The Philippines is known for its rich culture, nationality, and history. Like the majority of its historical legacy, the valuable components of the art form have been retrieved and preserved in various museums. They serve as a piece of living evidence that our art indeed progressed and evolved into what it is today. Going to these museums can be seen as looking through a window to the past. Some of them also feature the modern forms of art as a comparison to how far contemporary art has grown. Whether it is for the purpose of curation or curiosity, going to these museums can be quite an experience. In this article, you will be able to determine where to find museums of art in the Philippines:
NATIONAL ART GALLERY
Location: Level 2 and 3 of the National Museum Of The Philippines, Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, Manila, 1000 Metro Manila
The art gallery portion of the national museum starts from level 2 to level 3. Various paintings and archives of preserved relics can be located in the gallery. The gallery is divided into different portions as follows:
1. Religious Art presumably retrieved from the reign of the Spaniards
2. Art Prints from the botanical garden of Madrid. It was made by Filipino artists based on the request of botanist Juan José De Cuéllar.
3. Romantic art of the 19th Century.
4. Neoclassical sculpture of the 19th Century. Made by a Filipino sculptor known as Isabelo L. Tampico
5. Tributes To The National Hero, Dr Jose Rizal. A collection of various pieces of art made by Filipino artists as a tribute to the national hero.
6. Classical art from the 20th Century.
7. Silvina and Juan C. Laya Hall. Art forms that express the experiences of Filipinos during the war. Many of which depicts the suffering of Filipinos during the colonial era.
Other notable artworks…
8. The Progress Of Medicine In The Philippines. Compilation of large paintings by Carlos V. Francisco which depicts the medical progress in the Philippines.
9. Drawings Of Amorsolo. Set of paintings that depict the everyday life of indigenous Filipinos who live in the countryside.
10. The works of Guillermo E. Tolentino. Compilation of various classical sculptures by the well-known sculptor in his time.
PINTO ART MUSEUM
Location: 1 Sierra Madre St, Grand Heights Subdivision, Antipolo, 1870 Rizal
The museum is known for its display of contemporary and primitive art. Its name translates to “door” in Filipino, symbolizing a door between contemporary and modern art. The founder began compiling the retrieved pieces of art in the late 1980s. Until the present times, however, the museum seems to be a place from the past. The style and atmosphere seem to take you into the past time because of how it is designed. Many visitors have described the museum as interesting in every corner because of the bizarre yet intriguing art forms. In fact, it is one of the top museums that are most frequently posted on Instagram. The museum even used its beautiful environment as an opportunity to host photoshoots for a certain fee. It is truly a museum that is worth visiting if you are looking for a museum with a unique environment. Some of its displays include:
1. The Chapel
2. Contemporary Art Collections
3. Arboretum Of Philippine Plants
4. Various flora and fauna
5. Indigenous Art Collections
ART IN ISLAND
Location: 175 15th Ave, Cubao, Quezon City, 1109 Metro Manila
Art In Island is a famous museum that is known for its 3D realistic paintings. Although not wholly historical, it contains unique art that can become a realistic photoshoot spot. The paintings are modified in the walls and the floors of the structure. The art modifications are done in a way that they will look 3D. Suitable attire is advisable, which means to prevent the destruction of the paintings, wearing socks is required when stepping in. It is a famous spot for adults and kids alike who are looking for a unique photoshoot experience. It also allows creativity for you; how much of a good photo will you be able to capture?
Location: Siquijor Circumferential Road, Siquijor
This museum gives you entirely of a glimpse of the Western world and influences of the 1800s. The past visitors have described the place to have a “cowboy” vibe. The unique vibe is felt because the museum is filled with western architecture and various items from that time period. The museum also displays multiple alcoholic beverages in the style of the “Wild West” period. If you have always dreamt of being a cowboy or a cowgirl, head to Siquijor for this museum.
Location: Hollywood Subdivision Road Brgy. Tolentino East, Subd, Tagaytay, Cavite
An impressive holder of various unique contemporary art, such as glass sculptures. It is named after Ramon Orlina, a famous glass sculptor who made the sculptures in the museum. Other attractions of this museum include a theatre and a roof deck view to see the Taal lake. The galleries of the museum are as follows:
1. Reflections And Naesa (Level 1)
2. Ningning (Level 2)
3. Anna (Level 3)
4. Michael (Roof Deck)
5. Sculpture Garden (Lower Level)
6. Art Cars (Lower Level)
UGU BIGYAN POTTER’S GARDEN
Location: National Highway, Barangay Lusacan, Tiaong, 4325
The museum displays various ceramics that are created by Filipino potters. There are also potters that take orders and reservations for available ceramics. There is even an option to stay overnight in the garden as rooms are available. The location is most known for its restaurant and its delectable dishes. Overall, it is a beautiful venue for those interested in ceramics, pottery, and even food.
UPSIDE DOWN MUSEUM
Location: Boom Na Boom Grounds CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd, Pasay, 1300 Metro Manila
The name of the museum states everything you need to know. It features large paintings that are designed to appear upside down from a regular angle. Having this setup means you have many opportunities for taking seemingly fake photos. But, much like the “Art In Island” museum, the main appeal of this museum is its unique photoshoot spots. See how many times you can defy gravity and logic in this museum.
ILOILO MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ARTS
Location: Casa de Emperador Festive Walk Parade, Mandurriao, Iloilo City, Iloilo
The most famous museum is located in Iloilo. It is a large three-story museum with five rooms where the exhibits are located. These exhibits are as follows:
1. Hulot Exhibit (First Level) – contains pieces of art made by both local and international artists.
2. The Gallery (Second Level) – features local Ilonggo (local in Iloilo) art scenes.
3. Adoracion Valencia Gallery (Third Level) – a tribute to the primary donor of the museum, Edwin Valencia. It is named after his mother, who was said to have a love for the arts.
4. The Box – a theatre that accommodates visual art, performance art, workshops, and theatrical shows.
Location: 32 V. Cruz, San Juan, 1500 Metro Manila
A non-profit organization formed a museum. The entrance fee in this location is completely free. The name originates from the well-known Spanish painter named Juvenal Sanso. He created most of the artwork in the museum, and he was referred to as someone who is Filipino by heart.
MUSEO NG SINING, GSIS
Location: Metro Manila, Financial Center, GSIS Building, Roxas Blvd, Pasay, Metro Manila
Museo Ng Sining is a museum that was formed by the Government Service Insurance System of the Philippines. It was established way back in 1996 and is currently handled by the National Museum. The collection has approximately 100 art pieces belonging to various local artists. The museum also kept artworks of the winners of their annual art contest. The location also includes antiques and decorative items. The staff are still active to this day as various tours and seminars are being held in this location. The main goal of the museum is to preserve the appreciation of both the artworks and the GSIS organization.
CEBU HAPPY WORLD MUSEUM
Location: Lot 2-A-3, Brgy. Gabi, Cordova, 6007
Like some of the mentioned museums above, this museum features optical illusions. It is a great place for picture lovers because there are many photoshoot opportunities once again for you and your family and friends. There are a lot of opportunities because there are 85 artworks available here. You can explore different categories of background exhibits. These categories of exhibits include:
1. World Famous Art Section – includes locations and paintings from different landmarks of the world.
2. Religious Beliefs Sections – includes biblical events that are mostly referenced from Christianity.
3. Ocean Section – features various sceneries from underwater accompanied by marine life.
4. Jurassic Animal Section – features prehistoric animals such as mammoths and dinosaurs.
5. Philippine Pride Section – features various Filipino historical events and references to national symbols.
6. The Ending Section – includes mostly optical illusion artwork that sometimes features abstract paintings.
VINYL ON VINYL ART GALLERY
Location: 2241 Pasillo 18 La Fuerza Compound Chino Roces Ave, Makati, Metro Manila
Features artworks from young artists that can please the eyes of the visitors. The museum also features music and crafted toys made by young artists. As you would have guessed by now, the museum’s focus is featuring modern artists, which it does not shy away from, as the venue features various references to contemporary pop culture. It can be described as a window to the not-so-far past as it was founded recently in 2010.
PAULINA CONSTANCIA MUSEUM OF NAIVE ART
Location: Justice German Lee Jr. Nature Sanctuary, Bacsije Rd, Carcar City, Cebu
A museum that features are from freelance artists who did not undergo formal art education. However, the artwork here is awe-inspiring to the point that it could compare to professional artists. The artwork mostly features how humans connect with nature but with the artists’ own interpretation. It is truly a fascinating art display that can inspire aspiring self-taught artists.
Location: VWH9+QXH, Taal, Batangas
A museum that takes you to an older time because of the way it is styled and decorated. The Galleria Taal is the first museum in the Philippines to feature antique cameras and photography. It features old cameras that used films, rare antique photographs, and old models of modern cameras. It was established in 2010 by Emmanuel Inumerable, who was the grandson of the previous owner of the building. Since then, the house turned museum kept its classical and vintage style to create an atmosphere from the past. Within its compound, other historical buildings are also available to visit. They are all compiled in a location known as “Heritage Town” in Taal. This museum is incredibly fascinating to those who have a great interest in photography or are photographers themselves.
Location: 2316 Chino Roces Ave Extension, Karrivin Plaza Chino Roces Ave Ext, Makati, 1630 Metro Manila
The 1335 Mabini is a museum that features contemporary and modern paintings, photography, and other mixed media. They feature different artworks of artists in a designated duration, usually a few months. After that duration, they feature other artwork from various artists. They mostly feature paintings that reference both modern and contemporary culture. For example, you would see ancient Filipino folk and Yoda from Star Wars in the same place. It is a fascinating museum that has the contrast and beauty of having the past and present in the same museum. If you are an artist inspired by modern and contemporary art, be sure to visit this place.
Location: Pasay City
If you want to rest from your educational season, you can try going to the Dessert Museum in Pasay City. As its name suggests, it is a museum with life-size desserts structures and a free taste for the actual dessert. There are many stages where you can have your photoshoot at a given time so that everybody can enjoy it without too many distractions. You will pass through a banana stage, marshmallow station, doughnut place, macaron tier, and some illusion rooms. The Dessert Museum is for any age, especially if you like a sweet adventure. You can take your own photos, or you can hire an official photographer for a picture-perfect shot.
When you go inside the Dessert Museum, the staff will give you a card of stages you need to complete before you exit the museum. It is a one-way museum, so make sure to use your time wisely and get many pictures as you can. The museum entrance pass ranges from Php600 to Php800, depending on if you transact online or at the actual location. The tour can be completed up to 2 hours with complimentary desserts, like cake pops, mango ice cream, cotton candy, and many more.
THE MIND MUSEUM
Location: Taguig, Philippines
The Mind Museum is a project of the Bonifacio Art Foundation that is perfect for kids and adults who want to learn about life’s development. It is full of science categories that you can enjoy and learn at the same time. There are also rooms about the whole universe where you can experience being an astronaut in space. You can play with the stars, planets, and the galaxy. The Mind Museum also has a station of prehistorical creatures, like different types of dinosaurs and artefacts. Aside from prehistoric things, they also have futuristic models like robots and some sort of technology.
The Mind Museum has more than 250 immersive exhibits where you can learn and interact. In addition, it has theatres that show different life processes and some experiments that you can try. For plant lovers, the Mind Museum offers a botanical experience with varying species of plants.
The museum has many interactive play stations like the Dino Play, Space Adventure, Science Circus, Teenage Brain, Forever Lab, and the Glass of the Sea.
THE NATIONAL PLANETARIUM AT RIZAL
Location: Rizal Park, Manila
The National Planetarium is located at the Rizal Park and operated by the Philippines’ National Museum. As its name suggests, it is a space adventure. You will learn about different stars, planets, galaxies, and even meteor showers and asteroids. Moreover, it is a mind-blowing museum because it is full of space murals and 3D dioramas. To make the museum realistic, the National Planetarium has a dark concept and have a cold temperature to make you feel like you are in outer space.
The entrance fee is very affordable, starting from Php30! With this so much cheap ticket, you can enjoy differently astronomical paintings, constellations, planetarium shows, and interactive life-size planets.
ANG MUSEO PAMBATA
Location: Roxas Boulevard, South Drive Manila
Museo Pambata is a museum for kids and kids-at-heart. It has advocacy for children who wish to learn as early as they can. The Museo Pambata has eight rooms where kids can enjoy their learnings. They have room for the environment so that children will be aware of taking care of the atmosphere at their age. They also have a time travel to the past, and they can wear antique clothes while learning the history. Another room is for the future. This room urges the children to think about their future on what they want to be. The space for the future helps the children plan their life responsibly. The Museo also has room about the Earth, so that children will know how the planet works.
Aside from these, there is also a specific room about the human body. This room will teach the children about the organ and processes inside our body. The Museo Pambata also teaches the children how to work; they have a room like a marketplace—letting them experience buying and selling goods will teach the children how to count for money and how buying happens. Lastly, Museo Pambata has a particular room for the rights of every child. This room shows how special children are, and they need love and attention.
THE BOOK MUSEUM AND ARTEFACTS
Location: Marikina City
Are you a bookworm? Do you love to read books while sipping your cup of coffee? Then, the Book Museum is an excellent place for you! This museum is not only a bunch of books, but it also offers a pleasant ambience for a coffee or tea. The Book Museum has various historical books of different famous people. It also has books of myths and folklores. It offers a quiet environment, especially if you do not want some disturbances and distractions while reading your book. They also have the latest books and magazines for updated issues. And, they also have diaries of different people where you can enjoy imagining their stories every day.
The Book Museum is not only for entertainment, but it is also a library where you can borrow books for your homework. You can also try their miniature books, so get ready to magnify your eyes and read the slightest word in the book. The Book Museum also offers books from different religions, beliefs, and countries so that everybody can enjoy the location.
Aside from books, it is also a museum of various artefacts where you can learn the birth of the history of each thing in the world. The Book Museums also shows different historical structures like churches, some mythologies, and historical vehicles from artefacts.
As always, follow the rules that each museum enforces. These general rules include:
1. No food and drinks inside the display
2. Keep a safe distance away from the displayed artwork or antique
3. No photography especially in the areas where the sign is located
4. No running or pushing inside of the museum
5. No touching as it may ruin the artwork or displayed item
These art museums in the Philippines are truly fascinating and are worth visiting. They are a symbol that Filipinos have a creative side that they nurtured in the past. Life imitates art, and like art, life will continue to innovate over time.
The National Museum of the Philippines protects various museums because these are the only ways to show and preserve our history. So, it is also our duty to promote our history and show our love to our country, because the museums in the country are a great privilege because it teaches us how are we today.