National Museum of Natural History
It is a modern museum featuring our country’s rich natural heritage that focuses on biodiversity and the ecosystem. It is formerly occupied by the Department of Tourism until 2015. Aside from preserved specimens of the Philippines Flora and Fauna, It also houses some pieces of artwork of the country’s famous contemporary artists. It consists of 6 floors and 12 galleries.
We got to see this not so newly renovated National Museum of Natural History in Manila a few months ago. We visited the museum on a Saturday at about 10 AM. Students on an educational tour from various schools were also visiting the museum on that day causes the long line outside the building. It took us at least 30 minutes before we finally enter the building. Strict security is being imposed at the entrance of the building. Things not allowed inside will be deposited for security reasons.
At the Hyundai Philippines reception hall, where we lined up for registration, the first attraction that greeted us is the Marinduque Sperm Whale shark skeleton measuring 43.5 feet, which were suspended from the ceiling. The Sperm Whale is the largest toothed whale in the world. Now considered endangered, it is protected by local and international law.
I was amazed at the stylish interior upon entering the museum. Splendid ceiling, modern elevator, white painted wall, and a spacious ground was the sight that welcomed us. The museum’s design was from the team of architect Dominic Galicia and interior designer Tina Periquet.
A very impressive replica of Lolong, a male Saltwater Crocodile who became famous in 2011 after his capture in the Agusan del Sur town of Bunawan. Sharing the spotlights are more than seven hundred thousands-year-old rhinoceros and T- Rex’s bones.
Aside from the life-size displays from the courtyard, museum visitors can enjoy other galleries located above by using the modern elevator or by stairs.
Behind the glass is the taxidermized Philippine Eagle named Tinuy-An. This critically endangered species is known to be the heaviest and largest eagle in the world. This creature deserving a spot at the National Museum of Natural History reminding us of its importance in our ecosystem.
An expansive selection of petrified wood from all over the world, including fairly large-sized specimens from the Philippines, is on display. I can’t help but wonder how these wood turned into stone.
Level 2, Gallery XI, Focuses on climate change. Here you can learn various environmental issues that the country has been facing over the years.
At level 3, Gallery X, Marine Realm, museum visitors will experience the undersea world and its diverse life. The gallery exhibits an interactive submarine wherein footages of sea creatures living underwater can be enjoyed. A life-sized whale shark, stingray, yellowfin tuna, and other marine species were really captivating.
Gallery IX Mangroves, Beaches, Intertidal Zones. We walk through the gallery featuring a diorama of mangroves. An interesting fact about Manila and where its name came from was also featured.
Various species can be seen in coastal habitats like beaches, rocky shores, lagoons, swamps, and seagrass. An interesting feature at this gallery is the Turtle Islands Heritage Protected Area (TIHPA). The
gallery shows how turtles hatched from their eggs, kept in a nest called a clutch.
Galleries on level 4 include ultramafic and limestones karst forests. Surprisingly, Entering the limestone cave is almost real.
The Museum of Natural History opens from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10 am to 5 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Free. No entrance fee is being collected yet.
Tips before visiting the museum:
- The Museum of Natural History has a longer line compared with other museums located along Rizal Park. Better arrive early before the museum opens.
- Pack light. Bags bigger the size of a short bond paper, monopods, selfie sticks, and umbrellas are not allowed inside. Said items must be checked-in for security purposes.
- Taking photos is allowed, but you must refrain from using a camera flash.
- Each gallery is informative, some are interactive, and endlessly are fascinating. Make sure to spend time with each gallery to maximize your stay.
- Make sure to eat something before entering. Food and beverages are not allowed inside.
- There are comfort rooms on every floor.
- If you plan to bring a car, finding a parking slot is a challenge. There are parking spaces beside the National Museum of Anthropology.
Visiting the National Museum of Natural History is one of the most informative and fun museum tour we had so far. In my opinion, the museum fits to be called a world-class museum. Perfect for family and group tour looking for an engaging and educational way of spending a weekend.
Museum of Natural History location
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