From its website: “The National Museum, a Trust of the Government, is an educational, scientific and cultural institution that acquires, documents, preserves, exhibits, and fosters scholarly study and public appreciation of works of art, specimens, and cultural and historical artifacts representative of our unique to the cultural heritage of the Filipino people and the natural history of the Philippines.”
If you are in Manila, here are six reasons why you need to visit the museum in your lifetime:
From the museum’s website: “The painting features a glimpse of Roman history centered on the bloody carnage brought by gladiatorial matches… the painting was made by Luna in 1884 as an entry to the prestigious Exposicion de Bellas Artes (Madrid Art Exposition, May 1884) and eventually won for him the First Gold Medal.”
The sheer size of it alone will leave you breathless.
Felix Resureccion Hidalgo’s El Asesinato del Gobernador Bustamante, another spectacular painting in the museum’s collection. This is huge!
Laguna Copper Plate, a legal document dating back to 900 AD. This is the one of the main reasons I wanted to go there.
Manunggul Jar, a secondary burial jar dating back to 890-710 B.C. On top of the jar cover or lid is a boat with two human figures representing two souls on a voyage to the afterlife.
The museum has a large collection of Jose Rizal’s work – including paintings, sculptures and sketches. This one is called “Mother’s Revenge,” “an allegorical representation of what was happening in the Philippines during that period. Shown is a mother dog trying to rescue her helpless pup from the bite of the crocodile. The mother dog represents “mother Philippines” and the patriots who are doing their best to save the defenseless countrymen – the pup – from the cruelty of the Spaniards as represented by the crocodile,” according to the museum’s website.
San Diego was a Spanish battleship that sunk when it clashed with the Dutch ship Mauritius on December 14, 1600 just off Manila Bay. Countless artifacts such as ceramics, coins, potteries, jewelries, armaments and other numerous objects were recovered and are included in the display.