The National Museum of Anthropology

National Museum of Anthropology

Anthropology pertains to the study of human evolution over the years. This includes looking into their society, culture and history. Through this study, you will definitely see the significant changes of people. You’ll be amazed by the way people lived in the past.

Finally, I’d be able to post as I promised a few weeks ago. I am giving you a quick tour of the National Museum’s Anthropology branch. Just a heads up, we were not able to finish the whole museum because we spent most of our time in the National Museum of Fine Arts.


The facade of the building.

This museum was used to be called as the Museum of the Filipino People. The building is located adjacent to the National Museum of Fine Arts. It used to be the office of the Department of Finance.

National Museum Directory


The museum has 5 levels. The 5th floor is restricted. We were only able to enter the 2nd, 3rd and 4th level. The museum already closed when we were on the 2nd floor (We started from top to bottom), so we didn’t get to finish the whole floor and the 1st floor.

Level 2

Garing: The Philippines at the Crossroads of Ivory Trade

Garing is the Filipino word for Ivory. The exhibit is composed of natural and artificial ivories. I feel sad for the elephants that were hunted for their tusks.

Ivory statuesIvory

The San Diego Exhibit

Before it was renamed as the warship San Diego, it was called San Antonio, a ship used for tradeManila, at that time, was being colonized by the Spaniards. In the year 1600, Manila was threatened by Dutch invasion. They had to convert the ship to be adept at war. Since it was hastily made into a warship, it didn’t survive after Mauritius (Dutch ship), fired its cannon which resulted in a hole. It then caused the ship to sink without even being able to fire a single cannon. The ship sank on December 14, 1600.

The shipwreck was discovered in 1992. A lot of artifacts were recovered. It included, porcelains, weapons, cannons, etc. Personally, I find this exhibition the coolest.

San Diego


It looks like an alien spacecraft.


Manila 1600



Nautical Astrolabe





Level 3

Kaban ng Lahi (Archaeological Treasures)

This exhibit is giving off an eerie vibe. It is because the room is filled with funerary vessels/burial jars. Things that are being attributed to the dead.


Faith, Tradition and Place: Bangsamoro Art

Bangsamoro is a term used to describe the Muslim tribes in the Philippines. The goal of this exhibit is to enhance the cultural awareness of the traditions of the Muslim people.

Islam artifactMuslim artifactsmusic instrumentAnimals

Level 4

Baybayin: Ancient Scripts of the Philippines

Mistakenly referred as Alibata, Baybayin is an ancient system of writing in the Philippines. This was derived from the Brahmic scripts of India and it dates back from the 13th century.


Baybayin characters

A curtain showing how the characters are pronounced.

Baybayin documentsbookIvory sealMedallionRock

wang od

Famous traditional tattoo artist Whang-Od Oggay incorporating Baybayin in her work.

Hibla ng Lahing Filipino (Philippine Textiles)

This exhibit highlights the exceptional artistry of the ethnic groups of the Philippines when it comes to weaving textiles. This also aims to preserve the ancient Philippine tradition of weaving.

Weaving machineweave machine


Fibers used in weaving.

Beautiful Weavetextiles


Rice and Climate Change

Rice is the national staple food of the Philippines. Even Filipinos who migrated in other countries would still look for rice. This room houses stuff pertaining to rice: artworks, farming tools, fauna, containers, etc.



To plow the fields, farmers use the help of Carabaos (Water Buffalos).

AnthropologyNational Museumold toolsMuseum for the Filipino PeopleStorageNational Museum Rice toolsRice storage

Mini painting

Smallest painting with my index finger for size reference. 🙂


Diversity of birds in rice fields. They feed on rice.


Snails usually found in rice paddies.


Different rice grains in panicles.

National Museum Rice

22nd piece of the Berlin Wall

This was not included in the directory, maybe because it is already prepared to be transported to a different place. The room is called Washington and Anna SyCip Marble Hall. This is my favorite place in the building. It’s surrounded with marbles, the ceiling has a beautiful design, and it houses a piece of the Berlin Wall.


Beautiful ceiling.


Look at the marbles around.

The Berlin Wall is very historical. It divides Germany into west and east due to ideological differences. It has 40 sections, and the 22nd was given to the Philippines by Germany. This is to celebrate 25 years of German unity, and also the 61st anniversary of Germany diplomatic relations in the Philippines. Philippines is the first country in Southeast Asia to receive a piece of the wall.

berlin wall

The Berlin Wall fragment 22, already wrapped for transport.

The National Museum Of Anthropology
Address: 1000 Padre Burgos Ave, Ermita, Manila, Metro Manila
Contact info:
(+632) 527-12-32
Operating Hours:
Monday to Friday: 10am to 5pm
Admission: Free

Well, that’s it for me. I hope you enjoyed your virtual tour. Again, apologies for not being able to finish it all. How about you? Have you been to an anthropology museum before? How was it? Please let me know by commenting below.


53 thoughts on “The National Museum of Anthropology

  1. That looks like such an amazing place to visit. I’ve really enjoyed looking through your photos. We were in Berlin just before the wall came down, so looking at that photograph brings back lots of memories for me 🙂


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