Tuesday, May 9, 2017

National Museum Tour Part 1

Hi there!

I went biking again yesterday, May 6, 2017 (Saturday) for a tour around Manila. I decided to go to National Museum which has has different branches/components (Anthropology, Arts, Planetarium and Regional Museums). I plan to visit one of these branches next time. I went first to National Museum of Anthropology also known as Museum of the Filipino People. 
National Museum of Anthropology
                                         Facade of the National Museum of Anthropology

The construction of the building started way back 1918 but was suspended due to the lack of funds. It was originally designed as a public library but was later used by the legislature The building was damaged by World war 2 and was reconstructed during 1946. The facade of the building reminds me of Roman architecture. The good thing about the museum is that it's free for locals and foreigners. They are open from Tuesday to Sunday. They close their gates at 5 pm.

As you enter the main door your bags will be subject to inspection and you need to register first on the counter. They don't allow bags inside so you have to leave it at the bag counter. They remind you that you can take pictures as long as you disable the flash which I think can damage relics that are sensitive to bright light.
National Museum of Anthropology Entrance

A detailed guide of what each floor is all about can be seen on the main hall of the museum.
National Museum floor guide

I went around the first level and stumbled upon the Taxidermy Visible Storage Collection. Unfortunately I was not able to enter inside so I took the pictures from outside. The collection includes birds, corals, sea creatures.
Taxidermy gallery

Taxidermy turtle

Taxidermy birds

At the center of the building there is an open area where you can see a replica of a house of the Ifugao people. Ifugao people are an ethnic group from Cordillera Administrative Region in Luzon.
Ifugao House

A library is also present as you walk along the hallway
National Museum Library

Located near the stairs to the 2nd level is a painting by Edgar Doctor titled "Green Country". I am not really an expert in arts but I believe this is an abstract art and by looking closely at the painting, I can see mountains on the horizon, trees, and farms on the middle together with bodies of water
Green Country Painting

I went up to the second level Galleries and I really admired the interior of the place.
Second Level

Second Level

The first gallery on the second level is about the Sta. Cruz Shipwreck. It was named after this because the Shipwreck was found under the waters of Sta. Cruz Municipality of Zambales Philippines. The wooden shipwreck carried materials which comprised mainly of ceramic trade wares and jars from China, Vietnam, Thailand. I like the design and craftsmanship of the Chinese porcelain and ceramics from the Ming Dynasty. It is astounding to realize that these works of art were submerged under water for a long time.
Sta Cruz Shipwreck Ceramics

Sta Cruz Shipwreck Ceramics

On the next gallery relics and ceramics from the San Diego Galleon ship can be seen. The San Diego was built as a trading ship named San Antonio but was hastily converted into a warship commanded by the oidor Antonio De Morga. It was sunk by the Dutch ship Mauritius under the command of Admiral Olivier van Noort during a battle in Manila on December 14, 1600. The sunk warship carried ceramics, earthenware materials, metals plates, dishes, bottles. Firearms, Cannons, swords and even Japanese weapons were found among the wreck.

The San Diego Warship 

The admiral's table is really luxurious.
Admiral's table

Dragon Jars

Jingdezhen Porcelain

Blue and White Porcelain - Jiangxi Province

Spanish Cannons and cannon balls


Firearm ammunitions

Pieces of armors

You may ask why there are Japanese swords found among the wreck. This is because Japanese Mercenaries also called "bushi" were hired by the Spanish to supplement the spanish force and help defend against the dutch attack. The bushi carried long swords (Katana) and short swords (Wakizashi). Most of the steel blades and hilts of the weapons were lost and only the the handle guards (Tsuba) were recovered.

 Sword handles
Sword handles

Morions Copper Alloy Helmet Replica

A golden Cordbelt
Golden Cordbelt

A 16th Century Astrolobe. This looks really cool. 
16th Century Astrolobe

I covered just the 1st and 2nd level of the National Museum of Anthropology. I really like the interesting galleries and the relics was kept well. The temperature of each galleries is cold and comfortable and of course the free admission is great. On my next post I will cover the 3rd and 4th level of the museum. Join me again on my next adventure as I pedal around the Philippines. Thank You!