Metro Manila · Museums & Art
Spend some of your free time on learning about the country's cultural roots and widen your horizon while in the Megacity! Metro Manila hosts a number of museums featuring Philippine culture & art, mostly private collections. There is little international art to be stunned by, but the local art will also take your breath away. There are also several interactive science and art museums that are great for a family day on weekends. Apart from that, you will find some interesting smaller museums about specific topics, from shoes and money to the Armed Forces and Chinese life in the Philippines.
The museum of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) provides you with an overview of the Philippine army and its different parts - and how it all fits together. You will be able to see arms and weapons and get an idea of the history of the AFP. Before and after visiting the museam, you will have to drive through the Camp Aguinaldo (AFP headquarters) which migh also present to you a unique experience - or have you been to a military headquarters before?
While there are many museums that display old art work from Philippine masters, the Megacity also has a lot to offer when it comes to art galleries that showcase both old and contemporary art. Contemporary artists well-known in Manila’s art scene display their works in many of the metro’s popular art galleries. The three galleries mentioned in this article are highly recommended places that every art lover should visit.
Charge your cameras, take off your shoes and immerse in the colorful world of Art in Island. This newly opened art museum is family-friendly and interactive, as visitors become part of astonishing 3D-paintings.
Owned by the Ayala Foundation, the Ayala Museum is a six-storey edifice established in 1967. The Ayala Museum features different exhibitions and workshops on culture and the arts in during the whole year - which might bring you to buying a membership card! The definite-have-to-be-seen is the Crossroads of Civilizations, a breath-taking and stunning exhibition.
Chinese culture has influenced Philippine life long before Spanish colonial rule. The Bahay Tsinoy, Tagalog for "House of the Chinese Filipinos", is dedicated to showcase the crucial role they play in the country's history and present.
The museum Casa Manila gives a detailed impression of upper-class life and style back in Spanish colonial times. However, the house is not an authentic relic, but a replica built in the 1980s.
Built in the year 1938, the beaux-arts building called Calvo now houses what is deemed as one of the most underrated museums in Metro Manila.
The Lopez Museum covers more than 600 years of Philippine Arts & Letters, featuring famous Philippine artists, historic maps, colonial-time drawings and pictures, and a library with over 20,000 titles.
The Marikina Shoe Museum looks like any other building from the outside - but from the inside it will blow your mind (if you love shoes). Shoes, shoes and more shoes worn by some of the most unique figures in the Philippine society including those that belonged to one of the international most famous shoe lovers on Earth: Imelda Marcos. Have a look - maybe not at the price tags though!
The Metropolitan Museum of Manila (Met) showcases pre-colonial, modern and contemporary Philippine art.
"Money makes the world go round". Philippine money, like other currencies, started out as gold, but at the Money Museum in Manila, there is more to it than that. The museum in the Philippine Central Bank is dedicated to the evolution of the country’s currency, the Philippine peso.
Museo Pambata, the Children’s Museum on Roxas Boulevard believes in making learning fun. Known for its hands-on exhibits, this museum has a lot of things to offer to children ages 10 and below.
Hankering for a good book? Go straight to the National Library because entrance is now free! And they have free Wi-Fi too!
Want to learn more about Philippine art, culture, and history? The National Museum offers all of it and you don't have to pay a single centavo to get in! The National Museum consist of the National Museum of the Filipino People, the National Art Gallery, and the National Planetarium. All three buildings are located within walking distance in Manila. The National Museum also operates regional museums all over the Philippines.
Located in the hills of Antipolo above the Megacity, Pinto Art Museum is probably the most beautiful venue for art in Greater Manila. Apart from galleries with hundreds of exciting artworks, it has several restos and cafés and a large, lush park area full of sculptures and places to relax.
The Presidential Museum and Library in Manila is one of the oldest structures in the country. It displays a number of art pieces connected to the country’s former executives and their first ladies.
San Agustin Museum in the walled city of Manila sits right beside San Agustin Church --a popular venue for church weddings in the country. Exploring the museum for a small fee can be a delightful way to look back in time and learn more about Philippine heritage, history, and art.
You find museums boring? Think again! At the Mind Museum in Fort Bonifacio, children and adults alike can experience the fascinating world of science with all their senses.
The UST Museum is like a gateway to an older world. Established in the year 1682, the university museum is the oldest existing museum in the country. It started as an observation room for the sciences, specifically for pharmaceutical science and medicine, and later became a repository for all kinds of artistic and scientific objects.
The Jorge B. Vargas Museum houses a fine collection of Philippine art from the 19th and 20th century and regularly features temporary exhibits of contemporary Philippine artists. It is located at the main campus of the University of the Philippines in Quezon City.
Alfonso T. Yuchengco is a Chinese-Philippine industrialist and former ambassador. The Yuchengco Museum in the RCBC Plaza combines an exhibition about Yuchengco's life and Chinese heritage with his private collection, complemented by temporary art and design exhibitions. Featured artists include some of the country's finest painters, such as Juan Luna, Fernando Amorsolo and Botong Francisco.