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. I have never visited an anthropology museum before unfortunately. I can see that the anthropology museum from Manila is a great way to learn about the history of the nation and how they used to live in the past. The ship exhibition is really interesting, especially that it hosts the original artifacts found on the bottom of the sea.


  2. I can’t remind if i ever visited this place during our high school or really never at all. So sad for me, if i never visited this place. I love history and knowing all about our own history. I should visit this one of this days. 🙂 thanks for reminding.


  3. Honestly, I thought going to museums is a bore. All you have to do is look at years old bones and clothes and how our ancestors live before. But when I accompany my boys on their educational field trips, I find myself enjoying as well. Aside from the new knowledge, it is fun to look at your kids learning something new. And when you’re at the bus already, they keep on telling you what they have learned.


  4. That is a very unique subject for a museum. They do have good stuff on display.And the best part is they have allowed photography. It was a learning experience for me looking at these pictures.


  5. Wow, ambling around this museum will surely bring us to the rich history of the past. I haven’t heard about this museum yet, but I’ve visited some of the museums in the Philippines. I’ll surely bear this in mind and I will tour around as well if I get the chance. What I love about reading a museum blog post like this is the interesting facts and the history of the past. Thank you so much for sharing! It must be really fulfilling to be able to know more about our culture by delving into the rich History of our country.


  6. Actually, my mom and I are very museum people. We visited this museum too, a while back. Although we weren’t able to really stay since she wanted to see the National Museum of Fine Arts. When we went there, it was still called Museum of the Filipino People. My favorite part is the Baybayin section. If it weren’t for Baybayin, we wouldn’t be able to write or have the Filipino alphabet. 🙂


  7. The last time I visited the National Museum (of the Philippines) was wayback 1996. This time, I am sure a lot of artifacts and collections are already added. I heard that the museum offers free entrance. I must grab that opportunity. I should not miss this chance to discover more about my country.


  8. Wow, this is a very comprehensive post about the Museum of Anthropology! I’m no history buff, but even so, I don’t think I’d get bored there. There’s just so much to see, especially the small details and intricate designs. Short of pressing my nose up to the glass displays, I learned almost as much as if I’d been there myself. 🙂


  9. Wow this is awesome, I love museum they are so full of culture and history is awesome. I have yet to visit an anthropology museum and will have to check one out soon.


  10. wow. The best part of this virtual tour you gave us for me is the exhibit dedicated to alibata or baybayin. 😀 I mean, I wish we had long ago preserved this writing and used it more instead of focusing on the roman characters. Many pinoys say that Japanese or Korean way of writing is so cool, not knowing that we also have our own. 🙂 I think it’s ok that you wern’t able to show us the other parts tho cause at least we have something to look forward to 😀


  11. Thank you for taking me to a virtual tour! I liked how you describe the place as well as the fun photos you’ve snapped! I’ve never been to that museum but id love to. I think it is important to learn how ancient civilizations are and how it affected our present lives. Ill try to go there especially now it is free.


  12. Thank you for this very detailed tour of the National Museum of Anthropology. I do not think I have been here before and it sure worth a visit. I am particularly interested in the baybayin section. I sure would love to know more about it and hopefully learn to write in it.


  13. I’ve been to the other building of Philippine’s National Museum. I assume it’s the Fine Arts building as you’ve mentioned in this article. Yet, I’ve never been to this side yet – Anthropology. Just by looking at your post’s images encourages me to pay a visit sometime soon. I love how you discuss some photos with terminologies that I just learned today. Very informative. Thanks for sharing!


  14. I’ve been planning to take the kids on a trip to the museum, since the last time I was there was almost ten years ago! I’ve heard lots has changed. I am excited now, thanks to your detailed post and recommendations!


  15. This is interesting. I like going to museums. I like bringing my kids with me, too. I haven’t been to this museum when I was a student. I will include this on our list of possible field trips in our homeschool. 🙂 I’m also happy that there is no entrance fee.


  16. Aww amazing! Im a big fan of museums hehe. Spent a whole day once at the Ayala museum hehe. I would love to visit this one, love all the photos you took!


  17. I didn’t know there’s such a thing like museum od anthropology in manila. It does sounds very interesting. I have this thing for museum and historical artifacts and this place seems to be a perfect destination for a weekend. My son lives visiting museums too and learning a lot from it..


  18. You have actually brought the entire museum to this post. A word of advice; please use a theme that lets you read the text, yours is very light, ha ha ha .
    Which part of the Philippines do the Muslims live in? I thought that there was some fighting between the Muslims and others, has it stopped? Do they use your Filippini language or Arabic?


  19. I love museums and anthropology fascinates me so this would be absolute heaven for me! With five levels though I may as well plan a whole week long trip just for the museum – I don’t think I’ve ever visited a museum bigger than 3 storeys!


  20. This museum looks so nice and updated. I like how bright and clean the displays are. I get overwhelmed when museums cram so much in exhibits that you don’t know where to look.


  21. I’m a bit of a museum geek and often get lost for hours in them. Can totally imagine myself visiting the lovely National Museum of Anthropology one day…..


  22. Oh, wow! The museum looks great! I didn’t even know that it’s already open. I’m so out-of-touch from the world since I don’t watch TV and read news. I had a great time reading your post because of all the information that you shared. It’s like having a brief history lesson. It’s great to know that Ivory is “Garing” in our language. 🙂 Your pictures make me want to go visit the museum soon!


  23. I’m really planning to visit this place next month and thanks for giving me a heads up of the things to expect from this museum… I was only able to explore the national musuem of the philippines without knowing that the Museum of Anthropology and the the Planaterium can be found nearby 😦
    thanks for the sharing this with us!


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