazy that I kept on rescheduling my plans. May was almost halfway done and I still haven't visited the museum yet. But one day, my friend Arville, asked me to hang-out with him so I agreed and suggested to visit the museum before we go to a coffee shop. Unfortunately, we arrived late and didn't know that the museum closes at 5:00 in the afternoon (we still had time though), so we ended up going to a nearby coffee shop to chat instead. With that, my first attempt failed.

It was just a week before the free admission expires so I became very anxious about visiting the museum (lmao it seems like I don't want to pay admission fees haha). The good thing is, my best friends Claudelle and Nexine asked for a coffee date-turned-slumber party so of course, I suggested and bugged them to visit the museum in the morning before going to Nexine's. And with that, I finally visited the museum. (I left my camera at home knowing that Claudelle would bring hers but she totally forgot about it so we were all forced to use our phone cameras to capture everything we like).

Above are some pictures I took when I was with Claudelle and Nexine. The rest of the photos were taken when I revisited the museum with my mom just because I wanted to take photos of the masterpieces with a proper camera. Captions from left to right:

  • Selfie: (from left to right) me, Clau and Nexine
  • A portion of the Spoliarium by Juan Luna, I was actually planning to start a hashtag trend #iPresent as a joke because of hashtag trends nowadays but yeah 
  • This is a photo of our shoes. No idea why I took this.
  • Baybayin. I really like this idea. To be honest, I think it's cooler if we actually used this alphabet. Imagine all the commercial building signs in Baybayin.. Pretty awesome, right?
  • This painting took my attention. It's just so dramatic and the colors are pretty!
  • The view from the elevator.

So, after we explored the main building, I dragged my friends towards the other one (edit: Museum of the Filipino People) just several meters away from it. We were actually tired and almost hungry (we haven't eaten lunch yet) but I was so persistent that we went anyway. We just passed through different galleries, resting on the viewing benches once in a while. It's too bad some of them were supposed to be interactive but they were not operating (or maybe they were broken?). After we finished exploring, I was pretty happy and satisfied (and creeped out by the taxidermied/stuffed animals) and then we went to Nexine's.

So May went by and I think everyone demanded for more art viewing so the National Museum extended the free admission promo until the end of June. I was disappointed that I didn't get to take high quality photos of the museum galleries but the extension gave me another chance. I immediately told my mom that I wanted to go back and she told me she'll go with me. Weeks pass by, I was kinda busy with my papers (and kinda lazy, too..) so I had to cancel and reschedule my museum revisit. 

Then it was the last day of June and my last chance to avail the free admission (hehe). So my mom actually dragged me out of my bed and we went to the museum. We were actually pretty skeptical about being able to view the galleries because it's almost the closing time of the museum (until now I don't know what time the museum closes). But my mom told me to just go and see if it is actually closed by the time we get there. Fortunately, it didn't until six o'clock in the evening (?).

The famous Spoliarium by Juan Luna  we were not sure if that was the original one or maybe it is stored somewhere. This is me liking conspiracy theories-based books, tv shows and movies. More details about the Spoliarium here.

I don't know the names of rest of the art pieces because I was so occupied with taking photos and chatting with my friends or my mom. If you want to know, well, you can go visit the museum yourself. *wink*

That is called the Assassination of Governor Bustamante by Félix Resurrección Hidalgo.

Say hello to my mom! She is happily posing for the camera. Love you, Ma! ♡

The background art piece is called Retablo, made in the 18th century, More details here.

This is a gallery for Fernando Amorsolo's various drawings! His masterpieces are so cool, specially his sketches! From pencil to ink, all of his sketches are amazing. (I want to sketch that good, too! *sad emoji*)

The thing is, the lighting in some galleries of the museum is so bad that I had to adjust my camera settings frequently until I gave up and decided to use Photoshop for post-processing.

This gallery is for Guillermo Tolentino's artworks, sculptures to be exact.

*Attack on Titan opening OST* Look, a titan! Haha, just kidding. Speaking of titans, the live-action will premiere soon. I might as well rewatch the anime series. Do you guys know/have watched/like it?

In the Guillermo Tolentino gallery, this one gained my attention and liking the most. I don't know the  exact reasons, but I guess it's too cute to get ignored..? 

This gallery contains art prints of the Philippine plants a Spanish botanist collected from his work in Luzon. More details here.

This oil on canvas artwork, entitled Dead Child, is my favorite out of all the masterpieces I saw in the museum. This is made by Simon Flores back in 1902, which is a 'memento mori of a deceased child'. There's something about this painting that I really like, it seems peaceful but sad. That sounds dramatic, but I like it so much.

The gallery where the Dead Child is one of the best galleries in the museum. Not only the wall color is so pretty, but the art pieces presented are so beautiful, too! And in fact, the lighting in the room is very good. I love everything in the gallery.

Vendedor de Periodicos which (I think) means "Newspaper Vendor". Yeah?

More paintings from the gallery.

Actually, there is this one fancy piece that caught my attention. It is called Self-Portrait and it is made by Juan Luna y Novicio in Rome on 1879. I took some photos of it but I think they were all bad so I've decided not to post it here. I just wanted to share that piece of information because I've thought of it as the 19th century selfie.

My mom reading the information about the sculptures.

Our national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal. This is a close-up photo of a painting in the Rizal Gallery.

More sculptures. I love these ones because they look so photogenic despite the lack of good lighting.

Mama posing in front of a painting that was based from the Magellan's Cross. More details here. This was made by Vicente Manansala and his other paintings in the Philam Life Collection Gallery are very pretty, too! The evident geometric shapes in his paintings are very detailed that makes the painting more awesome.

This was a gallery that I haven't entered when I first visited the museum with my friends, I think it was closed that time. I'm very happy that I get to enter when I revisited the museum. In this one, photographs of various Philippine tourist spots are located, with some other beautiful photos of the nature. The photos are all very HD. Wow.

Another close-up photo of a painting in a gallery in the upper floors. I love the colors used in this one.

This is a painting of a unborn child inside the womb. The pressure points (hi Claudelle hahaha!) are very obvious so it seems like there is a texture. Very cool.

This is the private collection of Emilio Aguilar Cruz, a memorabilia to be exact. The pocket watch and his pipes are very classy and very.. English. I love vintage stuff.

There is also this one room that was the Old Senate Session Hall. My mom and I didn't have the chance to take a photo there since there were so many people. But when I was with my friends, we had the hall all by ourselves, so it's a shame. Also regrettably, my mom and I didn't get to see the galleries in the Museum of the Filipino People because it was almost closing time and I had to go and hang-out with my friends who were nearby. I was feeling pretty guilty because of that though.

Anyway, this adventure made me very happy and because of this I get to update my blog, haha. Now that I've crossed out this one from my list, I am currently planning to go to some other museums nearby or within Metro Manila. Friends, please go with me!

On that note, I will end this post here. I hope you appreciate the photos I took and wish that you feel like you're there when you have to stay where you are. Thank you for reading this post and I hope I'll see you around next time. Have a nice day.

♥, Lix



  1. I've only been to National Museum once, when we were on a field trip for our Humanities Class and we only visited the gallery with Spoliarium and The Assasination of Governor Bustamante (that other huge painting across Spoliarium haha). I'm planning on visiting again though, and this time to tour the rest of the museum! :D

    1. That's nice, I hope you'll enjoy your future trip to the National Museum! And thank you for giving the name of the other huge painting across the Spoliarium. *edits blog post* heh heh.. Have a nice day!