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Arts Culture 7 Museums To Visit In The Philippines

7 Museums To Visit In The Philippines

7 Museums To Visit In The Philippines
By Syrah Vivien Inocencio
October 20, 2019
A Tatler itinerary for non-stop knowledge seekers

Book Museum (Marikina City)


A heaven on earth for bookworms can be found right at the heart of Marikina City! The Book Museum cum Ethnology Center features a wide collection of books and other printed materials from different parts of the world as well as well-preserved and priceless artefacts from the Northern and Southern part of the Philippines. It records the adventures of Atty. Dominador Buhain, president of Rex Group of Companies, in more than 200 countries.

What to see: The Book Museum houses one of the world’s tiniest books —it’s the size of a thumbnail (3.3x3.3mm) — that you have to grab a special magnifying glass to read its contents! Meanwhile, the Ethnology Center showcases weapons, clothes, and other cultural items mostly from the Cordillera region and the islands of Mindanao. You can also visit the James Dean Diner, a 50s-themed café diner.

127 Dao Street, Marikina Heights, Marikina City

D’Bone Collector Museum (Davao City)

Photo: Courtesy of D'Bone Collector Museum via Facebook
Photo: Courtesy of D'Bone Collector Museum via Facebook
Photo: Courtesy of D'Bone Collector Museum via Facebook

D’Bone Collector Museum keeps over 700 specimens and is considered one of the largest collections of bones, skulls, and skeletons in the Philippines. From sea creatures found at the depths of the oceans to the world’s tallest bird species, the museum features animals from all over the world. Aside from his fascination of bones, Darrell Blatchley founded the museum in 2012 with the hope of educating people to take care of the environment through displaying some of the marine animals which died as a result of ingesting plastic.

What to see: The three-storey museum is known for having the largest collection of assembled skeletons of whales and dolphins in the country. Among the 29 of these displays is the 41-foot sperm whale, which is definitely a must-see!

Family Circus Compound, Barangay 76-A Bucana Blvd (San Pedro Ext), Davao City

Pinto Art Museum (Antipolo City)

Photo: Courtesy of
Photo: Courtesy of
Photo: Courtesy of

Pinto Art Museum is situated in the high grounds of Antipolo City, housing both contemporary and traditional artworks that anyone can enjoy. The museum was founded in 2010 to publicly exhibit the art collection of Filipino neurologist and patron of the arts, Dr. Joven Cuanang. The museum (pintô means door in Filipino) was founded on the principle that art plays a diplomatic role in bridging distinctive nationalities, world views, and communities. 

What to see: Let your mind travel back in time and witness how artworks shifted from the depiction of the historical Spanish colonial occupation, highlighting the work to the spread of modernism as you wander in the tropical gardens of the whitewashed Santorini-inspired Mediterranean-style villas.

1 Sierra Madre St Grand Heights Road, Antipolo, Rizal


BenCab Museum (Baguio City)

Cordillera Gallery | Photo: Courtesy of
Cordillera Gallery | Photo: Courtesy of
BenCab Gallery | Photo: Courtesy of

The BenCab Museum houses the permanent collection of Philippine National Artist Benedicto Cabrera, or more popularly known as BenCab, hailed as a master of contemporary Philippine art. It displays the artist’s works and those of acknowledged Filipino masters and rising contemporary artists. The museum is committed to the promotion of the arts, and the preservation, conservation and protection of the environment, as well as the culture and traditions of the Cordilleras.

What to see: Indigenous arts and crafts of the Cordilleras are highlighted such as the granary gods, lime containers, native implements, and weapons. Aside from the stunning artworks, you can also enjoy the breathtaking view of the adjacent garden, farm, and the surrounding mountains as the cool air blows your hair!

Km 6 Asin Road, Tadiangan, Tuba, Benguet, Baguio City

Upside Down Museum (Pasay City)

Photo: Courtesy of Upside Down Museum via Facebook
Photo: Courtesy of Upside Down Museum via Facebook
Photo: Courtesy of Upside Down Museum via Facebook

Let your imagination come alive as you decipher different kinds of mind-boggling optical illusions at the Upside Down Museum! Established in 2017 by a Korean couple and designed by a Korean professional, the museum houses around 20 attractions. Leave it to your creativity to create a picture out of what your eyes see as backward, inside out, and upside down.

What to see: Some of the most popular attractions are the 90-degree house, mirror house, Goliath’s shoe, the upside-down highway, and the fully-furnished upside down house. The most famous are the Leaning House, Floating Corner, and Giant Sneaker. Challenge your mind as you do crazy poses!

CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Metro Manila

Nova Shell Museum

Photo: Courtesy of Nova Shell Museum via Facebook
Photo: Courtesy of Nova Shell Museum via Facebook
Photo: Courtesy of Nova Shell Museum via Facebook

Get a glimpse of what lies on the deepest parts of the ocean at the Nova Shell Museum. Nestled in the beautiful island of Panglao in Bohol, the museum keeps several exotic shells, clams, and other molluscs collected by Quirino Hora. He has been studying these delicate creatures for almost half his life and displays it for everyone to see. From what started as a hobby, the collection grew and became one of the world’s largest collections of seashells.

What to see: Aside from unclassified and never-before-seen seashells, one of the world’s smallest seashells, Rotoavula Hirohitoi, named after Emperor Hirohito of Japan, can also be found in the museum. It also displays three giant clams that are thousands of years old.

Poblacion Proper, Poblacion, Panglao Island, Bohol

Palawan Special Battalion WW2 Memorial Museum

Photo: Courtesy of
Photo: Courtesy of

A moment in history preserved! Erected on December 7, 2011, the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Palawan WW2 Memorial Museum serves as a commemoration of the guerilla soldiers who resisted the Japanese invaders during the World War II. Higinio Mendoza opened the museum in dedication to his father, the late Dr. Higinio Mendoza Sr., who was killed in action by Japanese troops at Canigaran Beach.

What to see: Different old weapons are carefully preserved and showcased inside glass cases. Guns of different types and sizes are a sight to behold! The museum also keeps a World War II jeep. Surely a great travel destination for history enthusiasts!

Rizal Avenue Extension, Barangay Bancao-Bancao, Puerto Princesa City

See also: Exhibition Focusing On Picasso's Blue Period Coming To Toronto In 2020


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