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Philippine museums and galleries to visit for free

by Nivelle DumlaoPublished: October 7, 2015Updated: December 21, 2015

To celebrate October as the month of museums and galleries, here are Philippine places you can visit for free for a fun day of history and culture.

To promote knowledge on Filipino culture and history, former president Corazon Aquino declared October as the Museums and Galleries Month. All museums and galleries are encouraged to participate in this month-long celebration by having activities for their visitors to  promote knowledge and appreciation for our history and culture.

To give you a jumpstart, here is a list museums with free admissions that you can visit all year round.



Shrine of Emilio Aguinaldo (Tirona Road, Kawit, Cavite)

Declared a national shrine in 1964 (the year of Emilio Aguinaldo’s death), many important events happened in this house, including the former president’s birth, the first viewing of the Philippine flag, and the proclamation of Philippine Independence. The former president’s remains are entombed at the back of the main house.

Why it’s fun

You will see here the personal collections of the late president, including books and newspapers, his and his family’s personal stuff, and even his preserved appendix inside their medicine cabinet. You will also discover the hidden nooks and cases of the house’s furniture, secret pathways that connect rooms, areas around the house used as hiding places from the enemies, and even secret passages used to escape during invasions. You can also relive the famous historical moment of the declaration of independence by going up to the balcony that’s nearest to where the actual event took place in 1898.

Admission: Free (although visitors are encouraged to drop a donation for the shrine’s maintenance) from Tuesday to Sunday, 8 AM to 4 PM

Manuel Quezon Memorial Shrine (Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City)

Located in the middle of Quezon City, the Manuel Quezon Memorial Shrine is a tribute to the Philippines’ first Commonwealth president. It holds the memorabilia and historical items from the significant events in his life, such as the bed he used inside the Malinta tunnel when he was sick in Corregidor; his and his family’s trunks used when traveling abroad; and photographs of him and his family. His remains, along with those of his wife Aurora Quezon’s, lay in a tomb at the shrine.

Why it’s fun

The museum is located at the center of the Quezon City Circle, marked by three conjoined towers with angels on top. The three angels are said to represent Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Around this monument and museum are activity areas and parks. Before or after taking a tour of the museum, you might want to take a walk or run around the circle, eat at the food stalls around the park, exercise, play, or board one of the many fun rides for the whole family. A weekly tiangge is also held during weekends.

Admission: Free from Tuesday to Sunday, 8 AM to 4 PM


National Museum of the Philippines (P. Burgos St., Ermita, Manila)

Housing important artifacts, artworks, and dioramas chronicling the Philippines’ culture and natural history, the National Museum have various galleries and collections that feature exhibits dating as far back as the pre-Spanish period. But perhaps the National Museum’s most famous resident is the Juan Luna opus “Spoliarium,” an oil painting depicting gladiators being hauled from a Roman amphitheater.

Why it’s fun

The National Museum usually holds free workshops, conferences, and cultural demonstrations. Exhibitions in some of its galleries are also regularly changed. The schedule of their activities and gallery exhibitions can be found on their site.

Admission: Free for the whole month of October and Sundays, 10 AM to 5 PM

The Money Museum (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, A. Mabini corner P. Ocampo Sts., Malate, Manila)

For those who are curious about our country’s monetary history, this is the place to go. Inside the Money Museum are collections of gold coins, notes, medals, artifacts, and monetary items for trading that were used during the different eras of the country. How the currency developed and evolved in our country can be learned through the visual and audio narration available for visitors.

Why it’s fun

Aside from the bank’s possessions, artifacts and items acquired from collectors and dealers are also on display. Some of these interesting finds are the actual money used by the guerillas. They had a different set of monetary notes from the money being used by the general public. It is also fascinating to see the old pieces of jewelry that were used as currency during the olden times.

Admission: Free from Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 12 PM and 1 PM to 4 PM

Museo ng Katipunan (Corazon de Jesus St., Pinaglabanan, San Juan)

Built at a former Spanish depot site, this museum is dedicated to the revolutionary group who bravely fought for our country’s freedom during the Philippine Revolution . The Katipunan Museum celebrates the achievements and accomplishments of Andres Bonifacio and the katipuneros. Their relics of weapons and tools, mementos, paintings, and artifacts are displayed to relive what had transpired before and during the war.

Why it’s fun

More than just viewing the historical items on display and dioramas, there are also interactive activities and displays that make learning about history more fun and exciting. It also has an e-learning room where students can take online interactive lessons to know more about the Katipunan.

Admission: Free from Tuesday to Sunday, 8 AM to 4 PM



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