Free Admission to the National Museum: Part 2 - Museum of Anthropology

05 May 2016

This post is the 2nd part in the "Free Admission to the National Museum" adventure that the kids and I had.  The first part can be seen here.  The focus of this post is the Museum of Anthropology, also known as the Museum of the Filipino People.  It is located at the old Department of Finance Building in Rizal Park and may be considered as an extension of the National Museum.  It contains anthropological and archaeological artifacts about our Filipino heritage.

The Museum of Anthropology basically follows the same guidelines as that of the National Museum.  You can only bring your camera, wallet and phone with you while going around the exhibits.  No video recording and no flash too.  Since this museum is smaller compared to the National Museum, there is a waiting line at the entrance so that the administration can control the flow of people and keep everyone comfortable and the exhibits safe.  We didn't wait too long, about 10 minutes tops.As soon as you enter, you will need to register and check your bags in.  You may also request for a map but I doubt you'll get lost since the layout of the building is pretty simple.

Line to the entrance
The Museum of Anthropology has 4 levels (according to their map).  The Ground level is where the Offices and the National Museum Library are located.  The 2nd floor is home to the San Diego Exhibit.  The 3rd Floor has the Bangsamoro and Lumad Exhibits.  The 4th Level has exhibits on "The Art of Philippine Textile", "Baybayin", "Rice, Biodiverity and Climate Change" and "Filipinas" a photography exhibit by Isa Lorenzo.

On a side note, this building brings up nostalgic memories for me because this is where I used to go to get my paycheck from the Senate.  I used to walk along these halls and it's amazing how different everything is now.  These were the same steps and I told the kids to take note of the depression on the right side of the marble steps.  They've eroded over the years giving them that noticeable depression :)

The 2nd FLOOR

When you reach the 2nd Level via staircase, you need to turn left to get to the San Diego Exhibit.  There are two galleries dedicated to its History and Treasures.

The San Diego was a trading ship originally called San Antonio that was converted into a warship under the command of Don Antonio de Morga, then Vice Governor General of the Philippines.  The galleon met its demise when it battled the Dutch ship Mauritius.  The San Diego's undersea wreckage off the coast of Nasugbu, Batangas was discovered by archaeologist Franck Goddio.

Dana and Dylan found themselves captivated by the replica of the ship.  This 1/50 scale model was built by Robert Carpentier in 1995 under the scientific director Mr. Michel L'Hour and Mr. Michel Daeffer.  They were even astounded by the size of the anchor!

If the anchor was captivating, these cannons were fantastic! I love how the pictures came out :) The cannonballs were to the far right next to the last cannon.

These were Spanish helms and the kids were pretending to "wear" them :)  

These were Spanish, Siamese and Martaban jars that were used for storing water, wine, preserved meats and fruits and other food.

These were porcelain dishes and ewers that were so well-preserved.  The intricate drawings and patterns on them are breathtaking!  There was even a table setting display just to give you a good look at how it was then.  The chalice and rosary may be treasure but they also have been there for practical reasons.

When we exited from this exhibit, we headed up a stairwell into the 3rd Level. I'm not sure but I think we got lost(!) and we ended up here where they were restoring a piece of the Berlin Wall!!

 We were all taken by the grandiose designs around the Hall.  We rested a few moments too :)

The 3rd Floor

After, we went up a staircase looking for the rest of the galleries until we reached this marker near the elevators.  The hallway had a few of these cannons on display.

Then, we just kept on walking and reached the exhibit on the Bangsamoro entitled "Faith, Tradition and Place".  It is all about the colorful and rich Muslim culture portrayed in art.

This is like their version of the bell that announces their time to pray

These are clothing, textile, jewelry and armor
They also have the Qu-ran (Koran) on display.  It was my first time to see it!  It is actually the oldest Koran in the Philippines.

The kids were amazed at the collection of weapons

These are wooden artworks.  Believe it or not, the one in the upper left is a coconut grater! The one below it is the decoration that is attached to the roof of a house.  The middle one is a sarimanok.  The last one, I don't remember because I got creeped out by it hehe

When we got to the section with musical instruments, the kids wanted to try playing them :)

The Bangsamoro exhibit also shares the Gallery with the Lumad Exhibition.  The Lumad are an indigenous non-Muslim and non-Christian people living in Mindanao and the exhibit enables us to learn about them, their culture, traditions and art.

The last exhibit on this floor is the "Kaban ng Lahi".  It's a small exhibit containing archaeological discoveries, particularly earthenware burial jars recovered in Ayub Cave in Maitum, Saranggani.  There are other burial vessels on display but it's hard to take pictures without using the flash of the camera.  It's pretty dark here.

The 4th Floor

From the "Kaban ng Lahi" exhibit, we went up the staircase in front of it to reach the 4th level.  The "Baybayin" exhibit is the first exhibit we saw on the floor.  It promotes awareness of the writing systems of early Filipinos.  

I was actually surprised to see the Doctrina Christiana (the first book printed in the Philippines) on display but it was probably a copy because it was just there and I expect people were turning the pages.  There was also a table where you can learn to write using the ancient text :)

The Monreal stones are a highlight in the exhibit.  These are limestone tablets that contained ancient script, a variation of the Baybayin discovered in an elementary school in Monreal, Masbate.  Apparently, these stones were used as a "doormat" by the students going into the school! Now, they're a highly valuable addition to the exhibit.

Next door was the "Hibla ng Lahing Filipino" exhibit which highlights the indigenous textiles, equipment and garments of Filipinos.  A wall displayed traditional costumes worn by actual people who weave and still wear their traditional indigenous frock.

Backstrap Loom
Foot Loom
The next exhibit was called "Rice, Biodiversity and Climate Change".  The kids weren't that interested in it, sad to say.  There were different types of rice or "palay" from different provinces.  Samples of the plants where they came from where also  on display.  There was also a section where insects (maybe they were pests) can be seen through magnifying glasses built into the walls.  Dylan didn't want to look :)

The last exhibit was called "Filipinas" and they were a collection of photographs by Isa Lorenzo which featured powerful and influential women of the country. We didn't take pictures here.

We went down to the lobby using this elevator and it was through this that we saw the Ifugao House (on the ground) but we weren't able to check it out.

By this time, our energy has waned but we were full of learning!  I wish entrance to museums was always free! haha

Next stop Fort Santiago!!