Clean white interiors, neoclassical architecture, ample natural light, a rich and colorful heritage — these best describe our experience of the newly opened National Museum of Natural History.
My sister in law, Martine, and I took our kids together on a little field trip a couple of weeks back with the hopes of discovering a little bit more about the history of the beautiful country we live in.
We went on a weekday and arrived early, just a few minutes before opening, so the queue wasn’t bad at all.
The visit did not disappoint. Kids were completely awed by the gigantic “Tree of Life” structure which symbolises the unity of all life under God and nature. They were also thrilled to see and learn more about the 20 foot long replica and skeletal display of Lolong, the crocodile. Of course, I was already expecting that. These are the two main attractions of the beautiful museum. But we were also delighted to discover many other interesting exhibits and displays featured inside.
We explored the marine life exhibit where they showcased a wide array of underwater species, seashells and corals. There was even an interactive submarine replica where you can watch videos of life under the sea through the windows. The children really enjoyed that, pointing out familiar animals and asking about the ones that are new to them.
Another interactive exhibit is a recreated Nilad mangrove forest where you can walk through and discover what animals could be found in that environment like bats, fiddler crabs and Macaque monkeys.
In one of the hallways, behind glass, we marvelled at the taxidermied monkey-eating eagles, or Philippine Eagles, looking very high and mighty.
Aside from all the exhibits and displays, I also really appreciated the beautiful arched windows, the geometric flooring and the art-filled hallways which made walking from room to room pleasant and an experience in itself.
Though short, it turned out to be a pretty amazing museum trip. Though there are sections still off limits to public, I think it’s worth a visit and I wouldn’t mind going back with the girls to see everything again.
The National Museum of Natural History is located right by Teodoro F. Valencia Circle in Ermita, Manila. It is open Tuesdays to Sundays, 10am to 5pm. Admission is free.