The awe-inspiring Tree of Life at the courtyard of the museum
The awe-inspiring Tree of Life at the courtyard of the museum

We need more museums than malls. I sure am glad we have another National Museum opening its doors real soon. On October 29, 2017, National Museum of the Philippines celebrated its 116th year anniversary. As a treat, they opened the National Museum of Natural History  for a day. It was a great way to preview what the museum would offer once it officially opens sometime early 2018. With this development, Manila adds another knowledge enriching landmark to compliment the Fine Arts, Anthropology and Filipino People Museum in Manila.

The Naturalist gallery
The Naturalist gallery

National Museum of Natural History

It’s fitting that we have a dedicated museum for our country’s Natural History. The Philippines is one of the 17 mega-diversity in the world with rich biodiversity in terms of species. Ten times more than Galapagos Island. Our country is a naturalist playground. Here at the National Museum of Natural History, we got an insight into the world of naturalist. How they do their research and document their findings. The gallery also have interactive displays where visitors can do sketches, traces and examine some items as naturalist would do.


One of the highlight galleries is the replica of Lolong, the largest saltwater crocodile found in our shores. While the replica is impressive we saw that his real remains through the window of the taxidermy gallery still closed to the public.

The double-helix DNA Tree of life represents the flora and fauna of our country
The double-helix DNA Tree of life represents the flora and fauna of our country

Neoclassical Beauty

Aside from the galleries, the architecture and design of the museum is a wonder to see. The Architect Antonio Toledo neoclassical-designed building used to house the Agriculture and Commerce during the pre-war area. The Department of Tourism took office until 2014. The conversion as a National Museum of Natural History also added the centerpiece structure in the courtyard called the “Tree of Life”. This double-helix DNA tree design expands up the six story building towards the dome’s eye catching geometric patterns. Architectural firm Dominic Galicia Architects and interior designer Periquet Galicia conceptualized this courtyard masterpiece. It represents mankind’s never ending quest to study his environment sparked by curiosity.

Life-size replica of Lolong
Life-size replica of Lolong

The National Museum of Natural History isn’t open yet and the actual opening is still up in the air. I noticed the upper floor of the building are still in the works and displays for the other galleries are still coming in. But I’m excited for this added attraction within the Luneta grounds to showcase our country’s natural wonders.

For more updates, follow the National Museum of the Philippines at their Facebook page /nationalmuseumofthephilippines/.

Courtyard hallway
Courtyard hallway
Viewing hall
Viewing hall
Batanes landscape in focus
Batanes landscape in focus
Rafflesia replica
Rafflesia replica
Portrait of a modern naturalist
Portrait of a modern naturalist
One of the interactive displays
One of the interactive displays
The museum got some good lighting
The museum got some good lighting
Sketch and tracing section
Sketch and tracing section
Naturalist technical illustrations
Naturalist technical illustrations
Kids were enjoying the gallery displays
Kids were enjoying the gallery displays
Replica of our Philippine deer
Replica of our Philippine deer
Facade of the National Museum of Natural History
Facade of the National Museum of Natural History
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Ferdz

Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.


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